Rockville, Md— On Monday, June 10, 2013, TLC—The Treatment and Learning Centers Katherine Thomas School hosted students, families and friends of TLC for a graduation ceremony and reception at Temple Beth Ami in Rockville. KTS is a special education school for students with moderate to severe language and learning disabilities and/or high-functioning autism, preschool through 12th grade.
This moving ceremony included speeches from all 17 graduating seniors. Seniors spoke of their experiences at KTS and how they have worked to overcome the challenges accompanied by their individual special needs. The audience of nearly 300 friends, families, staff, alumni, and special guests were visibly moved by these extraordinarily honest and heartfelt speeches. High School DirectorRhona Schwartzsupported students through their speeches with her usual warmth and caring.
Speakers included Karla Nabors, Program Director for Workforce Development and Continuing Education at Montgomery College; Ann Humphrey, representative from Congressman Chris Van Hollen’s office, who presented students with Congressional Citations; and Gail Groboski, Social Worker at the high school. Patricia Ritter, TLC’s Executive Director; Bruce Hunter, President of TLC’s Board of Directors; and Gwenn Blau, High School Education Director had the honor of joining Rhona Schwartz to present diplomas to the graduates.
The class of 2013 is the sixth class to graduate from KTS. The class of 17 students has all identified post secondary education as part of their transition. Students will be attending a variety of programs including: Kibbutz Program Center in Israel,Davis & Elkins College, Lesley University’s Threshold Program, Montgomery College’s Programs through Workforce Development and Continuing Education, College Living Experience, Howard Community College and Project Access, and Nova Community College’s STRIVE Program.
Quotes from senior speeches:
“Something else I have learned is that I am different in positive and negative ways. Due to these differences, I have learned how to act in a mature way, even when the situation is difficult. I never knew that I could be considered somewhat of a teacher in one of my classes. I have been able to help other students understand material covered in class.”
“One thing I have realized about myself while at KTS is how many people I am able to get along with. I never knew I could get along with so many different people by accepting them for who they are. I feel others accept me for who I am, too.”