Stiles first to complete dual-credit program at Crowder

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Carthage High School (CHS) senior Sydney Stiles received her high school diploma and associate of arts degree from Crowder College, Neosho.

Stiles, a 2017 graduate and granddaughter of Sue and Gary Stiles of Cassville, has kept her sights on the future through the Upward Bound program's dual-credit courses on the Crowder College campus, and courses online through Crowder, Missouri Southern State University and Ozarks Technical Community College.

Matt Huntley, Carthage High School principal, said they are very proud of Stiles. While she is not the first or only student to pursue the associate's degree through Crowder, she is the first to complete the program, with 61 credit hours. As a student at CHS, Stiles was in band, theatre, debate, National Honor Society, A+ Teacher at Columbian Elementary School and was recognized as a Girl of Interest by the Girls World Expo last fall. She maintained a 3.56 GPA during her senior year, and graduated cum laude. Stiles had to make many sacrifices, but her dedication and perseverance enabled her to achieve her goals. One such sacrifice was losing a month of summer vacations to live on the Crowder campus, as well as one weekend each month for the last three years to take college-level courses.

Stiles said one of her most important goals is to give back to the program that enabled her achievement.

"I want to teach a new generation about dual credit, scholarships and why it is important," she said.

Stiles said the Lord has blessed her and helped her remain focused the entire way. She is currently enrolled as a junior at Missouri Southern State University for her bachelor's degree, and plans to go into secondary education in speech and drama with a minor in language arts.

Stiles is the daughter of Lisa and Kip Stiles of Carthage.