Hittle to receive diplomas from CHS, CCCC
Stormie Hittle's family will be attending two graduation ceremonies this year, but for only one graduate.
Hittle, daughter of Derrick and Amy Hittle, Concordia, will become the first student to receive diplomas from both Concordia High School and Cloud County Community College in the same year.
Hittle, who is interested in both business and hospitality management, began planning for this achievement in her sophomore year when then CHS assistant principal Bryce Wachs spoke to the students about a new program being introduced by State Senate Bill 155.
The bill enables students to obtain an Associate's degree while in high school, providing tuition reimbursement to those enrolled in career and technical classes.
"This is when I started planning and got all my ducks in a row," Hittle said.
In her junior year she finished full time high school except for three classes, State and National government and an English course. At the same time, under the advisement of CCCC instructor Shelly Farha, she began taking college classes in both business and general education. The state reimbursed her for the business classes, and her parents paid for the general education classes and books.
With only three classes necessary to finish high school, Hittle had time to continue her studies at CCCC and with Farha leading her in the right direction, earned enough credits to earn her associate's degree in business.
"Shelly was really helpful," Hittle said. "She helped me take the right classes and made sure I was on track."
As if attending high school and college didn't keep her busy enough, Hittle also found time to work part-time at the front desk of Concordia's Holiday Inn, something she believes will be helpful as she pursues her degree in hospitality management.
Hittle plans to attend Kansas State University in the fall where the dean of business advised her to get her Bachelor's degree in Hospitality Management and her Master's in Business.
Looking back on her time at CHS, she said her favorite class, even though it was difficult, was Chemistry 2 with Denise Stover. "It made me smarter," she said.
Her favorite college class was U.S. History with Chad Eshbaugh.
This summer, Hittle plans to continue working at the Holiday Inn to earn more money for college. "It takes a lot of money to go to K-State," she said.
Hittle plans to get a job on campus when she moves to Manhattan. She said she thought just going from the high school to the college in Concordia was hectic enough so going from the college to a job off campus would be even worse.
Hittle plans to take part in both high school and college commencements. However, her parents have told her she can have only one graduation party.
In addition to earning a high school and college degree in the same year, Hittle has one more reason to feel special. When she walks across the stage to receive her diploma from CCCC, her grandfather, Larry Henry, a member of the college board of trustees, will be the presenter.
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