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Butler Celebrates Early College Academy Graduates

Tayler Mount and her ECA teacher.
Published: Friday, May 13th, 2016

Tayler Mount was simply warming up for gymnastics practice, doing back walkovers and back handsprings. An instant later, she was sprawled on the mat in pain.

With a dislocated shoulder, Mount was none too thrilled to learn she also needed surgery to repair a torn labrum.

But strangely, that accident during Mount’s freshman year at Rose Hill High School might have been the best thing that ever happened to her. Mount was blown away by the treatment she received from her post-surgery nurse, and that’s when she decided she wanted to be a nurse herself.

Thanks to the Early College Health Sciences Academy at Butler Community College, Mount has a tremendous head start to do just that. She will graduate from high school next week and has already earned an associate’s degree through the Early College Health Sciences Academy, which she was able to attend every afternoon right in Rose Hill. Two more years of nursing school, and Mount will be one of the youngest R.N.s in the country.

“I’m a 13-year old student of Rose Hill, and I did enjoy high school,” Mount said. “But when you know what you want as young as I did, and you have a chance to start your college education while you’re still in high school, it’s too awesome of an opportunity to pass up.”

Mount was even chosen to speak to her class at Butler’s Early College Academy Graduation Celebration held in the Hubbard Welcome Center early this month. There were 53 high school students graduating from the Early College Health Sciences, IT and Public Safety Academies with a substantial amount of college credit, 26 of them graduating with their Associates degrees from Butler prior to high school graduation.

Christy Streeter, the Associate Dean who is responsible for the Early College Academy, said Mount was chosen because she so well represented why the program was created seven years ago. Mount’s older sister Danielle, a psychology major at Kansas State, is also a graduate of the program.
In the fall of 2016, the Early College Academies will also offer Business/Entrepreneurship and Engineering Technology Academies to high school students. Streeter said the 53 graduates this year are expected to receive a combined $615,000 in scholarship money from the colleges they’ll attend next.

“Last year we had a student accepted into Harvard,” Streeter said. “These are real college classes. The only difference between these students and a traditional college student is they don’t receive financial aid. Their talent level is amazing, and they are absolutely remarkable students.”

Mount would eventually like to become a nurse anesthetist. In her speech, she quoted Malcolm X’s famous words, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”

“I stand here grateful for the opportunity Butler has given us,” Mount told the class. “I am so proud to be part of such a unique group. No matter what it may be – a job interview, a project, a final – Butler has prepared us to tackle it with our best efforts. So wherever you go, go with your heart.”

2016 Graduates of the Early College Academies will walk Saturday, May 14, during Butler’s graduation ceremonies.

They are listed below by high school:
Lauren Siebuhr, Early College Health Academy
- * Emi Hayashi, Early College Health Academy
* Justin Doan-Shepherd, Early College IT Academy
John Walsh, Early College IT Academy
Andover Central
+ Carmen Ferguson, Early College Health Academy
+ Jennifer Todd, Early College Health Academy
Brenna Pentecost, Early College Health Academy
+ Kyle Toom, Early College IT Academy
+ Matthew Smith, Early College IT Academy

- * Derek Jergensen, Early College IT Academy
+ Joshua Korthals, Early College IT Academy
Cameron Tipton, Early College IT Academy
Fox Hensley, Early College IT Academy
Taylor J Parris, Early College IT Academy
Jacob Rupert, Early College IT Academy
Marc Cain, Early College IT Academy
Coy Masterson, Early College IT Academy
Justin Masters, Early College IT Academy
Seth Braeger, Early College Health Academy
Makena Franke, Early College Health Academy    
Jakob Jenkins, Early College Health Academy
+ Christian Purgason, Early College IT Academy
Tana Schwartz, Early College Health Academy
Allison White, Early College IT Academy
* Jordan Ulrich, Early College IT Academy
- * Cassidy O’Neill, Early College Health Academy
Abigail Powell, Early College Health Academy
- * Sarah Veesart, Early College Health Academy
Benjamin Fulghum, Early College IT Academy
El Dorado
Tyler Haag, Early College Public Safety Academy

Flint Hills
Meagan Hale, Early College Health Academy

Home School
Bradley Weiss, Early College IT Academy

Kyle Dillon, Early College Health Academy
Logan Elliott, Early College Health Academy
- * Kelsea Miller, Early College Health Academy
+ Hannah Young, Early College Health Academy
Trent Pickering, Early College IT Academy
Hannah Rodriguez, Early College Health Academy
* Morgan Smith, Early College Health Academy
Sydney Schreffler, Early College Public Safety Academy
Garrett Wayman, Early College IT Academy
+ Joel Eck, Early College Public Safety Academy
+ Hayley Nelms, Early College IT Academy
Rose Hill
+ Holly Chester, Early College Health Academy
Morgan Johnson, Early College Health Academy
+ Tayler Mount, Early College Health Academy
Daniel Steigerwald, Early College Health Academy
+ Brooke Tolbert, Early College Health Academy
+ Marilyn Weide, Early College Health Academy
+ Kristin Donaldson, Early College IT Academy
* Austin Farber, Early College IT Academy
* Kaitlyn Little, Early College Health Academy
+ Braydon Splechter, Early College IT Academy
(*) President’s Honor Roll (earned a semester grade point average of 4.0)
(+) Deans List (earned a semester grade point average of 3.5 – 3.99)
(-) Order of the Purple (completed 30 hours and hold a 3.75 or higher cumulative grade point average)