Howard Center Schools and Programs Host Celebrations

Burlington, VT— Five Howard Center programs are marking the end of the academic year with celebrations and graduation ceremonies. The Jean Garvin, Fay Honey Knopp and Baird Schools, along with the SUCCEED and Project SEARCH programs, are celebrating their students, educators and families for their commitment and dedication through another successful year.

The Jean Garvin School held its transition ceremony on June 19, at the McClure Gymnasium. The event celebrated 38 students, including two high school graduates, seven 8th-grade graduates, and seven students transitioning from Garvin School to other educational settings. The ceremony recognized the achievements of every student with speeches and accolades. It has been a year of growth for the students, staff, and program. The school offers unique learning opportunities to inspire personal change and well-being for students ages 12-18.

The Baird School held a student recognition ceremony in Burlington on June 10 for all students and celebrated the graduation of two eighth-grade students. The ceremony brought together students, teachers, and families. Baird School provides an alternative educational environment for children ages 5-14 and grades K-8 where professional educators, clinicians, and support staff assist students in developing skills and strategies to help them function successfully at school, home, and in their communities.

The students of Fay Honey Knopp experienced a remarkable school year filled with growth and progress. Not only did they achieve academic milestones, but also made personal strides in both social and academic pursuits. The Fay Honey Knopp students’ achievements were highlighted in their Portrait of a Graduate projects. Through these projects, they reflected on their individual growth, celebrated their accomplishments, and asserted their personal agency in their education. Each student undertook the development of their project independently and shared their work with the school community during our end-of-year celebrations.

SUCCEED is a post-secondary education and independent living program for students with intellectual disabilities or autism who participate in a college experience that prepares them for future success. Students graduate with skills needed to live independently, develop meaningful friendships, obtain fulfilling employment, and establish community connections. SUCCEED will host its 13th graduation ceremony on July 27, celebrating the graduation of two exceptional students who have thrived in the program. As they bid farewell to these graduates, staff welcome eight new students from three different counties across the state who will embark on their own journeys of growth and achievement within SUCCEED.

Four interns successfully completed the UVMMC Project SEARCH program on June 7, 2023. Project SEARCH is a collaboration that helps interns with intellectual disabilities gain and maintain employment through trainings, internships, and career exploration. Presentations and a celebration were held with family members, managers/mentors from UVMMC, program staff, and partner organizations. The interns were commended for their contributions and dedication at the medical center. They gained valuable work skills and are now applying for jobs in various Chittenden County businesses.

“As this academic year ends, we congratulate our students and thank all of our educators, staff, and families for their dedication to our students’ success,” said Beth Holden, Chief Client Services Officer at Howard Center. “We’re so proud of our students as they transition to the next phase in their lives.”

Congratulations to all students!