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Atholton High School Celebrates 20-Year Partnership with Sunrise Senior Living of Columbia

May 15th, 2018

Atholton High School and Sunrise Senior Living of Columbia celebrated 20 years of collaboration in providing workplace opportunities for students of all abilities and building a strong intergenerational community. The longstanding partnership was renewed with an official partnership signing on Monday, May 14, at the Sheraton Columbia Waterside Restaurant.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sunrise will continue to provide a variety of work opportunities for Atholton High School students in the Work Study and Career Research and Development programs. Work Study provides a structured, supervised work experience for students receiving special education services. Career Research and Development gives students the opportunity to explore career options, discover career-related strengths and learn what is expected in the workplace.

Sunrise staff will collaborate with AHS staff to provide accommodations and adaptive work processes as appropriate to meet student needs. Sunrise will also provide weekly opportunities for AHS teams, clubs and student groups to conduct community service through educational, recreational, social and technology programs at Sunrise.

AHS will collaborate with Sunrise staff to plan annual celebrations for Sunrise residents, include Sunrise in AHS Homecoming activities, conduct student performances at Sunrise, and host Sunrise residents at AHS plays, musicals and concerts.

HCPSS Area 1 Community Superintendent Marcy Leonard, Atholton High School Principal JoAnn Hutchens, Work Study Coordinator and Transition Specialist Mary Brzezinski, and Career Research and Development Teacher Michelle Howard joined Sunrise Senior Living Director of Operations Lisa Oursler, Sunrise Senior Living of Columbia Executive Director Wesley Street, Activities and Volunteer Coordinator Chelsey Tesch and Activities Assistant Britney Martini to sign the formal partnership agreement at the May 14 event.

Sunrise Senior Living communities offer a full range of personalized senior living services as well as nursing and rehabilitative services. Sunrise operates 320 communities in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom with a mission to champion quality of life for all seniors.

The Howard County Public School System’s Partnerships Office has united schools with more than 1,000 businesses and community organizations to enhance the educational experience of Howard County students. Partnerships benefit schools, businesses and the entire community by leveraging the resources of all participants. Partners may commit human or financial resources or other support.

For more information, contact Partnerships Office Manager Mary Schiller at 410-313-6655 or