Over the past few years, the Surry County School System has worked to implement new initiatives designed to help students perform better in the classroom.
One of the first of these initiatives was the Surry Early College High School of Design, a type of hybrid between college and high school in which students would enter as high school freshmen and, at the completion of the five-year program, hold not only a high school diploma but also an associate’s degree from Surry Community College.
This fall, the first class to attend the Early College will begin their fourth year at the school, technically making them high school seniors. At its retreat on Friday, the board heard testimonials from Tanner King and Nichole Stephens, two students who were a part of that initial class, on their experiences thus far.
For both of them, the advent of the Early College created a high school experience that is drastically different from that of a traditional high school and they thrive in that environment.
"At the Early College, we have all the good stuff from the regular high school and none of the bad stuff,” said King. "My leadership skills are a lot better. My ambitions have increased. My writing has went up big time. Being able to work in a college science environment has led me to want to pursue a career in science. We’re able to hit our target and then from there be able to shoot far above our target.”
"There’s no cliques in our school,” said Stephens. "If I was in a regular high school, I think things would have been hard for me. I would probably slack in my achievements.”