Courtesy WHNT-TV
Aired July 21, 2011 6:30 p.m.

Thirty-two students who were once at risk of dropping out of high school are now graduates. They are members of the first graduating class to benefit from a partnership between Huntsville City Schools and Ombudsman Educational Services.

Graduates attended the Ombudsman learning center in Huntsville and received their diplomas during a commencement ceremony at the Columbia High School Auditorium on Thursday, July 21.

Huntsville City Schools partnered with Ombudsman Educational Services to open the Huntsville learning center in March to help improve the graduation rate among the district’s at-risk student population, primarily those who are behind in credits, and provide students with an alternate route to a high school diploma.

Special guests and speakers included Huntsville City Schools Superintendent E. Casey Wardynski Ph.D., members of the Huntsville City Schools Board of Education, Ombudsman Huntsville Center Director Paul Conley, who provided opening remarks, and graduate speakers Sylvester Winton and Marketta Hobbs.