Mayland Early College High School First Graduation
On Friday, May 16th, students, family, friends, administration, faculty and staff gathered at Trinity Episcopal Church in Spruce Pine to celebrate a momentous occasion for Mitchell County Schools in general and Mayland Early College High School in particular. MEC had its inaugural commencement ceremony, with 14 students participating. The MEC program is unique in that it provides the opportunity for students, after completing a five year course of study, or for some an advanced four year course of study, to graduate with a high school diploma as well as an Associate’s degree or significant college credit hours. The Early College concept has grown much in the last several years in North Carolina.
The planning for the Mayland Early College High School began nearly seven years ago with applications for planning grants, repeated visits to Raleigh for training sessions and the formation of a Board of Governors. Five years ago the dream became a reality as MEC welcomed its first students. MEC is truly unique in that it is the only early college high school in the state that serves three counties, Mitchell, Avery and Yancey. This undertaking has faced many challenges, but with the cooperation of Mayland Community College as well as the leadership from the three school systems, whose superintendents, along with the MCC president, college liaison and other staff comprise the Board of Governors, the school has continued to thrive.
The evening commencement ceremonies included remarks from Mitchell County Schools Superintendent Dr. Rick Spurling, former MEC Principal Angie Burleson, current MEC Principal Muffy Dayton, and inspiring words from super senior (five year program) Tamara Clawson Goforth, who is nearing completion of the nursing program at Mayland Community College, and senior (four year program) Timothy Wyatt, who will be attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the fall. Wyatt was named as the Mayland Community College Student of the Year while being an early college high school student.
In an impressive demonstration of school collaboration and unity, each member of the MEC staff assisted in the presentation of diplomas
After the ceremonies, students were treated to refreshments in the church fellowship hall.
Back Row: David McMahan, Gregory Shepherd, Alex Cox, Dulce Orihuela-Escobar, Timothy Wyatt
Middle Row: Tamara Clawson, Francesca Duncan, Martin Gutierrez, Brianna Smith
Front Row: Christen Glenn, Morgan Shuford, Laura Townsend, Rebecca Wise and Makayla Burse
Graduates plus founding principal Angie Burleson and current principal Muffy Dayton.