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Early College earns Lighthouse School Award

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Early College has received a Lighthouse School Award from the North Carolina Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
During its annual conference earlier in February, the state association presented the award to the Rowan-Salisbury School System’s early college.
The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education recognized and honored the early college at Monday night’s regular meeting.
The Lighthouse School Award is presented annually to one or more North Carolina schools “that are leading the way in innovative programs and practices that get demonstrated results,” a school system news release said.
The early college was presented a plaque, a $500 check and a professional photograph for receiving this honor.
Superintendent Dr. Judy Grissom, Director of Secondary Education Kathy McDuffie, Rowan County Early College Principal Dr. Cindy Misenheimer and Early College Teacher Julie Stolze accepted the award.
“I could not be more excited and proud for Dr. Misenheimer, the early college staff and students for bringing this high honor and recognition home to our district,” Grissom said in the news release. “The early college provides an innovative setting that helps students achieve amazing results in school that they might not have achieved without the early college learning model. We appreciate our partnership with Rowan-Cabarrus Community College in helping to bring this opportunity to fruition.”
The Rowan County Early College opened its doors in August 2008 to the first freshman class with 73 students under the leadership of principal Misenheimer. Today, the school has expanded to include students in grades nine through 12 for the second consecutive year.
In the spring of 2012, the early college graduated its first class of 42 students with 90 percent of the graduates simultaneously receiving an associate degree in either arts or science from RCCC accomplished through a four-year program. The typical early college high school program entails five years to achieve this goal, according to the news release.
The Rowan County Early College was the first school in the district to be named an “Honor School of Excellence” as designated through the state accountability program.
The early college is a non-traditional high school designed to serve under-represented students such as first-generation college students. It provides project and problem-based learning, the news release said.
All students enroll in honors level high school courses, while participating in college courses as well as seminars, field trips, community service and college and university campus visits.

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