By: Jenny Tran
As the end of the first semester draws to a close, many faculty members and students are excited about holiday vacation plans. However, for Cynthia Venson, Oak Grove’s intervention specialist, the school year has just begun. Her role is to creatively develop ways to help students who are struggling academically.
Her nonstop efforts to improve the education and young minds of students are more than inspiring. “Every time I see Mrs. Venson, she is either in a meeting with a student to discuss his or her academics or working in her office,” said senior Bailey Jones, a tutor Venson recruited for U.S. History. When asked about her biggest goal for the school year, Venson said, “I wish to graduate 100% of the students.” To accomplish this goal, she is attempting to oversee those students who are at risk of failing their classes and making sure they have their academics together before the end of the semester. To accomplish her goal, Venson has gathered a small group of students to participate in a peer tutoring program during advisors. Students who need tutoring in any subject from geometry to ACT prep can go to Venson to discuss possible arrangements for tutoring sessions. Prior to being a faculty member at Oak Grove, Venson was a sixth grade teacher and academic coach in the Hattiesburg Public School District. Venson’s primary goals at Oak Grove do not stop at helping at-risk students reach their full potential. Venson continuously attempts to reach out to any student who needs guidance and direction. “Everybody needs something different, and I’m always interested in knowing what your need is and how to help you,” said Venson. Her best accomplishment at Oak Grove thus far? Venson added, “I see accomplishments differently than most would view them. When I see students who are struggling show some sign of success, that is an accomplishment to me. It doesn’t matter whether he or she has an A or B in the class. If they can survive the class and successfully pass after having a failing average, that is an accomplishment to me.”
Many students see Mrs. Venson as a huge asset to Oak Grove. “Mrs. Venson is a wonderful mentor. She is always helping someone whether it is in the classroom or in the hallways. Her determination to see students succeed is admirable,” said senior Allison Slusher, another tutor Venson recruited for her peer tutoring program. Whether she is in her office working or in a classroom monitoring students, Venson seems to be a role model for all to recognize. Her love and dedication to her career and students reveals her true character: a hero.