Spring graduates include 35 dual enrollment students
Kayla Kerr will don a cap and gown and graduate from Palm Beach State College with her Associate in Arts degree —one week before graduating from Wellington High School.
The aspiring forensic pathologist is among 35 dual enrollment students – the highest number ever – who will receive their A.A. transfer degree this spring. Among the group are students from Lake Worth, Clewiston, Palm Beach Gardens, William T. Dwyer, Seminole Ridge, Jupiter, John I. Leonard, Park Vista, Forest Hill and Pahokee Middle-Senior high schools.
“My original goal wasn’t to get an A.A. I was just trying to knock some classes out. I ended up taking so many that I finished my A.A. degree,’’ said Kerr, who has been accepted into the Honors College at the University of South Florida to pursue a bachelor’s degree in medical technology. She then plans to pursue master’s and doctoral degrees at other universities.
At Wellington High School, Kerr, who was in the Equine/Pre-Veterinary Program and involved in about 10 clubs and organizations. She also interned on Fridays at Planco Veterinary Care and worked two part-time jobs. She did all of that while maintaining a 4.0 grade point average at PBSC as well as a 4.0 GPA and 5.13 HPA at Wellington High. She took Advanced Placement and Advanced International Certificate of Education classes that helped her garner enough college credits to complete her degree.
“I’ve always been determined and focused, and I’ve always put my academics first,’’ she said. The oldest of two children, she said her parents also pushed education. “I was able to read at two,’’ she said. “They would always read to me when I was younger. They’ve always pushed me to go above and beyond.”
PBSC will hold two commencement ceremonies May 9 at the South Florida Fair Expo Center. There will be a 9:30 a.m. ceremony for the combined 1,383 graduates of the Associate in Science, Bachelor of Applied Science and Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree programs and the certificate programs. There will be a 2 p.m. ceremony for the 1,839 graduates of the Associate in Arts transfer degree. The ceremonies will be streamed live at www.palmbeachstate.edu.