Published

An Instructor at Diboll with a Real Passion to Help Incarcerated Men Improve

“At one time people thought, and rightly so, that a GED was about a tenth grade-level achievement. That’s not true anymore,” says Diboll Correctional Center Instructor Sherri Hess. “The GED test that my students are taking now is a college readiness test.”

Sherri is adamant about her team’s commitment to helping people turn their lives around.

“Our teachers are great; our teachers are actually running what amounts to a little red schoolhouse. They are customizing the lessons to what the students need at their level. So, it is a daunting task for our teachers, but it’s also very rewarding…I have a heart for the underdog, and I know that a lot of my students…a lot of offenders here in corrections probably did not have a great deal of positive experiences in an education setting.”
She explains how students sometimes lose focus and how she helps get them back on track.

“Whenever my students get discouraged, I do try to counsel with them to keep their eye on their prize and to use their time wisely.”

One of her students, Milton Williams, explains how the classes have helped him find hope.

“I feel great, it feels amazing.  It’s really exciting.  Once you get it, you’re like ‘yes, I did it, I completed something’…I just got my GED, and now I’m taking a little trade course, VoTech…just keep climbing that ladder to help me for when I get out.”

Travis Deaton says his path wasn’t easy either, but it’s been worth it.

“It’s a big step forward, because I quit school in 7th grade. So, me being able to come back and get my GED opened so many doors…Yeah, it was very difficult, but if you study and you do everything that you’re supposed to do, with the help of these teachers, it’s all possible…I got six months left until I’m out.  Upon getting out, I’m trying to get everything where I can go to college, and just get more education, so I can move on from there.”

“I come out of a high school education setting,” concludes Sherri Hess. “I’ve taught high school for a number of years.  But my heart is here.  I want to see these men succeed.”

About Diboll Correctional Center

Diboll Correctional Center is accredited by the American Correctional Association—
achieving 100% compliance for both mandatory and non-mandatory standards in
its most recent audit. Other accreditations and certifications include the Correctional
Education Association and the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).