The school is giving me permission to upgrade the digital camera. I have taken some really good shots with my Olympus Camedia C-2100 with 10x optical zoom. However, there are certain impossible situations with this camera, like trying to take photos at sports events (need a zoom capable of giving me a good shot of the kid's face from across the width of the soccer field) or during a play or other indoor performance (when I would rather NOT have to make a spectacle of myself just to get a decent shot).
My not-so-small work Olympus and my personal Nikon coolpix (15x optical zoom) is the extent of my digital camera experience. I think there is a whole "next level" of cameras of which I know nothing. Advice?