After 53 years of servant leadership, St. Roch Pastor Jim Wilmoth (right) is retiring from active duty. He will always be remembered for his infectious laugh, love of all people, his generosity to the poor, his fundraising abilities, his incredible building projects and his love for saying Mass and administering the sacraments. At his recent retirement party attended by more than 1,000 people, he was greeted by his good friends and former parishioners Patty and Steve Yeager. Wilmoth was thanked for his love and pastoral care of so many Southsiders. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Greenwood resident Richard Ostergaard, who graduated earlier this month from Indiana Connections Academy, was named to the school’s valedictorian. Ostergaard enrolled in the academy in eighth grade due to health issues that caused him to miss more than 60 days in a traditional school.
While attending the academy – a K-12 virtual charter school authorized by Ball State University that offers a tuition-free, public education option – he served as student government president for two years and National Honor Society president for one year.
“If I had been in a traditional school, I wouldn’t have been able to graduate from high school because of how sick I had become,” Ostergaard said during his commencement speech.
“I used to spend 60 days per school year at home because I was sick. I was able to take my life back with INCA. “I have met some of my best friends at INCA and truly have made ones that can’t be replaced,” said Ostergaard, who received a full-ride scholarship to study mechanical engineering at Tennessee Tech.
“I think a strange component of the stigma against online schools is that there isn’t enough communication between the student and the teacher and within the student body. I really can’t see that. You can be about as active as you want to be.”
In addition to a diploma, each of the nearly 500 graduates received a small stone meant to symbolize time spent together, overall accomplishments and connections made at the online school. With the ability to work anywhere there is an internet connection, the academy’s students hail from small and large cities all over Indiana.