On May 26, the community Hall in Fort St. James was filled with family, friends and community members who came to celebrate the achievements of 12 students from the College of New Caledonia.
The students, graduating from CASS, (Community School Support Program) were welcomed by a very energetic performance by local drummers from Nak’azdli band.
Each student celebrated their journey, struggles and challenges and in the end they were able to celebrate completion of a program that will now allow them to continue their life journey.
Chief Sam of Nak’azdli Band was thrilled to share in the celebration.
“It’s important that you keep up the good work. On behalf of Chief and Council, we congratulate you. It is an honour to be here with you today,” Sam said.
The Community and School Support Program is based on two core values: that individuals have the right to have support services that respect inclusion and choice and that individuals have the right to work with skilled and respectful support staff in community and school settings.
All graduates in the Education Assistant (EA) Program will be prepared educational support staff to work with children and youth in the school setting.
And it was obvious, that this group of graduates were keen to do just that.
Ann McCormick, past supervisor of the College of New Caledonia in Fort St. James took part in the ceremonies.
“I was part of the process as these students registered for the CASS program back in the summer of 2015 when they started to commit to do the work and started looking at a way of integrating their course work into their lives and started dreaming about making some difference in the world,” McCormick said.
According to McCormick, teaching assistants when properly trained and employed, play an important role in helping to improve learning can result in significant student progress.
“I believe you are all on your way to making a positive contribution,” McCormick said.
For graduate, Carmen Bird, it’s a dream come true as she stands beside her daughter Julie.
Her daughter smiles. “I’m proud of my mom.”
2016 CASS Graduates:
Carmen Bird (not eligible to pass until practicum is completed in September, 2016)
Ellen T. Prince (not eligible to pass until practicum is completed in September, 2016)