These AHS Seniors will Jump Start College
Fourteen Amesbury High School seniors will head for college this fall, already having earned up to two years of college credits, thanks to participation in the Northern Essex Community College Early College Program.
All were honored at a recognition ceremony held on Thursday, May 24 at Northern Essex.
Thomasina Glenn, who will begin Northern Vermont University as a junior this fall, with the 59 credits she’s earned, was the student speaker at the ceremony.
She talked about how the students banded together to champion the program when it was in danger of being cut from the budget, and the closeness of the group, which “was together for an hour and a half every day for two and a half years.”
Glenn, a singer and songwriter, is majoring in the music industry at Northern Vermont, and she plans to earn a master’s from Berklee College of Music.
While Glenn earned the greatest number of credits, by taking Northern Essex classes offered at the high school and online and on the college campus, Isabella Sollazzo, with 47 credits, was the second-largest credit earner.
Sollazzo will major in education at Westfield State University, with plans to be a history teacher.
Sollazzo’s hopes to graduate from Westfield a year early and start immediately on her master’s degree. “I’d like to be getting my master’s when everyone else is getting their bachelor’s degrees,” she says.
In order to be accepted to the Early College program, students must pass an assessment test that measures their aptitude for college work. They express interest in their freshman year and begin Early College classes as sophomores. Courses are taken as a group at the high school during their sophomore and junior years and then during their senior year they can choose courses offered online or on the college campus.
In his remarks, Dr. Gary Reese, superintendent of Amesbury Schools, congratulated the group for their “dedication to education”. “You recognized opportunity, understood it involved more work, and you met that challenge.”
Also speaking at the ceremony were Lane Glenn, president of Northern Essex, and the proud father of Thomasina, and Noemi Custodia-Lora, the NECC vice president who oversees Early College Programs.
“The hope is that students who participate in the program will graduate from high school better prepared for college and will be more likely to attend college and graduate on time…or even early,” said Glenn.
Custodia-Lora reminded students of how quickly time flies. “It seems like you were just freshman, and—in the blink of an eye—here you are.”
Amesbury High School students honored included: Finbarr Arsenault, Graham Gannett, Brooke Gibbas, Katelyn Gilleo, Thomasina Glenn, Michael Gonthier,Shawn Hussey, Caleb Huston, Hannah Manclark, Lily Peirce, Samantha Sawyer, Isabella Sollazzo, John Sydlowski, and William Sydlowski.
Northern Essex partners with many local high schools, offering programs which are designed to prepare students to succeed in college.
For more information on high school partnerships available through Northern Essex Community College, contact Noemi Custodia-Lora, vice president of the Lawrence Campus and community relations, firstname.lastname@example.org.