During a ceremony filled with applause and tears, three Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) students were recognized for their successes during a special ceremony on May 27 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 and Sacramento City Unified 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, Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon presented each recipient with a certificate. He 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 already have overcome great obstacles and who will continue to face them with the love and support of those close to them. I look around this room and let me tell you what I see. I see hope, and I see confidence. We all see the result of hard work, and we all see love and devotion," Superintendent Gordon said.
Students receiving certificates of completion:
- Antonella Baltodana, CSUS Young Adult Program
- Maxwell Burton, George Washington Carver School of Arts & Sciences
- Jennifer Morgan, Monterey Trail High School
Not present, but also earning certificates were Tyisha Eberhart (CSUS Young Adult Program) and Daniel Williams (Monterey Trail High School).
Principal Mary Jo Johnson, who is retiring in June after 30 years in education, served as master of ceremonies for the event. Joining Superintendent Gordon in congratulating the students were SELPA Director Judy Holsinger and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Robin M. Pierson.
"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."
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.