Fairfield Ledger
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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Jun 22, 2018

A two-year head start

FHS’s Taylor Myers obtains AA degree before high school graduation
By Jon Gilrain, Ledger correspondent | Jun 01, 2018
Taylor Myers

Seventeen-year-old Fairfield High School senior Taylor Myers graduates Sunday with the distinction of already receiving an associates degree from Indian Hills Community College.

Myers and her mom Karen Hewitt have used this week to reflect on her hard work and accomplishments.

Like many FHS students, Myers took advantage of the Career Academy during her junior and senior years. By committing to a heavy workload, she achieved the unique status of being the first FHS student to achieve an associates degree before graduating from high school.

Career Academy is a program where high school students are able to not only take actual college courses for credits, but also to choose from among several programs aimed at laying the foundations for a particular career track. Career Academy classes are sometimes taken online, on campus at IHCC or in Fairfield at the Lincoln School building.

“I was taking four classes at the high school, one was a study hall and then five college classes at the same time. I didn’t count my study hall, so [I was taking] only three classes at the high school. If you think about it, there are eight class periods a day so I had a full schedule,” said Myers.

Myers laughed about the creative use of her schedule, explaining how skipping her study hall allowed her to have more time to complete work done before resuming her afternoon college classes.

“I actually didn’t go to study hall once. This whole semester I didn’t go,” she said. “But I went home and I worked on stuff. I knew if I didn’t have to be at school, it would allow me to go home and get more things done until I had to go to academy after lunch.”

Taylor’s mother was as proud of her daughter’s determination to pursue her goals as she was of the achievements themselves. She explained how Myers went above and beyond a normal workload her senior year to get the extra credits necessary for the degree.

“Taylor has always been very detail-oriented, setting goals, tracking schedules and being very creative with how she uses her time,” Hewitt said. “She’s always been a very hard working and very driven student. She’s never been afraid to try new things or to be proactive in figuring out how to get something accomplished.”

Myers chose the Health Services track at FHS Career Academy with an eye toward becoming a doctor. While this track provides a starting point for a career in nursing, Myers was able to replace certain unwanted classes with those better suited to a premed major.

The aspiring young professional plans to major in biology at the University of Iowa this fall to prepare for medical school. She also used the Career Academy program to complete many of the general education courses associated with the first year of college, clearing the way for early entry into her chosen program.

When speaking about overcoming the challenges and stresses that she faced in pursuit of her goal, Myers did not hesitate to credit the people in her life who supported her on her journey to academic excellence.

“My parents first of all, they were always there for me and I don’t think that will ever change,” she said. “Also, my teachers helped a lot. All of my teachers and principals were always there to support me. My grandparents helped me. I just love my family and they were always there supporting me.”

 

 

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