Northern Chautauqua Catholic School, a private educational institution in Dunkirk that has been providing excellence in the field of religious education for more than 30 years, is honored by a family’s special donation of educational materials to its faculty and staff.
Alissa Mari Cole’s family donated Cole’s collection of instructional and educational materials to the NCCS in honor of their late daughter’s memory. Cole passed away on September 4, 2018 at the young age of 26 after a short illness.
She graduated from Fredonia Central High School in 2009 and Fredonia State University in December 2013 with a dual degree in elementary general education and special education with an extension in middle school English language arts. While studying at SUNY Fredonia, Cole spent time at several local schools including Dunkirk, Fredonia, Forestville, Brocton and Westfield. She received her master’s degree in teaching and curriculum specializing in students with significant and multiple disabilities from the Warner Graduate School of Education at the University of Rochester, graduating in May 2015. She then returned to graduate studies in 2016 to add additional certifications in Early General Education and Childhood Special Education. Alissa began her teaching career in 2015 as a special education teacher at Prospect Elementary School in Salamanca and then became a Kindergarten Inclusion Teacher at Rochester City School District’s Theodore Roosevelt School 43 from 2016-2018.
Alissa loved and valued her family and she loved being a teacher which had a positive impact on her young students both inside and outside of her classroom. According to her peers, Alissa was a model teacher and reminded those around her of the gift teachers need to have every day to listen to and connect with children. She was a dedicated and loyal servant; a childhood cancer survivor who held a special place in her heart for children living with cancer and other serious illnesses.
For her to see every day, Alissa had a handwritten note on her mirror that read: “The Holy Spirit is trustworthy, honest, and pure. It is encouragement, love and humanity.” Alissa’s family says the Holy Spirit really lived in her.
“NCCS is honored and honored by the gifted items from the Cole family. We would like to thank Alissa’s parents, John and Rosanne Cole, and Alissa’s brother, John Cole, Jr. Alissa’s spirit and memory will live on in the classrooms at Northern Chautauqua Catholic School.” The school said in a statement.