The graduation ceremony for the first Alternative Route to Teacher Certification (ARTC) cohort was held on August 13 in the board room of the Kent School District. The board room was filled to capacity, as more than 150 family members and friends of the graduates attended the celebration, along with Kent School District officials, mentor teachers, and Antioch faculty members.
The evening began with the ARTC candidates presenting their master’s capstone projects. For their capstones, candidates reflected upon what they had learned over the course of the program and each designed a project around a question or problem of practice, with an emphasis on equity, community engagement, advocacy, and teacher leadership. Candidates presented their work in breakout groups to family, friends and colleagues.
The graduation ceremony was held after the capstone presentations, and was a joyous and emotional event. Each graduate had a chance to give words of inspiration and gratitude and all were celebrated for the hard work, dedication, and collaboration that they displayed over the course of the ARTC program. As Julia Daniels, ARTC program coordinator noted, the candidates all displayed incredible “courage, curiosity, commitment, and love.”
Most members of the cohort are now beginning the school year as teachers and teacher librarians in their own classrooms in the Kent School District. They are looking forward to implementing all that they have learned over the course of the program, and are well on their way to becoming thoughtful, equitable practitioners.