Stokes Early College kicked off the new school year on Monday morning for their first official day after the summer break.
“It was busy, but it went really well,” said Principal Misti Holloway. “It was good to get back into the swing of things. The first two days we do a shortened schedule to ease everyone back in.”
The school, which began in 2009 and is located in Walnut Cove, continues to grow and this year has 181 students enrolled.
“We’ve been able to streamline the program over the years. We have more course offerings with Forsyth Tech and we have more flexibility with the schedule of both high school and college,” Holloway said.
Stokes Early College offers a unique learning opportunity. The model allows students to graduate in four to five years with both a high school diploma as well as an associate’s degree from Forsyth Technical Community College.
“We have a number of students who don’t get the full associate’s degree, but they do have quite a bit of college credits to go with them,” Holloway said. “We have a handful of students too, who just get a high school diploma. We try to market ourselves as a rigorous program that has a lot of perks with a wonderful reward at the end. We’re also an option for students at risk of not completing school.”
The principal said a former student enrolled at Stokes Early College turned 18 as a junior and struggled with reading. He would have been a likely candidate for dropping out of school, but instead earned his diploma, along with a certification through Forsyth Tech for auto body and collision repair and now works at a body shop.
“We have the luxury of really individualizing and personalizing our program to meet student needs.”
And the school’s method is working. Stokes Early College continues to lead the county in scholarship offers with last year’s senior class earning an impressive $3.7 million.
“We have remarkable kids and a great support system. Our staff goes above and beyond every day. They believe in the program and really love what they’re doing,” the principal said.
Holloway is looking forward to the new school year and hopes to continue building off the success the school has seen over the years.
“I think it’s going to be great and I’m happy to see the students and staff back.”
Amanda Dodson may be reached at 336-813-2426.