FLORENCE, S.C. – The Florence-Darlington Technical College Early College Program that launched in 2014 will honor its first graduating cohorts from South Florence High School and Mullins High School at Commencement on May 13 at the Florence Center.
Thomas Spears will be South Florence High School’s first FDTC Early College Program graduate when he walks across the stage during his high school graduation in June.
Spears spent the majority of his high school career at Wilson High School, but he transferred to South Florence High School for his senior year. Following graduation, Spears will receive his Associate of Arts degree, which will allow him to enter a four-year institution as a junior. Spears has been accepted to five universities. He plans to attend Coastal Carolina University and majoring in exercise science.
“I benefited from FDTC’s Early College Program because I’ll be starting a four-year college with credits already earned,” Spears said. “This will put me ahead, and I’m looking forward to this benefit.
“I believe that FDTC’s Early College Program is a good opportunity for students to take advantage of presented resources. If students are willing to be dedicated, this program is a prime opportunity to enhance your education.”
Spears was inducted into the National Beta Club and the National Honor Society. He also played basketball while in high school.
Florence One Schools also will have three Wilson High School students graduate from the FDTC Early College Program this year. The Wilson High School cohort is Ryein Bennett, Naomi Guzman and Tene’ Jones.
Mullins High School will feature 11 students from its first FDTC Early College Program cohort this year.
The FDTC Mullins Site provided on-site classes, exam proctoring, tutoring services and all other day-to-day needs for the Mullins High School students. Members of the graduating class are Patrick Belt, Riley Bennetts, Destiny Caulder, Shane’ka Ceo, Thanayi Eady, Ronisha Genwright, Elijah Gilchrist, Ny’Eve Jackson, Jordan Reichardt, Jordan Williams and Kayla Wilson
Ten Darlington High School students are graduating from the FDTC Early College Program as well. This year’s cohort will mark the sixth for the high school, and it features Jayla Back, Tanner Berry, Kimberlee Britt, Jalyse Harrell, Areyana Henry, Dana Joe, Tanner King, Jaimesha McKenzie, McKayla Miller and Darian Smith.
“The Early College Program would not be possible without the support of our area high schools,” said Angela Hayek, FDTC’s director of K-12 relations. “I would like to thank Mrs. Debra Wallace of Darlington High School, Dr. Jayne Suchy of Mullins High School and Mrs. Letitia Plowden of Wilson High School for their hard work and collaboration. Dr. Marie Cottingham, director of the FDTC Mullins Site, also played a very pivotal role in the success of the 11 Mullins High School Early College graduates.”