ANACONDA - When Jade Rogers first enrolled in the Center for Excellence in Anaconda, she was a troubled 9-year-old. Just two years later, she’s made an extraordinary turnaround.
“Every day we’ve just seen her grow into a young lady, tried harder every single day to do better and make better choices,” said Special Education Teacher Kari Hoscheid.
Jade is now being recognized this week with an award by the Montana Council for Exceptional Children for the progress she’s made.
“Learned how to express my feelings, and have people to talk to and learn how to help myself and help others,” said Rogers, who is 12 years old.
The center’s Trevor Scholler also won the award for paraprofessional of the year for his work assisting teachers, but working one-on-one with troubled students. It’s difficult work but very rewarding.
“All of the emotional stuff we have to go through, the chaos we have to go through makes it worth it, because you actually get to see a kid blossom and be reconciled back to a mainstream school,” said Scholler.
Gary Myers of Helena says he’s delighted to see the progress his 15-year-old daughter has made.
“I would move to Anaconda to have this kind of ability to come here, it’s just that great of a program; it’s awesome,” said Myers.
With more and more students having mental health and behavioral issues, educators would like to see more specialized institutions like the Center for Excellence.
“If we had one of these schools in every town it would make a difference, it’s just really hard to deal with these individual needs in public schools,” said Hoscheid.
The two will receive their awards at the MCEC event Thursday in Missoula.