Moffat County High School graduates earn certificates, degrees from CNCC | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County High School graduates earn certificates, degrees from CNCC

Group is part of a growing number of concurrently enrolled students in the state

Michael Neary







— As a high school graduate, Hannah Dove sees a path opening into a possible career — a career that she's already begun to learn deeply about.

"I want to get my master's and teach the visually impaired," said Hannah, who will have earned an Associate of Arts degree from Colorado Northwestern Community College and a diploma from Moffat County High School.

Hannah is among 16 students graduating from the high school this year who have earned associate's degrees or certificates from CNCC. It's a path that lets students fuel their academic and professional passions in ways that can be advanced and specific.

A recent report from the Colorado Department of Higher Education indicated that "nearly 30 percent of Colorado's 11th-graders and 12th-graders participated in some type of dual enrollment program during the 2014-15 school year — an increase of 15 percent over the previous year."

CNCC Concurrent Enrollment Director Julie Hoff noted a range of reasons for students to opt for concurrent enrollment — or enrollment in high school as well as college courses.

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"We have students who definitely have a career goal, and they take all of the courses toward that goal," she said. "And we have other students who are taking more of the general education courses because they realize the financial benefits."

Hoff said the courses also allow students to work with high schools to take advanced classes that might not otherwise be available. She said a certificate tends to be more focused on work-related skills, while an associate's degree often includes a wider variety of general education courses.

Stephanie Duarte is graduating with a certified nurse assistant certificate from CNCC.

"I have a passion for helping people, and I thought being a CNA would be a good way to do that," Stephanie said.

Bekah Bird, who's also earning her CNA certificate, agreed.

"I think anyone who wants to be a CNA has to have a passion for helping people," she said. "For all the tasks you have to do, it's not an easy job. It's also a first step in nursing."

For Douglas Wagoner, cars have long fired his imagination, and now he's graduating from high school with an automotive certificate from CNCC.

"I've been around cars my whole life," he said. "My dad built them and raced them, and it's something that I like."

Douglas is set to put that training to use.

"This September I leave for the (United States) Marine Corps," he said. "I'll be a diesel mechanic in the Marine Corps."

Bekah plans to go into nursing, and she noted working with "the Flight for Life crew, physical therapy, pediatrics, maternity" and a number of other fields.

Stephanie and Bekah have been active, throughout their high school careers, in choir, band, student government and other activities. Stephanie plans to tap her love of music — and of helping people — as she pursues her career path. She said she plans to study music therapy.

"It's meant to help people with mental disorders," she said. "But it's also physical because you teach them how to play guitar, or you teach them how to play instruments."

Stephanie and Bekah are also ending a year with a number of milestones, including their parts in the play, "The Diary of Anne Frank," directed at the high school by Grace Pomelio. Both said they read and researched the period, realizing they could never approximate what the people enduring the Holocaust had felt.

"They were actually experiencing it," said Bekah, who played Margot. "We had to portray what we thought they would be feeling at the moment."

Stephanie described the work she did to portray Anne Frank — again noting the impossibility of truly understanding what the Franks and the others in the annex had to be feeling.

"I tried to think of a time when I was really sad and when things weren't going well and tried to feel that," she said.

For Hannah, she's beginning online study at Adam State University, in Alamosa, and she plans to go there and start taking classes on campus in the fall with an elementary education major.

"I grew up with it," said Hannah, who's volunteered with second-graders. "I remember being young and teaching my stuffed animals. That's just what I did. I've always loved teaching and volunteering in the schools."

And for Douglas, he's mastering an ability to do something that will help him perform mechanical repairs — and perhaps some other functions as he moves more deeply into adulthood.

"I like taking things apart and being able to put them back together again," he said. It's a skill, he added, that many people do not have.

The following Moffat County High School seniors have earned associate's degrees or certificates from CNCC:

Hannah Dove Associate of Arts

Hannah Walker Associate of Science

Matthew Ellis Associate of Arts and Associate of Science

Sheyenne Rambo Cromer Associate of Science

Anthony Stoffle Basic Automotive Certificate

Douglas (Chase) Wagoner Basic Automotive Certificate

Dakota Nelson Cosmetology Certificate

Jemima Gonzales Cosmetology Certificate

Ashley Leray Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) Certificate

Courtney Corbett Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) Certificate

Hunter Nitzel Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) Certificate

Jazzmine Piatt Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) Certificate

Kyann Klimper Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) Certificate

Morgan Flanders Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) Certificate

Rebekah Bird Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) Certificate

Stephanie Duarte Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) Certificate


List of students provided by Colorado Northwestern Community College

Contact Michael Neary at 970-875-1794 or mneary@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Education.