FIRST CLASS: GHS Agriscience Academy holds inaugural graduation

Published 10:55 pm Monday, May 14, 2018

Four members of the Goshen High School Class of 2018 received associate of science diplomas from Enterprise State Community College Thursday night. However, they will have to wait until Friday, May 25 to graduate from high school.

Laken Bush, Charitee Childs, Blake Childs and Anna Yancey were the first students to graduate from the Agriscience Academy at Goshen High School. They entered the academy as sophomores and completed the three-year program with 64 credit hours, 16 at GSH and 48 credit hours through ESCC.

“This was the first group that had the opportunity to complete the entire agriscience program at the academy,” said Jamie Rich, Agriscience Academy program facilitator and instructor. “This is a very challenging program and to complete the program takes a lot of hard work and dedication. An associate of science diploma is a highly regarded associate degree and will open doors to educational and work opportunities.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The Agriscience Academy students received their associate of science diplomas at the Enterprise State Community College graduation ceremony and, laughingly, said only their families and friends in attendance knew they had not yet graduated from high school.

“It felt good to know that we had accomplished our goal,” Blake said. “It was not easy. We worked hard and it took hard work. But we’re prepared now for whatever it is we want to do.”

Blake is ready to take what he has learned and put it into practice.

“I want to farm,” he said. “That’s what I’ve wanted to do for a long time. The Ag Academy has given me opportunities to learn in the classroom and to put what I’ve learned into practice.”

Blake has been raising his own cows and his future interest is in beef breeding cows.

“I might like to do some row cropping, mainly to support my herd,” he said. “But cattle farming is what I want to do and I’ve worked hard and learned a lot. I’m ready to get started.”

Laken plans to attend Huntingdon College and purse a degree in occupational therapy.

“The Ag Academy offered me an associate degree and it’s a science degree that will help me with my college courses,” she said. “At the academy, we have been like family. We’ve worked together and we’ve pulled together to accomplish our goals.”

Laken, laughingly, said she never realized what it takes to grow sweet potatoes.

“I have a greater appreciation for farmers,” she said. “No farmers; no food. I’ve learned so much that will benefit me in my career and in life. All four of us have benefited greatly from what we have learned at the academy.”

Charitee and Anna have not yet decided which career paths they will take. Charitee plans to attend Troy University and is considering education. Anna is working at a local animal clinic. She is not ruling out a career that involves animals. 

“This is been a long journey for these four students,” Rich said. “The courses have been challenging, both the book work and the hands-on activities.  There have been rough times. But they have stayed the course and they came through.  They have many opportunities awaiting them. Mr. (Cody) Eiland, (Agriscience Academy instructor) and I are so proud of them and for them for what they have accomplished. This was our first graduating group but we have other groups coming behind them who are dedicated to their goals. We look forward to the continued success of the Agriscience Academy.”