The Sage Colleges will hold its seventh annual Winter Commencement ceremony on Wednesday, Dec. 17, at 6:30 p.m. at the Troy Music Hall. The combined ceremony will honor a total of 382 graduates from all three Sage institutions: Sage College of Albany, Sage Graduate School, and Russell Sage College.
December graduates include adult learners and career changers. Some, like Charles Flynn, who earns his master's degree from Sage in Education on Wednesday, have decided to change careers and make a difference through teaching.
Troops to Teachers
At 54, Flynn, has enjoyed a commendable 20-year career of leadership in the U.S. Navy, including time in Desert Storm. Following his retirement, Flynn found that he needed to continue challenging himself. He discovered “Troops to Teachers," a program funded by the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Defense, and knew that becoming a public school teacher would be a perfect fit.
"In the military you are only as good as the people you lead," says Flynn. "As an educator, you are only as good as the students you teach."
Flynn is currently doing his teaching internship as the technology coordinator for Lee Public Schools in Lee, MA, near to his home. "I really shopped around for the right place to earn my degree," says Flynn. "Sage had the best program in either New York or Massachusetts."
Flynn says he wishes more former military would enter the field. The Troops to Teachers program helps interested and eligible military personnel enter programs that train and certify K-12 public school teachers. For some participants, the program also offers financial assistance, and students may be able to begin teaching before becoming fully certified.
Head of Parsons Child and Family Center to Speak
The Commencement address will be delivered by Raymond Schimmer, executive director of Parsons Child and Family Center in Albany, a leading resource and service provider for youth and families of the Capital Region and an internship and volunteering location for a number of Sage students. Schimmer, who has been with the agency in various leadership capacities since 1982, has guided the $26 million agency and its 540 full-time employees in providing services such as residential care, outpatient programs, short-term crisis placements, after-school programs, foster care, adoption, consultation, training programs, and other community-based family support services.
Schimmer holds a Master of Arts in Teaching M.A.T.) from Harvard University’s School of Education and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hunter College. He is president of the New York State Children’s Mental Health Coalition, chairs the Child Welfare League of America’s (CWLA) Walker Trieschman Institute Advisory Board, and is a member of the CWLA’s Residential Services and Mental Health Advisory Boards.