Parents and guardians of students in San Diego County Office
of Education (SDCOE) schools were celebrated recently at the eighth annual
Family Service and Leadership Appreciation Day.
The daylong event June 29 recognized the involvement of
parents and guardians whose children attend schools in SDCOE’s Juvenile Court
and Community Schools (JCCS) programs. The event celebrated the service and
leadership exercised through family engagement, leadership voice, and
participation in workshops and trainings offered during the 2015-16 school
year, said Cynthia Burton, JCCS Family Involvement/Restorative Practices
Specialist. This year’s theme was “We Are Family.”
Throughout JCCS, parent and family liaisons work with
parents, guardians, and court appointed special advocates to be involved in their
“These are disenfranchised parents in our programs who have
never been recognized for positive parent engagement because of what their kids
have been through,” Burton said.
The parents were recognized for attending various workshops,
trainings, and meetings throughout the school year, such as participating with
school site councils and the District English Language Advisory Committee. All
of the several dozen parents who attended the event received a certificate as
an acknowledgement of their engagement. Trophies were presented to parents or
guardians of the year who “went above and beyond.” Burton said.
Rosie Bankhead, whose grandson attended Reflections School
and SOAR Academy for two years, was among those taking home a trophy. She said
that attending the workshops and site council meetings gave her insight into
how education works, and how she can help her grandson.
“We could find out what our children needed to stay out of
trouble,” Bankhead said. “It was good for me. I learned how to deal with my
grandson. I appreciate all of the family liaisons so much.”
Now, her grandson has graduated, and she plans to stay
Parent of the Year awards were presented to Rosie Bankhead,
Emmanuel Sandoval, Rosalina Delgadillo, and Vicky Gallagher. Burton and her
team also gave special recognition to Jimmy Roberts and Ivory Ingram, Monarch
School fathers who attended extensive restorative practices training and now
will lead a volunteer team for fathers to encourage participation in
restorative practices training.
The parent and family liaisons concluded the awards
presentation by telling their stories and honoring their own parents. And the
JCCS parents soaked up the moment.
“People came up to us and said it made us all human, that we’re
all in this together as parents,” Burton said.