Graduating college before graduating high school is most unusual, but that is exactly what took place this past weekend for 17-year-old Dezerae Kinderknecht. On Saturday, Dezerae received a certificate from NCK Tech in the Pharmacy Technician program. On Sunday, she walked across the stage with fellow Hays High graduates to receive her high school diploma.
“It has been a lot of work juggling high school and taking a full-time college program but well worth it,” said Kinderknecht. “I struggled at first but once I got myself organized it was a normal routine.”
Taking several college courses in high school started the process for Kinderknecht.
“I took psychology my junior year and then calculus," she said. "Both of those courses were concurrent through Fort Hays. I finished my general education courses online through NCK Tech while taking the Pharmacy Technician program my senior year.”
Kinderknecht, a member of Hays High School National Honor Society, plans to continue her education at Fort Hays State University in the fall.
“I plan to major in biology, pre-med or pre-vet. I have not decided yet. I know I want to remain in the medical field,” said Kinderknecht. “Taking the Pharmacy Technician program at NCK Tech is a way for me to have a good paying job while continuing my education. I recently passed the National Certification test for Pharmacy Technicians, so I am ready to go.”
When asked which graduation ceremony was the most rewarding, Kinderknecht said, “High school was much more emotional with all my friends, but attending NCK Tech commencement ceremony and knowing what I had accomplished this past year was very rewarding. College was a real challenge while still going to high school. I am excited about this accomplishment.”