For the past 29 years, Oscar Mireles has ensured anyone who wants a high school diploma can get one. The principal of Omega School, Oscar spoke about that nonprofit at the March 16 Waunakee Rotary meeting. 

Omega School helps young people who, for one reason or another, are unable to succeed in a traditional school setting pass the GED and earn a high school diploma. 

Oscar noted that we all make bad decisions, but many of these students have no support systems. He interviews the students and they see that he cares and wants to help them move forward “because if they come to our school, they’re stuck,” he said. 

Each of the students begins with an assessment test to start a study plan, and then works one-on-one with instructors. Finishing the course takes about six to eight weeks. Students often come in thinking that the GED is not attainable but then find the process goes more quickly than they thought. 

Omega School removes all barriers, funding transportation with gas cards or bus tickets, along with the $150 fee for the GED itself. 

One student was having vision issues and received an eye exam and glasses. 

“I solve all the problems,” Oscar said, adding the students all know if they’re upset, they can interrupt him in his office. Sometimes, he has to calm students down.

“Sometimes with students, the lack of a high school diploma is the least of their problems,” Oscar said. 

Part of his job is giving them the tools to advance in their lives. 

“You have to be able to get along with people and communicate,” Oscar said. 

Another lesson is time management as the school prepares the students for college. 

Omega School receives support from the City of Madison and Dane County, and fundraisers, such as adult spelling bees. 

Oscar said the school serves about 170 students per year, and in his 29 years there, about 5,000 have graduated. Some are the first in their family to earn a high school diploma. 




Other News:

-Volunteers are needed for the April 1 Easter Bunny visit at Ripp Park. It will be from 9-11 a.m.


Guests: Speaker Oscar Mireles; Janette Jordee, guest of Joe Baer; Elaine Mischler, guest of Nick Mischler; Cyndi Kennedy, guest of Bill Kennedy.


Visiting Rotarians: None. 


Birthdays: March 23, Austin Endres; March 26, Ken Ballweg; March 29, Scott Biba.


Anniversaries: None. 


Greeters: March 23, Tom Kennedy and Crispin Kenney; March 30, Bob Klostermann and Neil Kruschek; April 6, Nancy Kuehn-Thomas and Drew Lawrence; April 13, David May and Kevin McDaniel; April 20, Mark McFarland and Gordon Meicher; April 27, Nick Mischler and Liz Mueller.