MUSKOGEE, Okla. — Muskogee native, Richelle Zampella, will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Blind on May 16. The commencement ceremony will be at 1 p.m. in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee.
Zampella is this year's Valedictorian.
After graduation, she plans on attending the University of Central Oklahoma and study jazz performance and communications. Her goals are to pursue teaching and performing music.
Zampella has received the Oklahoma Foundation of Excellence Academic All-State scholarship and the UCO Freshman Achievement scholarship.
This year’s graduating class also includes Raven Decker of Oklahoma City, Preston Fenton of Oklahoma City, Mike Gentry of Spiro, Conner Hilton of Keota, Nick Jackson-Morrison of Muskogee, Malerie Levens of Owasso, Trinity Lewis of Oklahoma City, Jillian Matthews of Muskogee, Ariana Richardson of Enid, and Tai’Yauri Thomas of Oklahoma City.
“The Class of 2019 has exceeded my expectations. It has been an honor to be a part of this group’s lives and education. I am so proud of them. I wish them the very best in their future endeavors,” Rita Echelle, OSB superintendent said.
“I hope they will use the skills and education they received here and become the independent, productive citizens I know they can be.”
OSB is a division of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS), a state agency which assists Oklahomans with disabilities through vocational rehabilitation, education, employment, independent living programs and the determination of medical eligibility for disability benefits.
OSB was founded in 1897 at Fort Gibson as a private school for children who are blind or visually impaired. Over the past 100 years, the school has provided education programs at no charge for thousands of students with visual disabilities, from students who attend school on campus to those served through outreach programs for families, public school teachers and communities statewide.