WASHINGTON, N.C. — The Class of 2023 at Washington County Early College High School celebrated their high school graduation at the Port O’ Plymouth Museum in Plymouth.
The dual enrollment school, which allows students to start taking college courses while in high school, saw 19 students presented with high school diplomas, 15 of whom also received associate degrees through Beaufort County Community College.
Students who also earned degrees through BCCC had participated in a larger ceremony with graduates from the college and other early college high school students on May 11. The graduates are headed off to universities or other community colleges. Some of the students plan to continue their education at BCCC to complete their degree or complete an additional degree.
The ceremony featured representatives from different organizations awarding scholarships to students. This included the Washington-Plymouth Alumni Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta awarding the North Carolina Central University (NCCU) Cheatham-White Scholarship to Iyanna Boston, Daelan Brown-Sanders receiving the NCCU Soaring Eagle Scholarship, the Center for Energy Education awarding a scholarship to Dwayne Burnett Jr., the Washington County Union Alumni Association awarding scholarships to both Dwayne Burnett Jr. and Xzavier Cherry, the Washington County Ministerial Association awarding a scholarship to Xzavier Cherry, the Elizabeth City State University National Alumni Association, Inc. Washington County Alumni Association awarding scholarships to Julia Cruz-Ibarra and KrisShauna Norman, Nyeimah Harris receiving the North Carolina A&T Award of Excellence Scholarship, and Kris Shauna Norman receiving the Washington & Tyrrell Counties Retired Personnel Scholarship and the Golden Leaf Scholarship.
As the salutatorian and the valedictorian, respectively, Elijah Robertson Bowser and Iyanna Boston delivered speeches to their class, and Sneha Shah-Coltrain, the NC Department of Public Instruction’s Director of Advanced Learning & Gifted Education, delivered the keynote speech in which she turned the microphone to the class and asked them to list of accomplishments they were proud of, and things they had learned, academic or otherwise.
Brandon Lewis, BCCC’s high school liaison to Washington County Early College High School, handed out recognitions to the students who earned degrees through the college. Laniyyah Bond, Dwayne Burnett Jr., Belen Castaneda-Marquez, Daz’Nassau Chesson, Julia Cruz-Ibarra, Dontrell Davenport, Xymia Fuller, Javon Harris, Nyeimah Harris, Carliyah Hudson, Braedon Knapp, KrisShauna Norman, Isabela Nowarah Garcia, and Elijah Robertson Bowser all received an Associate in Arts through BCCC. Iyanna Boston earned an Associate in Arts and an Associate in Science. Additionally, KrisShauna Norman earned a Nurse Aide I Certification.
BCCC also partners with Columbia Early College High School, Hyde Academy, and Beaufort County Early College High School, and qualified students from all area high schools can take free college classes through Career and College Promise.
Early college high school students go to high school classes for their first two years, later transitioning to taking college classes just like any other college students on the BCCC campus. At the end of their five-year education, they earn a high school diploma, and most of them also earn one or more associate degrees.
BCCC wishes all the best to its early college students.