Like most Chattooga High School (CHS) seniors, Kali Clark is getting ready for graduation, but Clark has two ceremonies to prepare for, she is getting ready to graduate high school and college.
Clark is only the second student in Chattooga County Schools’ history to graduate with an associate’s degree before receiving a high school diploma according to CHS officials.
While she was in high school Clark also attended Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) full time.
Clark, participated in GNTC’s dual-enrollment program and will accept her Associate of Applied Science degree in Business Healthcare Technology during commencement ceremonies May 5 at the Dalton Convention Center.
The 2022 GNTC Spring Commencement Ceremony will begin at 6 p.m.
“It feels amazing to be getting ready to graduate college. I’ve worked hard for my degree, and I’m thankful this opportunity has further prepared me to continue my education at a four-year college,” Clark said.
Clark has worked hard to accomplish this, “to ensure I could finish my degree before my high school graduation, I haven’t had a ‘break’ from school since I was fifteen,” Clark said. “My degree is in Business Healthcare Technology, which includes a very rigorous course load, so I’ve attended all fall, spring and summer semesters at GNTC since 2020.”
Clark will be graduating with honors from both GNTC and Chattooga High School. She earned 76 college credit hours in total while maintaining her 8th rank in high school.
Clark said she has a big support system. “My biggest supporters have been my family. They’ve always kept me motivated and taught me the necessary skills to continue even when I face difficulty,” she said. “I would also like to thank my school counselors and Jenny Cunningham from GNTC for helping me throughout this entire process.”
Clark has cheered for three years on the competition cheer team at Chattooga High School. She is a member of Beta Club, Spirit Club and was a member of HOSA for two years. During her high school career she has worked part-time jobs at the Rocket Car Wash and most recently at Jon Dennis’s law office.
“The most challenging part of achieving my degree has been trying to balance my high school and college work simultaneously,” Clark said. “There were semesters where I was taking a total of ten classes, having practice five days a week and working a part-time job.”
Clark will continue her education at a four-year college and after that she plans to attend medical school to become a pediatrician.