Northeastern Clinton Principal Stephen Gratto balancing a chair on his chin to get educators excited about prepping students for college.
Sixteen representatives from 10 area school across the Adirondack region met on May 16 to share successes and helpful advice for nurturing students from high school into a college career.
The professional development group, College For Every Student, meets several times a year according to Rick Dalton, President and CEO of CFES. The group brings together educators from both the participating schools and their college partners.
The national organization based out of Essex works with 150 rural and urban school districts in 22 states. The program works with nine schools in the Adirondacks to encourage students who might not have to opportunity to go to college or who need direction to accomplish academic goals.
“This being where we’re based, we take special interest in our kids in the Adirondacks,” CFES Program Director Tara Lambert said.
Education personnel from Ticonderoga, Crown Point, Peru, Plattsburgh, Willsboro, Keeseville, and Northeastern Clinton and CFES partners from SUNY Plattsburgh, Potsdam and Paul Smith’s college attended the session. The attendants talked about the different programs they have implemented in their school.
In Crown Point, Principal Elaine Dixon said the school has recently implemented an anti-bullying program for students to follow to teach respect and character education. It’s success has been monitored through questionnaires with the school counselor, Andrea McDonald, who is facilitating the program.
“Respect is the first building block in being successful in life,” Dixon said. “That’s our biggest achievement this year, we’re very proud of it.”
Steve Boyce, Retired Curriculum Coordinator at Ticonderoga, said the program is not just designed to help student’s become college ready but to help them make the best choices in choosing a college.
“We’re making them wise consumers so they know what their looking for in a college,” Boyce said.
At Willsboro, the faculty members have paired the students with a member of the community to be their mentors. Mentor Darcy Hale said she feels it encourages students by having another adult there to talk to.
“It’s another avenue for getting kids really engaged,” Hale said.
Peru, NCCS and other school representatives identified their college trips as the most successful improvement in their CFES practices.
“What makes our program unique is we also visit a business when we take college trips so that students can apply what they are seeing at a college campus to an actual job,” Sue Smith, Peru High School Counselor said.
The meeting was also attended by a NCCS student currently involved in the CFES Mentoring program. Junior Miranda Menard said she got a lot from her involvement with CFES mentoring program.
“I was honored to be asked to be in the program, I want to be a counselor so I like helping people and I’ve made great progress with my mentee,” Menard said.
The goal of the program is to help those whom would be first in their family to pursue higher education, and to help them get to college and succeed there Dalton said.
“Our goal here is to bring people together to share successes, and show what works and what doesn’t,” Dalton said.
For more information on CFES visit www.collegefes.org.