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Portland Teachers Program celebrates 20 years
Photos and Story by James Hill
The Portland Teachers Program marks 20 years of diversity and educational excellence this month when it holds its annual Celebration of Students.
The event will honor first-year students, graduates and program alumni. It will run from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 29, in the Moriarty Arts and Humanities Building Auditorium, Cascade Campus, 705 N. Killingsworth St. A reception precedes the program from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Campus’ Student Center Dining Room.
Ron Herndon, board chair of the National Head Start Association and director of the Albina Head Start program, will be master of ceremonies for this year’s 20th anniversary celebration. 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.
This year, 10 students are graduating with their Oregon teaching license, including Richard Cha, high school math; Leesa Ferguson, Shalonda McGhee, Maricruz Yaroslavsky-Acuna and Cynthia Shambry, all elementary; James Mayik, middle school science; Aaron Monteith, special education; Demetrio Rodriquez, high school Spanish; Matthew Ross, middle school math; and Candice Vickers, high school English.
“The celebration honors a culturally diverse group of people who have chosen a career that will benefit their communities and society as a whole,” said Deborah Cochrane, the program’s director. “The event recognizes each participant in the program for the positive choices he or she has made, and highlights the program’s graduates for the effort and sacrifices they have made to complete both their bachelors’ degrees and a grueling year of graduate school to become licensed teachers.”
The Portland Teachers Program is a partnership between Portland Community College, 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. Implemented in late 1989 as a response to the shortage of diversity in teaching, the program has graduated more than 130 teachers, most eventually working in Portland Public Schools. Several also have become principals and vice principals.
For more information, call (503) 978-5444.