Collegiate High School honors top graduates

Posted on: June 04, 2013

Kelsey Buchanan came to College of the Mainland Collegiate High School looking for “a chance to get ahead” – and found it.

As valedictorian of the 2013 graduating class, Buchanan and salutatorian Patrick Herrington will not only graduate with an associate degree before receiving diplomas from Dickinson High School but also graduate with thousands in scholarships to universities. The two students and six others from Collegiate High School are in the Top 20 at Dickinson High School, and both are confident as they approach the next step in their education.
“I know what to expect and who to talk to in college,” said Buchanan. “I couldn’t have asked for a better transition. I think it was one of the best decisions I’ve made.”
The school opened up a world of academic options for the science lover. She enjoyed biology though she’d “always thought of cats as pets, not something you dissect;” however, she found her niche in a COM anatomy and physiology class. Inspired to pursue a career in anesthesiology, she’s transferring to Baylor to study premed with $58,00 in scholarships.
“Kelsey and Patrick each had personal goals, and they both accomplished those goals by attending Collegiate High School. Both were very successful college students, and I expect them to be equally successful at the university level and in their chosen careers,” said Collegiate High School Principal Sandi Belcher.

With a COM advisor and professors to help each step of the way, Buchanan found support in earning an associate degree while remaining involved at her high school, where she played on the varsity volleyball team.
“(Professors) challenged you but were willing to give extra help if you ever needed it,” she said. “Collegiate High School helps you realize that a relationship with professors will really go a long way if you need help.”

Herrington found similar support from his professors. While he also plans a career in science, his favorite class was Elaine Childs’ British Literature.
“I enjoyed having essays critiqued and learning to be a better writer because it applies to all fields,” he said.
After Texas A&M offered him about $48,000 in scholarships, Herrington plans to study chemical engineering at the school. Now with an associate degree and 4.0 college GPA, he feels that Collegiate High School was a perfect fit.
“When I heard I could come to college early, I thought it was a great opportunity. I already know what to expect from a college course,” he said. “I think Collegiate High School definitely prepared me for A&M.”


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