Leanne Riggs, a senior at Grayson County High School, graduated from Elizabethtown Community and Technical College on May 9 with an Associate in Arts Degree. Riggs is one of three students in a pilot program at GCHS where students can earn college credit and start apprenticeships while in high school.
The program, Educational Technician Track Apprenticeship, guides students through educational classes, encourages dual credit classes, and gives students the chance to work, and get paid, while still in high school. Riggs took advantage of all the opportunities available to her through the program. She took many dual credit classes and was an apprentice during the entire school year, earning hours toward the required 4,000 hours for the apprenticeship. In addition, Riggs took online college courses after school and ultimately graduated with an associate degree before receiving her high school diploma.
According to Cody Mooneyhan, National Board Certified Family and Consumer Science teacher, Riggs will continue her education at Western Kentucky University with an associate degree and 12 additional credit hours due to her passing EOP tests in agriculture and consumer and family sciences. Assistant Principal Matt Hayes at the Technology Center oversees the Educational Technician Track Apprenticeship program.
Riggs is one of three students in the apprenticeship program. Current senior Jadyn Forsyth and 2021 graduate Ashley Dotson are on the same track. Both have been earning hours toward their apprenticeship this year and are scheduled to graduate from the program in December 2022. Employment restrictions limit students to 19.75 hours of apprentice time each week with the high school.
Mooneyhan said the program can take only three students at a time right now and when one student leaves the program, another student will step in. The program started with Dotson as its first student and Abby Smith is slotted to join the program over the summer working with Breckinridge/Grayson Head Start Program. GCHS is leading the state with this new program which involves Career and Technical Education classes, dual credit high school classes and the apprenticeship program, said Mooneyhan.
In an email to GCHS administrators and teachers, Riggs’ parents said, “I just want to take a minute to thank each of you for the part you played in helping her to reach this monumental achievement. She has worked incredibly hard to get here. Jon and I are extremely proud of her and are so blessed to be her parents!”
GCHS Dual Credit Coordinator Gail McCrady said of Riggs, “I am so proud of all of her hard work and accomplishments in our GCHS Dual Credit program--AND BEYOND! It's such a wonderful accomplishment!”
“Definitely a great accomplishment for Leanne! She is a fantastic student and I look forward to networking with her as she continues her journey,” Mooneyhan said.