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Portland Teachers Program increases diversity
Photos and Story by James Hill
A host of aspiring teachers from Beaverton and inner North Portland will be honored this month when the Portland Teachers Program holds its 19th Celebration of Students.
More than 80 people will be recognized at the celebration, from first-year students to graduates, as well as program alumni. The event runs from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Friday, May 30, at Portland Community College’s Cascade Campus, 705 N. Killingsworth St., in the Moriarty Arts and Humanities Auditorium. A reception will be held from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the campus’ Student Center Dining Room.
Attending the event will be program participants and their families, leaders from the African American, Native American, Latino and Asian American communities, and representatives from education, business and government. The Celebration of Students is sponsored by Washington Mutual.
This year, eight outstanding students are graduating with teaching endorsements: Clay Harding, Luis Lopez, Sofia Contreras, Irma Ramirez, Jennifer Hernandez, Curtis Wilson, Sarah Rios Lopez and Adriana Moyola. The event recognizes each participant in the program for the positive choices they have made, and highlights the program’s graduates for the effort and sacrifices they have made en route to completing a bachelor’s degrees and graduate school to become licensed teachers.
“Teaching is a sacred act,” said Deborah Cochrane, the program’s director, “and it is critical that we celebrate, honor and encourage those courageous educators who will shape the minds and perceptions of our future citizens. Democracy and equity cannot exist without people who have the ability to think for themselves.”
The Portland Teachers Program is a partnership between PCC, Portland Public Schools, Portland State University, the University of Portland and Beaverton School District, designed to increase the number of culturally competent teachers for Portland and Beaverton schools, with a special focus on the recruitment of historically under-represented groups. Implemented in late 1989 as a response to the critical shortage of culturally and ethnically diverse teachers, the program has graduated more than 122 teachers, most of whom continue to teach in Portland schools. Several also have become principals and vice principals.
For more information, call Deborah Cochrane, (503) 978-5444.