First Early Childhood Class Graduates

Superintendent Michael S. Nelson and Early Childhood Coordinator Doreen Lopes are pleased to share that the first Old Rochester Regional High School Chapter 74 Early Childhood Education class has graduated from their program.

            The Class of 2024 Old Rochester Regional High School Graduation Ceremony was held on June 1. During the ceremony, eight students were recognized for being the first class to complete the Chapter 74 Early Childhood Education program.

            The graduating seniors from the program were Anna Pereira, Lila Bangs, Abigail Durr, Jaeleigh Black, Rylie Coughlin, Emily Borges, Nashajia Monteiro and Aubrey Heise.

            In 2020, Old Rochester Regional High School received approval for the Early Childhood and Care Chapter 74 Program from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

            With Chapter 74 approval status, high school students who enroll in the program have the opportunity to obtain the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) Teacher certification and college credits in Child Growth and Development through Bristol Community College. Students typically enrolled in this Early Education and Care program are aspiring teachers, child development specialists, pediatric nurses, or doctors. Many EEC students continue to higher education with a leg up on practical experience and coursework requirements.

            During the program, students completed four full years of early childhood coursework including: a full-year class in Introduction to Early Childhood Education earning 5 credits, a full-year class in Child Growth & Development earning 5 credits, a full-year class in Early Childhood Education I earning 5 credits and a full-year class in Early Childhood Education II earning 5 credits.

            In addition, they obtained more than 150 hours of classroom experience. They completed this experience both at the onsite preschool laboratory classroom under the direction of a certified preschool teacher and in the community by serving as interns at local elementary schools and childcare centers.

            “I have had the pleasure of working with these eight outstanding students over the past four years,” said teacher Janet Gauvin. “They have demonstrated such strength, compassion, dedication and insight. I have no doubts about their ability to make a tremendous contribution, not only to their field of study but to the community at large. They each have such bright futures ahead of them. It brings me great joy to know they will be pursuing their dreams and passions.”

            Lila Bangs will be attending the University of Vermont to study Early Childhood Education with a minor in American Sign Language. Jaeleigh Black will be majoring in Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Emily Borges will be attending Bristol Community College to study Liberal Arts. Rylie Coughlin will be majoring in English at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with plans to pursue a master’s degree in Education. Abigail Durr will be joining the workforce immediately upon graduation. Aubrey Heise will be attending Regis College to study Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Nas’hajia Monteiro will be majoring in Nursing at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Anna Pereira will be attending Stonehill College to study Health Science with a Premedical concentration.

            “On behalf of the entire district, it is my pleasure to congratulate our first-ever Chapter 74 Early Childhood Education program graduates,” said Superintendent Nelson. “I would like to recognize the faculty and staff of the Early Childhood Program for their dedication.”

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