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Center for Advanced Learning Seniors touted for completing career and technical education program

OUTLOOK PHOTO: MATT DEBOW - Chandra Johanningmeier speaks in front of the top performing CAL students at the celebration. Those students are called CALedictorians. No caps and gowns were present during the Center for Advanced Learning end-of-year celebration, but there was plenty of hoopla during the event that honored the school's seniors on Thursday, May 17, at Mountainview Christian Church, 1890 N.E. Cleveland Ave.

The event is not an official graduation, but rather an acknowledgment of students finishing all courses at CAL.

"We call it CALebration. We're so cute," said Carol Egan, CAL director. "We recognize the accomplishments of our students."OUTLOOK PHOTO: MATT DEBOW - CAL Director Carol Egan speaks at the CALebration celebration on Thursday, May 18.

The Griots, an African drum group, opened and closed the celebration with their rhythmic stylings.

"They are here to signal the path our seniors are leaving, and the journey they are starting," Egan said.

CAL is a public charter school on Northwest Civic Drive that teaches juniors and seniors from Centennial, Gresham-Barlow and Reynolds school districts.

Students attend CAL for half a day and their home high school the other half. They don't graduate from CAL, but from their home schools. 

At the celebration, Egan said there is "no greater cliche than to 'follow your dream.' And that's what you did: You committed yourself to a dream. Whatever your dream is now, it might change, and that's OK. Be confident in who you are becoming." OUTLOOK PHOTO: MATT DEBOW - Computer Information Systems Tobin Shields awards CIS student Christianna Armstrong a medallion during the celebration on Thursday, May 18.

Along with a certificate of achievement, the students were each presented with a medallion made by CAL mechanical engineering and manufacturing students as each one of the students crossed the stage.

Monze Rivera, whose home school is Centennial, said she was impressed by the CALebration.

"It was amazing," she said. "It was a feeling I can't explain. I hope there are more students that come to CAL."

CAL houses six career and technical education programs: health sciences, mechanical engineering and manufacturing, computer information systems, digital media and design.

Students at the career-oriented, college-prep school also can earn college credits while studying at CAL.

Outlook education reporter Teresa Carson contributed to this story.OUTLOOK PHOTO: MATT DEBOW - The Griots, an African drum group, close the CALebration with their rhythmic stylings.

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