By Annette Beard
Times Editor w firstname.lastname@example.org
When Rachel Edmundson graduates from Pea Ridge High School this spring, she will already have 32 college hours to her credit. In additon to making excellent grades in high school, Edmundson has been named to the Dean’s list at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, because of her grades in the distance learning classes at PRHS.
“We are very grateful the school has provided college credit for the students. This will help Rachel tremendously for her college education,” said Sherry Barnett, Rachel’s mother. “We’re extremely proud of how hard Rachel is working to earn this 4.0.”
Edmundson hopes to attend the College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Mo., and earn a nursing degree. She also hopes to major in ministry and wants to become a medical missionary, possibly in Uganda because of the tremendous need for medical care there, she said.
As to why she took college classes during high school, Edmundson said: “Just the fact that the grant allowed me to go for free was really an incentive. I had finished most of my requirements for graduation...
“I could either goof off and take a bunch of electives my senior year or get a head start on college,” she concluded. “Some of it is a lot more difficult than I expected, but after the first couple of weeks, I got the hang of it.”
Edmundson credits her mother, who home educated her until fourth grade. “I learned the majority of my study skills and how important it was to learn.
“She’s always encouraged me to do my best whatever it is.”
Edmundson is president of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, an officer in the Student Council, a member of the National Honor Society and a member of, as well as the piano player on, the praise and worship team at Winds of Worship Sanctuary in Rogers. She works at the Blackhawk Grill in Pea Ridge.
Edmundson has completed 13 credit hours during the fall 2007 semester through the Early College High School Program and holds a 4.0 GPA, while attending high school as well. She said that when she graduates she will have 32 college credits, some from NorthWest Arkansas Community College.
Arkansas Tech is an official college site of Pea Ridge High School’s ECHS program. ECHS and Arkansas Tech currently have 43 students enrolled in the program which is expected to grow to more than 70 students next year.
ECHS program allows high school students to get a head start toward college. The program provides college hours at no cost for the students. This year alone the ECHS program has saved parents in Pea Ridge over $65,000 in college tuition.
Edmundson is the daughter of Sherry Barnett of Pea Ridge and granddaughter of L.C. and Joyce Barnett of Gateway.
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