During a festive celebration filled with cheers and tears, eleven Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) students were recognized for their accomplishments during a special May 24th ceremony at SCOE's David P. Meaney Education Center.
The students, who have attended SCOE young adult classes, were honored by fellow students, family and friends, and SCOE staff, as they received certificates of completion. SCOE's young adult classes provide life skills and work experience for students with disabilities.
During the ceremony, Sacramento County Board of Education trustees Adriana X. Echandía and Greg Geeting presented recipients with certificates. In his welcoming remarks, Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon acknowledged the many contributions of SCOE's special education teams (including teachers, paraprofessional educators, program specialists, therapists, social workers, nurses, support staff and bus drivers) which make student success possible. He also recognized the parents and guardians for their devotion.
"This is a validation of the absolute devotion you have for your children," Superintendent Gordon told the parents and guardians gathered. "When others had doubts, you had hope. Without your extraordinary inner-strength this day would not be possible. You are incredible people."
Students Receiving Certificates of Completion
CSUS Young Adult Program (Bernadette Kerwin, Teacher)
- Frank Reyes
Galt High School (Cathy Goodrich, Teacher)
- Jose Gallegos
- Derek Verkuyl
Highlands Academy of Art & Design Program (Mary Killelea, Teacher)
- Carlos Sanchez
Jessie Baker Young Adult Program (Frances Montemurro, Teacher)
- Luz Celina Aldana
- Terrell Brown
- Thomas Reigelsberger
- Nina Yang
Monterey Trail High School (Carrie Tilley, Teacher)
- Talal Jamshaid
- Christopher Martinez
- Linda Tran
Principal Carmen Walker served as master of ceremonies for the event. Joining Superintendent Gordon in congratulating the students were SELPA Director Judy Holsinger and Assistant Superintendent for Special Education Robin M. Pierson, Ed.D.
"This is the end of one chapter and the beginning of another," said Assistant Superintendent Pierson told the students and their families. "It is your joy and hope and spirit that inspire us each day. You made a difference in our lives so much."
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.