WCSD’s Educational Options for Success program honors 12th Outstanding Graduate Award recipient
Kattie Curiel, who was named the Educational Options for Success (EOS) program’s 12th Outstanding Graduate on Monday, wants to share her story and what she faced before starting at EOS.
When she first arrived last February as a junior at Westerville South High School, she only had 9.5 credits.
She had a civil protection order against an ex-boyfriend who was emotionally-abusive and threatened her life. She recently miscarried and had been hospitalized to help with her mental health struggles.
During her time at EOS, Curiel began to build relationships with teachers and staff. Her attendance started to improve. And so did her school work. She began working part-time and started embracing school and the EOS program.
By February 2023 — a year later — Curiel had earned the 10.5 credits needed to graduate.
“When I first met her she was not in a good place, I would argue that was maybe the lowest point in her life so far,” counselor and EOS program coordinator Adam Rex said. “She truly transformed into the person you see today during her time here.”
On Monday, teachers, students and staff at the Academic Enrichment Center, where the EOS program is housed, recognized Curiel as the EOS program’s 12th Outstanding Graduate. District leaders such as Scott Reeves, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, and Anne Baldwin, Executive Director of Secondary Academic Affairs, were on hand during the festivities as well as WSHS Principal Mike Hinze and mental health specialist Noelle Spriestersbach.
Curiel said the recognition means so much to her. Her time at EOS has helped her heal and look towards her future.
“I’ve been able to talk to people more,” she said. “After being in that relationship, I didn’t talk to anybody. I wasn’t in school for three months. I wasn’t working. I wasn’t doing anything but therapy. So coming out, starting out slowly, I could talk to people and teachers and get that education I was missing for so long.”
Curiel, who moved to Texas with her family after graduating from EOS in February, plans to attend Cincinnati State in January and study medical stenography.
The Outstanding Graduate award is selected by the teachers and staff at the AEC each school year. Attributes considered for this award are perseverance, scholarship, leadership, service, character, responsibility, respect, attitude, loyalty, and integrity.
For 20 years, the nationally-recognized EOS Program has continued to provide a quality educational alternative for students. The award-winning program serves a wide variety of students and has leveled the playing field to enable the district to actually gain a competitive advantage over its charter school counterparts. EOS has not only helped hundreds of at-risk pupils to complete their high school education, but it has recouped state funding which is lost when students drop out or leave the district to pursue other educational avenues. Approximately 90 students graduate from EOS each year, representing approximately 8% of the district’s annual graduate rate.
- Westerville City Schools
- Westerville South High School