Moving On Ahead of the Class

Seniors jump at the chance to finish early

Twenty nine seniors ended their high school career a semester early. These seniors made the choice to graduate early.

For underclassmen who may be interested in following in their footsteps, there are two paths they can take, an early graduate or an early completer. An early graduate is someone who completes high school in three years. Early graduates complete high school in three and a half years.

By staying just one more semester, these students are able to attend prom, the senior class trip and picnic, and walk across the stage to graduate with their peers, events that early graduates are not able to participate in. Both paths require a great deal of work.

Sue Harmon, guidance director, recommends that interested students start discussing these options with their parents during their sophomore year.

“This should be a thought out decision that a student makes with their parents,” Harmon said. “I recommend the students that come to see me, should be talking out the choice at the mid-way point of their sophomore year. This is a decision that should not be taken lightly, whatever the student decides should be based solely on what they believe.”

The reasons given for early graduation ranged from wanting to get a job to wanting to get a jump start on college.

“I planned to work and go to classes at a community college for two years and then transfer to a four-year university,” alumna Lily Jacobs said.

Alumna Kenzie Fitzpatrick decided to be an early completer after finishing up all her core classes.

“I chose to graduate early because if I didn’t I would be taking pointless classes that I didn’t really need or want,” Fitzpatrick said.

Alumnus Trevor Dezutti had a similar reason for his decision.

“I already had all the classes I needed to graduate, and I wanted to get my head start on my life in the future,” said Dezutti. “I have planned on working full time and then transitioning into college later on.”

Alumna Taylor Upham wanted to get a jump start on her future.

“I chose to graduate early because I want to get a head start on education for my future career in nursing,” said Upham. “I plan on attending community college for a year and a half and then I plan to transfer and earn my bachelors in nursing.”

This year’s early graduates have advice for those who are thinking about following in their footsteps.

“Definitely do it, no doubt,” Upham said. “It is so rewarding in the long run and it feels nice to be outside of high school and into the real world.”

“The process was pretty easy, honestly. You and your parents have to write separate letters stating why you want this decision,” Fitzpatrick said. “Then you have to give them to your guidance counselor.”

Underclassmen who wish to graduate early need to complete an application and write a letter explaining why they want to graduate early. Their parents must also write a letter. Once the application and letters are submitted, the counseling department verifies credits and passes it to Principal Meaghan Brill’s desk. Once approved by Brill, it’s shipped off to Dr. David Jeck, superintendent, for the final approval.