The month of May has been a whirlwind of activity for Savannah Wood of Boaz. A senior at Boaz High School, she has had her last high school exam, her last sports banquet, her last high school awards day – and her first college graduation.
In addition to earning her credits for her high school diploma, Savannah has been enrolled as a dual enrollment student at Snead State Community College and completed her Associate degree this spring. In fact, her graduation from the College came on Thursday, May 6, two weeks before her graduation from high school on Thursday, May 20.
“My first (college) class was the summer after my ninth-grade year, and I’ve taken classes every summer since. I took a history class my 10th grade year, and I took more in 11th grade. I love a challenge, so once I knew getting an Associate degree while I was in high school was an option, I decided I wanted to do it and contribute to my future,” she said.
Savannah thrives when she’s challenged. In addition to graduating high school and community college all in the same month, she is completing her high school career in the top five of her graduating class. In addition to her academic accomplishments, she enjoyed success in athletics, playing basketball, volleyball and softball at different times in high school.
“It’s hard to juggle everything sometimes. All my life, my friends and I have had the same classes in the same school, and we could help each other. But when I started college classes, I was suddenly a lone wolf, but I’m a planner. I have a schedule I stick to, or I couldn’t make it work. My advisor (at Snead), Deborah Rhoden, was also very helpful in keeping me on track,” she said.
Savannah also had the support of her family, especially her mother, Rhea Krueger, who is an English instructor at Snead State. Once she got a taste of college life, Savannah was glad she put in the time and work to get her Associate degree.
“College is a place to learn new things. People aren’t boxed or labeled. You can discover a new part of yourself. The teachers are so welcoming. In college, people want to be here, and it’s just a different atmosphere. I’m glad I was a part of it,” she said.
Her high school years may be behind her, but Savannah has plans to continue her college education. The challenge, this time, is figuring out what that next step looks like.
“You can’t always be focused on what’s next, but you also have to look at the big picture. That’s what I’m doing. I thought I knew what I wanted to do next, but that’s changed as opportunities presented themselves. I’ve put a lot of thought and prayer into what’s coming next. I want to plan my future knowing I’m pursuing something that will make me happy and that will be something I can grow in.”
Savannah encouraged other high school students to consider the dual enrollment program. “Just be ready to do the work. Keep your priorities straight and be willing to work hard and strive for more.”