by Danielle Lankford
Communications Specialist, Guadalupe School
June 11 was a day of many firsts for Guadalupe School. Our first ever 6th grade class participated in their first commencement, prompting Mayor Ralph Becker’s first visit to the new campus! Mayor Becker then declared June 11, 2015 the first ever “Vicki Mori” day in honor of our Executive Director’s long-time service to Salt Lake City! It was a big day!
As we end this school year in our new campus, we reflect on the many accomplishments the past year has held for Guadalupe School. But when we return to the Janet Q. Lawson campus in the fall, our graduating sixth grade class will be adventuring out to have many new experiences of their own.
Eight of our twenty-seven graduates participated in our In-Home program as infants. Being part of the In-Home program allowed our parent educators to visit student’s homes and give their parents skills and guidance needed to encourage cognitive development. When these babies became toddlers, they joined our Toddler Beginnings early enrichment daycare program, where many of our staff members met them for the first time. A few years later, nine more of our graduates joined us in the first stages of their formal education at 4 and 5 years old, in our preschool and charter school programs.
For more than half of our first graduating class, Guadalupe School has been more than a place for learning. It has been their second home, where our staff has watched them grow from infants and toddlers learning how to walk and talk, to seeing them through pre-teen years on their way to middle school. Now, for the first time, they will leave our campus to pursue their education elsewhere.
It will no doubt be a life-changing transition for them, and the choices they make these next few years will determine much of the rest of their lives. It may be as scary for us as it is for them – it feels a bit like a parent watching their child go off to college, only we have 27 of them headed to middle school. But like a parent sending their child to college, we know that through our education programs, we have provided these children with the resources and guidance necessary to make well-informed choices and succeed in this next phase of life!
Their teacher calls this group “hardworking, compassionate, and genuine” — mature words for such a young cohort. With these characteristics, and the knowledge they’ve acquired at Guadalupe School, we can’t wait to see how far they’ll go.