Wearing graduation caps and robes, six Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) students were recognized for their successes during a ceremony on December 19 at SCOE's David P. Meaney Education Center.
The students, who have attended SCOE young adult classes, were cheered by fellow students, family and friends as they received certificates of completion. The students represent schools in Elk Grove Unified School District, Grant Joint Union High School District, as well as a program at California State University, Sacramento. SCOE's young adult classes provide life skills and work experience for students with disabilities.
During the ceremony, County Superintendent of Schools Dave Gordon acknowledged the many contributions of SCOE's special education teams—including teachers, paraeducators, program specialists, therapists, social workers, nurses, support staff and bus drivers—which make student success possible. He also thanked the parents and guardians for supporting their children's learning.
"Our students are confirmation that goals are attainable. However, most times, we can't reach our goals alone. We need strong shoulders to cry on, we need strong people to lean on. We need guidance and encouragement. Parents and guardians, teachers, paraprofessional educators, and other caring staff members, you provide that much-needed strength. You provide hope."
Students receiving certificates of completion:
- Michelle Carpenter (CSUS Young Adult Program)
- Joseph Estep (Highlands Academy of Art and Design)
- Charles Miller (Jessie Baker School)
- Pamela Pfannenstiel (Jessie Baker School)
- Jessica Condra (Jessie Baker School)
- Kimberly Vu (Jessie Baker School)
Joining Superintendent Gordon in congratulating the students were Deputy Superintendent Marty Cavanaugh and Assistant Superintendent Robin M. Pierson. Principal Mary Jo Johnson served as master of ceremonies.
Following the awarding of certificates, a slide show depicting the graduates was presented by Program Specialist Leora Bautista Hendricks. Cake and punch were served by SCOE staff.
As part of the SCOE Special Education Department, the SH (severely handicapped) program provides special education services to students with severe disabilities and students with emotional disturbances, from ages 3-22 years, throughout Sacramento County. SCOE SH programs are located on more than 25 sites/schools located in eight school districts within the county.
The Special Education Department provides special day classes for students with severe challenges (severely handicapped) or with emotional disturbances (emotionally disturbed). Other students served by the program include district students with visual impairments, mobility needs, or speech and language disorders. Special education services are also provided at local schools operated for youth through Sacramento County Probation. SCOE's Infant Development Program provides individualized, home-based instruction and family support for infants and toddlers having special needs.
Information about SCOE's special education services is available by calling (916) 228-2382.