Early College graduates 53 Friday

Beverly Watts, Ph.D. will speak at Friday night's McDowell Early College graduation ceremony.

McDowell Early College (MEC) will graduate 30 young women and 23 young men tonight at East McDowell Middle School.

The ceremony will start promptly at 7 p.m. and will begin with a processional of the graduates. Grace Sword will lead the National Anthem.

MEC School Counselor Terry Ingle said Early College students have exceeded well over the required 1,484 credits for 53 high school diplomas, attended more than 114,480 days of school, achieved 3,100 college credits, taken over 1,007 standardized tests and served more than 7,950 hours of community service during their high school career.

This year 88 percent of the graduates are on track to complete their high school diploma requirements and some college credits, but will also complete an associate’s degree from McDowell Technical Community College as well.

Two valedictorian and two salutatorians are selected from 12th and 13th grades. This year’s 13th grade valedictorian is Aidan Keels. Twelfth-grade valedictorian is Sterling Smith. Thirteenth-grade salutatorian is Mackenzie Hemphill, and 12th-grade salutatorian is Hannah Thompson.

The guest speaker will be Beverly Watts, Ph.D, of McDowell Technical Community College. She serves as Director of Developmental Studies and Quality Enhancement for the college.

Principal Lisa Robinson will address the graduates followed by the awarding of diplomas by Robinson and Superintendent Mark Garrett.

Junior Marshals for this year’s graduation are Madison Cauthen, Sarah Painter, Jada Logan, Kenia Cazarez Osornio and Autumn Boyles.

Photos of the graduates will be featured in Sunday’s edition and online at www.mcdowellnews.com.

MEC is located on the college campus. It is a smaller school with roughly about 200 students. MEC is a unique high school that provides students the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree while completing their high school diploma. Graduation with both usually takes five years They accept about 50 new students each year. To find out more information, visit mec.mcdowell.k12.nc.us.

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