During a ceremony filled with applause and tears, eight Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) students were recognized for their successes during a ceremony on May 28 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, Board of Education Vice President Gretchen Bender presented each recipient with a certificate. County Superintendent of Schools David W. 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.
"We look around this room today and we see people who believe in the beauty of their dreams. We see hope, and we see confidence. We see the result of hard work, and we see love and devotion," said Superintendent Gordon. "To our families here today: thank you for taking this journey with us, and with our teachers. We are humbled by your accomplishments."
Students receiving certificates of completion:
- James Weitkemper (Jessie Baker School)
- Randell Wilson (Jessie Baker School)
- Danielle Wright (Jessie Baker School)
- Richard Carrasco (CSUS Young Adult Program)
- Cameron Cole (CSUS Young Adult Program)
- Nicole Jones (CSUS Young Adult Program)
- Amy Lester (Highlands Academy of Art and Design)
- Oleg Tyutyunik (Highlands Academy of Art and Design)
Joining Superintendent Gordon in congratulating the students were Deputy Superintendent Marty Cavanaugh, SELPA Director Judy Holsinger and Assistant Superintendent Robin M. Pierson. Principal Lauren Roth served as master of ceremonies for the event.
"You have given us the opportunity to teach and you have taught us as well. It is your joy, your hope, your spirit that inspires us," Assistant Superintendent Pierson told the students and their families. "Today is a step toward a new time in your life. Celebrate this step!"
Following the ceremony, 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 Program for Severely Handicapped Students provides special education services to students with severe disabilities and students with emotional disturbances, from ages 3-22 years, throughout Sacramento County. These 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 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.