NORTH GLENDALE — After spending 18 years of her life as a student at College View School, Stephanie Lozano became a graduate during Friday's completion ceremony.
Teachers helped 22-year-old Lozano, who is developmentally disabled, learn sign language, sort through shapes and numbers, and socialize.
Her father, Milton Lozano, credited his daughter’s progress to the school’s staff, who he said created memorable experiences for her and the family.
“When she first started, her diagnosis was severe, now she’s at level that is very low,” he said. “Thank God she greatly benefitted from this school and I don’t know how to repay this school for what they did for my daughter because these children are a gift from God.”
Stephanie Lozano was one of three students — including Jeffrey Currie and Galoust Tandilian— who graduated from the school on Friday and will be moving on to other adult programs.
Student Shirak Akopyan, who didn’t attend the ceremony, was recognized in advance for her graduation, which will come in December.
Four other students — Vahag Baghoumian, Daniel Crissman, Arvin Gharibian and Omar Ruiz — were recognized for their accomplishments. They are moving on from the school and will attend general education elementary schools.
“I think College View School works because of a little bit of magic,” said Amy Lambert, assistant superintendent of special education for the Glendale Unified School District. “And in my two years here in this job, I think I realized what that magic here is about: It has to do with the belief that all of our students can learn, that all of our students belong here and that they can progress and grow.”
After graduating, most adult students are linked to organizations that can help them transition into life outside of school.
“We having been working with them for four years to try to get them to start making choices,” school Principal Jay Schwartz said. “You never put a cap on their future. Whatever they can do, we want them to do.”
Stephanie Lozano’s father is hoping that she gets accepted into the adult program at Casa Del Sol in Sunland.
“I know that will be her second home,” he said.