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Cole Professional Academy celebrates five years
Sue Scott

“I am excited because I earned it.” Cole Elementary School fifth grader Kruz Horton graduated from the Cole Professional Academy. His class is the fifth to complete the program that focuses on concepts of professionalism and various soft skills to prepare students for college or to enter the workforce.

“It helps make you a better person,” says fellow graduate Averi Moore. “What we learned is important and this just motivates us to do more.” 

“This grassroots program began as an idea of several staff members who wanted to know how they could help our students with professional skills,” says Principal Mike Pinto. “This program features a variety of guest speakers and students paired with building-level staff mentors. Students work through monthly expectations and also have standards of dress, attendance, academic, and behavior to meet.”

Fifth grader Vinny Stone says the session on how to make grilled cheese was one of his favorites. “We also made scrambled eggs and baked a cake,” says Vinny. “Now, I can help my mom in the kitchen.”

Kruz says he learned how to tie a tie and enjoyed doing the mock interviews: “We also learned how to fill out a job application.”

The program culminated March 19 with an Evening of Celebration at the Stables Event Center. “We appreciate the support of many local businesses, including Caterpillar, who have donated our collared shirts for each student,” says Pinto. “Ninety-six percent of our fifth graders completed all areas to earn this high honor.”

graduates of the Cole Professional Academy with teachers and principal