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Filed under Features, News, Showcase

Juniors to graduate from high school, college

Juniors to graduate from high school, college

Two students from the Panola Early College High School (PECHS) will graduate from both the high school and from Panola College, with an Associate’s Degree, during their junior year in high school. Morgan Silva of Carthage and Matthew Miller of Center are the first students from PECHS to achieve this accomplishment a year early.

Silva is originally from Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Her family moved to Marshall, Texas in 2003. She attended public school in Marshall until her 7th grade year; for that year she was home schooled. After completing 7th grade, Silva and her family moved once again to Carthage where she began school at PECHS in 2011. Silva found out about the school through her mother who works at Panola College. The benefit of free college classes also attracted them to PECHS. Silva began her college classes as a high school freshman. She took 12 hours her first semester, plus 3 high school classes. “It was difficult to keep up with at first, ” said Silva, “but it slowed down after a while.” She is now taking 16 hours as well as high school economics. In May, Silva will graduate with her Associate’s Degree of Science. In the fall she plans to attend the University of North Texas, in Denton, where she will be a linguistics major (she is already learning to speak Korean and Spanish).  She chose UNT for its great linguistics program and because of its affordability.  Silva wants to receive her bachelor’s and most likely her master’s degree from UNT. Silva said she has enjoyed being at PECHS and Panola,”the sense of community and having people who were helpful and friendly made it a great experience.”

Miller grew up in Center, Texas. He attended school in Shelbyville for kindergarten through 8th grade. Miller heard about PECHS from his mother who found it online and decided the school would be a unique chance for him to complete his high school education and get his Associate’s Degree at the same time. After completing 8th grade in 2011, Miller and his family moved to Carthage, living there part-time while he attended school. He took 8 hours of college classes during his first semester at PECHS. “My first semester was pretty rough, but it got easier from there on,” said Miller. He will graduate in May with an Associate’s of Arts Degree. Miller plans to attend Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas this fall. He is currently undecided on a major. Miller says that he feels fortunate to have been able to attend PECHS and that he, “truly enjoyed the friendly nature of everyone at both PECHS and Panola.”

The Mission of Panola Early College High School is to, “Provide rigorous academic preparation to students in order for each student to achieve their full potential and to contribute to the further development of our society.”

Benefits of attending Panola Early College High School:

  • ACCESS to a postsecondary education without financial burdens to the family.
  • ACCESS to college instruction as early as the 9th grade.
  • ACCESS to all academic and technical programs as well as student orgranizations and student activities.
  • ACCESS to a network of supports to help ensure success in high school and
    college coursework

For more information on PECHS visit http://www.panolacharterschool.net/PECHS_campus.php

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