Several students are graduated with both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree just weeks apart.

Excellence refuses to take a day off in Polk County as five local students experienced graduation twice in one year.

During this year's graduations at Rockmart and Cedartown High School, Judy Standeford, Shayna Ingram, Lillian Bell, Macie Campbell, and Sydney Greenway have already graduated from college Georgia Highlands with an Associate of Science- General Studies Degree.

Graduating college and high school weeks apart is no easy feat, and was made possible only via the student’s strong dedication with the state’s Move on When Ready program.

Under MOWR, students can earn college credits while taking high school courses at no financial cost so long as they pass the admission test.

With tuition and textbooks covered for free, the seniors paid for their educations with hard work and tenacity.

Taking a minimum of 20 college courses, the grads sometimes had to study harder and play less, but the Associate’s Degrees earned by the group serves as a reminder that extended studying “is worth it in the long run,” and as said by Lillian Bell.

“There’s nothing wrong with missing one night of fun every now and then,” she said.

And these two degrees are just the beginning for the grads who hope to see a third graduation at another University of their choice.

Rockmart’s Co-Salutatorian Macie Campbell will take advantage of Kennesaw University’s Oncology/Biology classes and later attend either Emery or Mercer University for medical classes.

Rockmart High’s Lillian Bell plans to further her education by studying Biology and Pre-Med at Kennesaw State University in order to become an emergency room Physician.

Judy Standeford, a top five RHS student, hopes to begin a career in a research lab by studying Chemistry at Jacksonville State University.

Sydney Greenway- Cedartown’s sole dual-grad- has plans to attend Shorter University for a Master’s in Education. Greenway intends to pursue a career as a school administrator.

Grad Shayna Ingram is deciding between further education at Georgia Highlands or University of West Georgia for either a career as an elementary teacher or an oral hygienist.

With all of their core college classes completed the seniors have forged a cheaper, less time consuming path to future degrees.

Bell can work towards her goal of being a physician without having to pay for and take miscellaneous electives, and Greenway won’t have to stress over her next big math test while she takes Education courses.

Said otherwise by Judy Standeford, “the dreaded part is over.”

Being college grads hasn’t made graduating high school any less exciting for the seniors who plan to walk the field on May 26th.

After 12 years in Polk School District, these five students are graduating high school with honors and will have an Associate’s Degree waiting beside their diploma.