NATCHEZ – The Natchez-Adams Ombudsman School added 12 more students to its 2018 graduating class Monday evening at the Natchez High School auditorium.
Ombudsman Principal Allison Jowers said 29 students graduated last May, and the 12 honored Monday have successfully completed 120 credit hours in a three-week long summer school program – making Ombudsman’s class of 2018 the largest class since the school was formed five years ago as part of the Natchez-Adams School District, she said.
“I’m just proud that they are given the opportunity to graduate tonight,” Jowers said at Monday night’s ceremony.
Most of the students wearing their royal blue caps and gowns Monday were also adorned with golden stoles.
Regional Vice President of Ombudsman Scott Russell said the school has seen growth in student performance.
Ombudsman offers supplemental instruction to sixth through 12th-grade students in a non-traditional setting by combining computer technology and individually based instruction, Russell said.
“It’s a blended approach for the students,” Russell said. “Part of their day is work on the computer and the other part is one-on-one instruction.”
Ombudsman Educational Services is a Chicago-based organization with which the Natchez-Adams School District partnered to take over management of the former Central Alternative School several years ago.
Russell said the school utilizes multiple assessment tests to determine each student’s needs as well as offering social skill development and career counseling.
“We help students identify what kind of career they would want to go into and get them into the mindset of looking ahead,” Russell said.
“We’re really proud of the students – both the May and June graduates – for the work that they do. … I also want to give a shout out to the staff … who work daily to help students succeed.”
Natchez-Adams Superintendent Fred T. Butcher told the graduates that – like fish swimming upstream – the person who struggles is stronger than those who succeed without trying.
“We can give the skills, but you’ve got to have the will,” Butcher said. “Each of you has proven that you have the will. Now I encourage you to do the things that you want to do in life.”
(featured image caption: Abrianica Galmore recieves hugs and congratulations from family and friends after she graduated Monday afternoon at the Ombudsman Educational Services commencement ceremony.)