CRA graduates heading to the next chapter

Ethan Carbahal, Luis Gallardo Reyes and Juan Ortiz Lopez were officially declared graduates of the Career Readiness Academy at Wolfskill at a ceremony on Friday, Dec. 17. (Crystal Apilado/Winters Express)

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On Friday, Dec. 17, eleven students graduated from the 2021 Winter Class of the Career Readiness Academy (CRA) at Wolfskill.

Family, friends and staff members gathered in the Walnut Room at the Winters Joint Unified School District office to celebrate the graduates at a ceremony on Friday. Three graduates were in
attendance, while others were given a nod from lead teacher Greg Wade.

Wade recognized that graduate Luis Gallardo Reyes recently received a Super Star Award at the Dec. 18 Winters JUSD Board of Trustees meeting. Gallardo Reyes received both his Accredited CRA diploma and Career Readiness Certificate. Gallardo Reyes is pursuing admission to Woodland Community College with a focus in Wildlife Biology.

“This is a kid who knows what he wants,” Wade said.

Teacher Ryan Catanzaro recognized graduate Ethan Carbahal as “truly an Alternative Learner” and an example of the reason he wanted to teach in an alternative learning environment.

“When he’s there,  he’s ready to work, he’s ready to learn — He’s inquisitive,” Catanzaro said. “I’m very excited to see what he does with his life afterwards.”

Catanzaro said Carbahal loves the outdoors and nature, and is looking to pursue a career in that capacity where he can get the hands-on experience that Carbahal thrives in. Carbahal received his accredited CRA Diploma.

Liz Coman, Winters JUSD College and Career Coordinator, recognized graduate Juan Ortiz Lopez who received his accredited CRA Diploma and Career Readiness Certificate at the ceremony.

Coman said that Ortiz Lopez is a young man who has the potential to develop his leadership skills that can carry him far in life. She noted that Ortiz Lopez took action to advocate for himself to switch schools and demonstrated he is a problem solver and knows what it takes to achieve his goals.

Wade congratulated Derick Carrasco Gomez and Adrian Solorio for earning their accredited CRA Diplomas. He also recognized graduates Alexander Cecil, Justino Cortez, Liliana Martinez, David Morris, Noel Gutierrez Torres and Braydon Winslow who also earned their Career Readiness Certificates.

Phoebe Girimonte, Assistant Superintendent/Director of Educational Services, praised graduates and said she had observed them demonstrating thoughtful dialogue and discussion regarding current topics.

“I’m a believer that alternative education is a very critical pathway within any school district. A one-size-fit-all model for education simply does not work,” Girimonte said.

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