PRESTONSBURG — Last year, the Floyd County Early College Academy’s inaugural graduating class was called the “Elite Eight.”
This year, it’s the “Terrific 20.”
Twenty Floyd County high school seniors participated in commencement at Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) on Friday, May 8 at the Mountain Arts Center.
“We are very proud of the students in the Floyd County Early College Academy,” said BSCTC Interim President Dr. Charles V. Chrestman. “These students have taken full advantage of a unique opportunity.”
Dr. Henry Webb, superintendent of Floyd County Schools, said he is appreciative of the partnership between the school district and the college.
“Our administration and board of education strives to bring opportunities to our students,” said Webb. “This is a great opportunity for students to get a jump start on their college education.”
A total of 33 students are in the Floyd County Early College Academy. The two-year program allows high school juniors and seniors to attend classes on the Prestonsburg campus of BSCTC and earn high school credit simultaneously. BSCTC launched its Johnson County/Paintsville Early College Academy last August.
This year’s senior class has 22 students, including two first-year participants in the Early College Academy.
Tyler Williams, 17, a senior at Prestonsburg High School, plans on attending the University of Kentucky. He graduated from BSCTC with an Associate in Science degree.
“This is an incredible program that has helped alleviate the burden of cost for my first two years of college,” said Williams. Through a partnership between the Floyd County Schools and BSCTC, tuition is covered. “Through this program, I have also saved time and will be closer to my goal of being an engineer.”
For Jonna Isaac, 16, a senior at South Floyd High School, the Floyd County Early College Academy has been a family affair. Her sister, Joslyn, graduated from the academy and BSCTC last year.
“This is going to help my parents out in the long run, especially with two children in college,” said Jonna, who plans to join her sister at the University of Kentucky. She will graduate with an Associate in Science degree from BSCTC. “The teachers here, especially Dr. [Tom] Vierheller and [Kay] Johnson have been so personable. They truly care about us and want us to be successful.”
Tyler Price, 18, a senior at Allen Central High School, plans to attend the University of Kentucky and major in engineering. He graduated with an Associate in Science degree from BSCTC.
“This program has prepared me to move on, and I feel I have a better understanding of the world because of my experiences here,” said Price.
Angel Thornsbury, 17, a senior at Prestonsburg High School, plans to attend the University of Louisville, where she will study business and communications. She graduated with an Associate in Art degree from BSCTC.
“This has been phenomenal, and I have made connections that I will keep for a lifetime,” she said. “This program and people at the college have opened so many doors for me.”
Thornsbury specifically mentioned Sandy Mullins, a guidance counselor with the Floyd County Early College Academy. “Sandy connected me with scholarships that I never knew existed. She has been a tremendous help.”
Those Floyd County Early College Academy students completing associate degrees this year were: Megan Bates, South Floyd; Alexandria Caudill, Prestonsburg; Lauren Davis, Prestonsburg; Mariah Hackworth, Prestonsburg; Autumn Hall, Prestonsburg; Garrett Hammonds, Presotnsburg; Christopher Blake Howell, Allen Central; Jonna Isaac, South Floyd; Brianna McIntyre, Prestonsburg; Chelsea Osborne, Prestonsburg; Masann Potter, Prestonsburg; Tyler Price, Allen Central; Summer Shepherd, Prestonsburg; Madison Smith, Prestonsburg; Alex Tackett, South Floyd, Slyvia Joann Tackett, South Floyd; Samantha Thomas, Prestonsburg; Angel Thornsbury, Prestonsburg; Tamera Tuttle, Prestonsburg; and Phillip Tyler Williams, Prestonsburg.
Two first-year members of the Floyd County Early College Academy are Brandon Goble and Amber Kidd, both of Prestonsburg High School.