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CFES holds first conference at new offices

CFES President and CEO Rick Dalton speaks at the College Connection Workshop in the organizations new facility in Essex.

CFES President and CEO Rick Dalton speaks at the College Connection Workshop in the organizations new facility in Essex. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— While work is still continuing, the College For Every Student organization was ready to host its first conference in their new headquarters in Essex.

CFES held a College Connect Workshop Feb. 7-8 at their new offices with schools attending from Crown Point to Northeastern Clinton along with colleges from throughout the North Country and Vermont.

CFES President and CEO Rick Dalton addressed those in attendance at the first official event at the site.

“This is the first time that we have flown this plane,” Dalton said. “We want you to think of this as your professional development home and we hope to see you here often.”

Dalton said that he was proud that the CFES offices were centered in Essex, which fits into the mission of the program.

“We are a non-profit set in a rural community that works to get students from rural communities into college,” Dalton said. “We want to see each of your students get into college and graduate from college.”

Dr. James Carter, superintendent of Selma City Schools (Ala.) emeritus and CFES Board vice chair, was the keynote speaker at the event.

“This is a historical moment to see this facility going up,” Carter said. “The programs of this organization are for real. This was a vision of Rick’s for a long time, and he had to work hard to make sure that this happened.”

Carter spoke to the administrators about having an impact on each of their students and about having an agenda for their schools.

“Every chance that we get we have to encourage our students to take that next step from pre-kindergarten through college,” Carter said.

The workshop included roundtable discussions on several issues, including helping students persist, engaging community members as mentors, building and strengthening college partnerships along with creating a college-going culture.

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