Preparing Vernon Parish high school students for the future

The Vernon Parish School Board wants to make sure that students and their families are not missing out on college and career prep opportunities in high school. A Night of Discovery will be held Monday night at 6 at the Leesville High School auditorium to get the word out.

Bethany Kay, a senior at Evans High School, Casey Williams an early graduate of Leesville High School and Cody Thomas a senior at Leesville High School, have a combined 100 college hours between them thanks to programs offered in Vernon Parish. (KALB)

Vernon Parish students like Cody Thomas a senior at Leesville High School, Bethany Kay, a senior at Evans High School and Casey Williams an early graduate of Leesville High School are all benefiting from college prep programs. The students have a combined 100 college hours between them thanks to programs offered at their high schools.

Renita Page, the Secondary Curriculum Director at the Vernon Parish School Board says they want to make sure students are not missing out on these opportunities.

"Some of them are already almost juniors when they enter college and that saves parents so much money. Through these opportunities, our students are so much better prepared when they enter college and when they enter the workforce."

Vernon Parish offers Advanced Placement, Dual Enrollment, CLEP, Jumpstart, Industry Based Certifications and a new Associates Degree Program. Representatives from Northwestern State University and Central Louisiana Technical College along with school administrators and counselors will be at the Night of Discovery. Families can also speak directly to students already enrolled in some of these programs.

Williams said she was able to graduate an entire year early because of the partnership between the Vernon Parish School Board, Leesville High School, and Northwestern State University. Williams and Kay will be roommates at NSU to become nurses. "We will have only a handful of ours until we enter clinicals." Kay added "You can take so many different classes. I got to take a medical terminology class as a sophomore and so I kind of got introduced to the medical field to see if that was something I was interested in at all."

Thomas will enter LSU with 20 hours of college credit. "Just having that readiness, having that preparedness going into the university, not being shell-shocked but already knowing what the collegiate education feels like is really beneficial."