BY MELANIE BUCK –
Ouachita River School District has two students that will graduate with their Associates Degree nearly two weeks before they will received their high school diplomas, a fete that few have accomplished. Macie Adams, a 17-year old senior at Acorn High School, and Zach Abler, a 17-year old senior from Oden High School, have each worked very hard to achieve their goals and are seeing the fruits of their labors.
Zach has completed 72 hours at Rich Mountain Community College and will receive an Associates of Arts. He plans to continue his education at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, Arkansas and wants to major in Bio-Medical Biology and eventually become a Cardiologist.
Zach said that his principal, Mr. Edwards, has been a big source of support for him. “Mr. Edwards always, always asked how I was doing, asked if I needed anything, and he was proud of me every time he saw me.” Zach encourages students wishing to pursue both a high school education and earn college credits, “If they have the right mind set and the right attitude, they can succeed,” he said.
Macie has a slightly different story. Because of the amount of college credits she had taken previously, that also counted for high school credits, she was given the option to virtually skip her junior year of high school and graduate a year early. Macie made the decision to do just that and will graduate RMCC and Acorn High School this month. Upon graduation from RMCC, she will have accrued 61 credit hours Macie will receive an Associates of General Studies and has plans to attend the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, where she will study Dental Hygiene.
“Time management is a big part of it,” says Macie to those wanted to follow in her footsteps. “Make sure you have the time and set priorities.” Macie began taking classes at RMCC when she was in the ninth grade and said her mom was her main source of support. “My mom always pushed me to stay on top of things and always try my hardest. It was more than worth it,” she smiled.
Both Macie and Zach will graduate from RMCC on Saturday, May 14, 2016. Macie will graduate from Acorn High School on May 26, 2016 and Zach will graduate Oden High School on May 27, 2016.