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Liberty twins earn Lee College associate degree at age 16

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Joseph Girard says it appears any ambitious middle school student with decent grades may waltz themselves into a great community college like Lee College and request admissions testing.

Matthew and Joseph Girard, 16, started at Lee in seventh grade, and it could have been earlier. They say early planning of which high school to attend, with dual credit options in conjunction with the community college, is essential.

Some districts have a program with an early ( college) start high school where a high school diploma and associate’s degree are conferred at high school graduation ( e. g., IMPACT Early College High School in Baytown).

With the great Liberty ISD and Lee College’s support, these young men just barreled through the full curriculum without a formal program, securing needed approvals along the way.

Matthew said administrators don’t tend to hold back on the requests of ambitious young students. Both guys speak very highly of the district and Lee College.

They took many online courses and enjoyed face- to- face instruction at the local Liberty Lee campus. They’ve maintained a 4.0 GPA at Lee despite being in the full LHS Athletics program ( marching and jazz bands on saxophones). They also well- represent LISD by participating in numerous academic and band UIL competitions.

A few extra dual credit or Lee classes were taken along the way, so they’ll both have completed two degrees and graduate from Lee at the Spring graduation ceremony on the main campus in Baytown on May 13. The two degrees Matthew and Joseph will have before starting their high school senior year are their primary degree in Business ( Associate of Science/ AS) and a second degree in General Studies ( Associate of Arts/ AA).

The twins would love to see more Liberty area students leveraging this opportunity. It’s very doable if done right. Matthew and Joseph hope to work with administrators at LISD and Lee as needed to allow students to start dual credit earlier and to directly inform/ encourage the higher- performing younger students about this great opportunity.

“ The family is so very grateful to former superintendent Cody Abshier. And this great service all started with the current superintendent Dusty McGee when he was the Liberty Elementary School principal for the boys in 5th grade,” said dad, Craid Girard.

“Cody and Dusty, the principals and counselors and all staff throughout LISD are stellar. And much gratitude goes to the many hard-working teachers that helped these young men. “

“The LISD/Lee partnership rocks,” said Joseph.

The family also praised the Southeast Co- Op for seven years of amazing support.