HS students get degrees before diplomas

Comal ISD graduates first dual class

A group of 26 seniors from Comal Independent School District will walk the stage for high school diplomas on June 5, nearly a month after receiving their associate's degree. 

The students are part of the first graduating class of Comal ISD's Alamo Colleges-Memorial Early College High School. 

"It was a lot different from a traditional high school, but overall it's been an amazing experience," said Gianni Gonzalez, who transferred into the school before her junior year. "You got to see firsthand what it's like to sit in a college course and you got to meet professors and see what they're like."

"I feel accomplished, you know," said fellow senior Anne Ojo. "How many people can say they graduated from college first before they graduated from high school?"

"Financially, attending an early college high school, having this opportunity very much helps out the student as they're pursuing their college education," said ACMECHS Principal Chrysta Carlin. 

The time and money savings are two big attractions to most of the students along with getting an earlier and clearer picture of long-term goals.

"It's this school and the teachers here that have guided me in the direction I want to go. They helped me find what I had a passion for," said Gonzalez who will attend UT-San Antonio in the fall. 

She hopes to eventually become a dermatologist.

"You have years of tradition, but now we get to make the tradition," added Ojo, who will attend St. Mary's University and would like to eventually go into neuroscience research. 

This year the school will graduate 41 seniors. The district hopes to expand each class to 100 students and is open to all students in Comal ISD. 

Transportation is also provided for each student through the district.