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Donation to NCCS honors memory | News, Sports, Jobs

Alissa Mari Cole died on Sept. 4, 2018.

Northern Chautauqua Catholic School, a private educational institution in Dunkirk that offers more than 30 years of excellence in faith-based education, is honored by a family’s special donation of teaching materials to its faculty and staff.

The family of Alissa Mari Cole donated Cole’s collection of teaching and classroom supplies to NCCS in honor of their late daughter’s memory. Cole passed away Sept. 4, 2018, at the young age of 26 after a brief period of illness.

She graduated from Fredonia Central High School in 2009, and from Fredonia State University in December 2013 with a dual degree in Elementary General Education and Special Education with a Middle School English Language Arts Extension. During her studies 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 study in 2016 to add additional certifications in Early Childhood General Education and Special Education. Alissa began her teaching career in 2015, as a Special Education Teacher at Prospect Elementary School in Salamanca, then becoming a Kindergarten Inclusion Teacher at Theodore Roosevelt School 43, of the Rochester City School District from 2016 to 2018.

Alissa loved and cherished her family and she loved being a teacher, making a positive impact on her young students both inside and outside of her classroom. According to her colleagues, Alissa was an exemplary teacher, and reminded those around her of the gift that teachers have to listen to and connect with children every day. She was a dedicated and faithful servant; a childhood cancer survivor who held a special place in her heart for children with cancer and other serious illnesses.

So that she would see it everyday, 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 truly lived within her.

“NCCS is honored and humbled 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.

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