When Community Christian School senior and 2021 Valedictorian Elizabeth Blevins steps onto the campus of the University of Texas later this year, she will be doing so with an associate of arts degree under her belt.
“It makes me feel more accomplished that while in high school I’ve done more before going to college,” Blevins, who enrolled in dual credit as a sophomore at CCS, said. “I think it’s given me a feel of how college classes are and so I know a little bit more of what I’m getting into and it’s giving me a head start when it comes to what I want to do later on.”
Since Community Christian School entered into a partnership with Weatherford College’s dual credit program in 2012, there have now been eight students that received their associate’s degree upon graduating high school.
“Elizabeth is the eighth student from our school to get their associate’s degree while graduating high school and our school had the very first one through Weatherford College back in 2016,” Community Christian School Administrator Doug Jefferson said. “Since about 2013, nearly every graduate has accomplished some dual credit. We absolutely love our dual credit and encourage our students to take at least some so they get their feet wet while they’re still in high school.”
Blevins will officially have her degree before she graduates from CCS on May 28.
“It’s very important because she’s going to UT in the fall and she steps on campus day one as a college junior,” Blevins’ father, Terry, said. “It’s a great program and I’m very proud of my daughter. She’s an awesome young woman and wants to make a career in medicine.”
Blevins said her current goal is to become a dermatologist.
Jefferson said Blevins had to work above and beyond to accomplish what she has.
“It took a lot of dedication on her part, a lot of hard work and she had to balance quite a bit because she was taking a full high school load. It was an immense amount of work and this is not easy,” he said. “I’m filled with pride, this young lady is incredible and she’s very intelligent and she’s a strong writer, which is why she does well at the college level because she’s a fantastic writer. Her strength is definitely her writing ability.”
Blevins has also been named Community Christian School’s 2021 valedictorian.
“It feels good,” Blevins — who added that her speech is already prepped — said. “I worked hard for it and I’m very happy that I get to be the valedictorian.”
CCS Director of Special Programs Naomi Lemons said Blevins was part of the first kindergarten class she taught, so it’s a bittersweet moment.
“Elizabeth has a drive to succeed and is committed to excellence. I had the honor of teaching her again this year as a college professor and it was so much fun to be able to work with her again,” Lemons said. “She has truly blossomed into an amazing young lady with a strong work ethic. I was quite frequently amazed by her projects for class and how creative she is.”
Jefferson said Blevins has followed in the footsteps of her her older sister, Rachel.
“She’s a graduate of Community Christian School and was also valedictorian. Rachel was valedictorian in 2013, she went to Texas Tech [University],” he said. “I would really say that Rachel has been a rock for Elizabeth. She’s been very important to Elizabeth and helped her quite a bit.”
Rachel is now a news correspondent for RT America in Washington D.C.
Jefferson added that on top of Blevins’ other accomplishments, she also had perfect attendance her senior year.
“I think that’s pretty impressive. Not a lot of seniors in high school get perfect attendance,” he said.
Blevins said she’s going to miss the close-knit community that is her high school.
“I’m going to miss how close everyone was at school and how the classes weren’t that big,” she said. “Everyone was very close and it was more personal.”
Lemons said the staff at CCS love working with students to help them discover their passion and purpose.
“Also helping them to find out who God is, who he says they are and what he has for them,” she said. “We can’t wait to watch Elizabeth continue to blossom in her love of science. We know that when we love what we do, it’s never truly work. We hope that this is what each CCS student discovers, what it is that they truly love.”