FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 11, 2017
Contact: Wendy Smith Director of Marketing and Public Information, Northern Wyoming Community College District 307-675-0412 | firstname.lastname@example.org
This spring, two local high schoolers are graduating with high school diplomas and also receiving associates degrees from Sheridan College.
Big Horn High School seniors Lydia Mayer and Bryce Michaud—both talented, driven and hardworking students, but with very different academic paths—will earn associates degrees from Sheridan College May 13 and high school diplomas from Big Horn High School May 28.
“This is believed to be the first time that a high school student has ever graduated from Sheridan College,” Cody Ball, Director of Dual Credit Programs for Sheridan College says.
And while both Mayer and Michaud downplay the academic challenge of graduating with high school and college degrees at the same time, it’s clear both students worked hard to get where they are today.
“My classload was a lot more than what it would have been had I just been going to high school classes, but it is achievable and it will definitely pay off,” Michaud said.
On average, Michaud took about 15 credit hours of college classes per semester, concurrent with or in addition to his classes at Big Horn High School.
Mayer, who is also the BHHS salutatorian, will graduate with a 4.0 from both BHHS and SC.
Ball says that Michaud and Mayer went about their accomplishments in different ways.
“Both students took the same concurrent enrollment class for college credit as sophomores, and took off from there, but in different directions,” Ball said. “Lydia was very goal-oriented in the process. She knew from the beginning of her junior year that her goal was to earn an associate’s degree before she graduated from high school.”
Mayer took 27 credits her junior year, and even met with SC faculty members to discuss a degree plan. “She has taken some very demanding courses, mainly from our education department,” Ball says.
Michaud had an interest in math and computer science, and began taking courses in those fields the summer prior to his junior year.
“Bryce took 30 college credits during his junior year, and in the fall semester of his senior year, he registered for 20 more credits through dual and concurrent enrollment,” Ball says.
And here, they both remember: It was in a casual conversation that Michaud realized he may be able to earn a college degree at the same time as his high school diploma.“I ran into Bryce at a college admissions fair and made a casual remark that at the rate he was going he might graduate from Sheridan College this year,” Ball says. “Later that day I realized that my joke was actually a very real possibility.”
And Michaud took the idea to heart too.
“I didn’t want to make education too easy on myself,” Michaud says. “I wanted to challenge myself, and it ended up that I had enough credits to graduate from Sheridan College too.”
Mayer was born in Indiana and moved to Wyoming at age five. She has attended Sheridan County School Disrtict #1 schools for her entire academic life. She loves English, and hopes to double major in English and education, eventually earning her Ph. D. She anticipates finishing her first year at the University of Wyoming with enough credits to qualify as a junior.
Michaud was born and raised in Laramie, and transferred to SCSD#1 when he was eight. He plans to study computer science, with additional studies in math and economics. He also has an interest in business—one he says comes from his parents—and will head to the University of Wyoming in the fall.
“A similarity that the pair does share is their educational dedication and achievement,” Ball says. “Both students so far have completed all of their courses with straight A’s. Assuming this semester follows suit, both will graduate with 4.0 GPAs.”
Ball, Michaud and Mayer all noted that the teachers, staff and administration at Big Horn High School and SCSD#1 were wonderful. Mayer and Michaud had similar praise for Ball, and for their respective parents.
“It truly was a strong partnership between the college and the district to give the students this opportunity, and great dedication and work for the students to take advantage of the opportunity,” Ball says.