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Erlanger-Elsmere Schools Celebrate Different Kind of Graduates: Parents

Decked out in caps and gowns, nearly 100 new graduates were honored by Erlanger-Elsmere Schools on November 19.

But it wasn't a group of traditional students.

Instead, it was a committed group that completed the school district's Leadership Scholars Parent Academy.

For the past eight weeks at every school in the Erlanger-Elsmere Independent School District, parents have spent their evening hours attending the Leadership Scholars Parent Academy to gain information, skills, and resources to help their students succeed in school and beyond. After completing the rigorous course, they were celebrated for their achievement at a graduation ceremony, complete with caps and gowns.

At the graduation ceremony - which featured all the usual pomp and circumstance - some of the district’s musical groups performed. Dr. Fernando Figueroa, president of Gateway Community and Technical College delivered the keynote address. Elected and government officials were in attendance.

“Leadership Scholars has been invaluable to me,” said Mrs. Stacey Cammack, parent participant at Arnett Elementary. “The parents and caregivers in my class are a beautiful collection of diversity. We are racially different, culturally different and socio-economically different but we are all gathering for the same reason. All of our stories are different but the bottom line is that we want our children to succeed. 

Leadership Scholars is a Cincinnati-based nonprofit, founded on the belief that every child deserves a quality education, regardless of socioeconomic background. 

While this program has been offered at nearly two dozen schools across Greater Cincinnati, this fall marked the first time it has been implemented throughout an entire district. The program’s leadership will look closely at the data and consider this initiative a pilot program for the entire region.

“This has been a big undertaking, and we’re so pleased so many parents participated in this first endeavor,” said Dr. Kathy Burkhardt, superintendent of Erlanger-Elsmere Schools. “As we see things that are going on in the world right now, it’s really important that parents feel they are a part of the schools and engaged in their children’s education. We are very proud of the 105 parents who participated and the many teachers, principals, and other staff members who facilitated parent groups, provided childcare, meals, etc. This was a true collaborative effort on behalf of our parents and our EES staff members.

-Staff report

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