PIQE graduation honors hardworking parents

The Sanger Unified School District (SUSD) claimed another record to add to its long list of accomplishments. Family, friends, instructors and distinguished guests filled the Sanger High School multipurpose room to watch the graduation ceremony for 148 members of the Parents Institute for Quality Education (PIQE). The 148 graduating adults is a record for Fresno County. The night’s festivities included dinner, music from a mariachi ensemble, a performance from a salsa dance group and dessert.

“For me it’s very rewarding to see almost 150 parents who were willing to come out once a week, for nine weeks, and invest in the child’s’ future. And that’s why we support this program as strongly as we do,” SUSD superintendent Marc Johnson said. “We need our parents as partners in the process so that together we can help our kids be successful. I’m so proud of these parents for the investment they have just made in their child’s’ future.”  The graduation featured keynote speaker Dora Westerlund, President/CEO of the Fresno Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Dr. Paul Oliaro, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students from Fresno State University.  Sanger High’s principal, Dan Chacon, was impressed with the parents and the program.

“It’s inspiring,” Chacon said. “Inspiring for me as the administrator here, my teachers and everyone to see that the partnership’s there. The parents really value education and want it.”  Chacon’s wife, Mandy, was responsible for acquiring the funds to operate the PIQE program through grants to fund Sanger High’s afterschool program.