FAU High School Celebrates 2010 Graduation
BOCA RATON, FL (May 21, 2010) – Florida Atlantic University High School hosted its graduation exercises for the class of 2010 today. The group of 15 students represents the sixth graduating class since the school was founded in 2004. A highly innovative public high school administered by FAU’s College of Education, FAU High challenges students with a very advanced curriculum that uses the dual-enrollment concept as its programmatic centerpiece.
“For those high school students that exude consistent personal maturity, strong academic competitiveness, and intense focus on their future professional lives, FAU High provides the opportunity to complete university coursework with no tuition or book costs, while graduating from high school,” said Glenn Thomas, assistant dean of PK-12 schools and educational programs for FAU’s College of Education. “We congratulate the exceptional spirit, dedication, creativity, intelligence and energy of these graduates who have excelled in an unmatched academic challenge.”
FAU High currently has an enrollment of 101 students. The incoming ninth grade class for fall 2010 consists of 75 students, the largest freshmen enrollment for the high school. This growth spurt is an indication of the program’s appeal and success.
Two students from this year’s graduating class stand out for their drive, talent, maturity and ability to embrace learning with enthusiasm and joy.
Dominique Ranieri became the first FAU High student to receive a high school diploma and a college degree simultaneously. She marched on May 7 to receive a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from FAU’s College of Architecture and Urban and Public Affairs.
Extraordinarily poised and self-directed, the 18-year-old completed 100 percent of the college credits needed for graduation in just three years. For Ranieri, it has been a journey that has allowed her the freedom to choose her own program of study in the field of criminal justice and learn alongside students of varying ages and backgrounds. Jumping full force into college life, Ranieri joined clubs, was a founding sister of a sorority, served the community as a volunteer and interned for FAU’s Office of the General Counsel – all this while holding down a 30-hours-a-week job in sales.
Ranieri admits that starting college at 15 had its challenges, but she would not have had it any other way. FAU High afforded her the opportunity to bypass traditional high school courses and go directly to what interested her most. With high school and college degrees earned together, she begins the next leg of a journey at law school, and hopes to later have a career as an attorney.
At age 17, Uttam Thakore’s high school career has ended, but unlike most college-bound high school graduates, Thakore is half way done with college already. A National Merit Scholar and frequently awarded academic games competitor, Thakore has a stellar scholastic record that gained him acceptance into the University of Florida’s Honors Program. Because of FAU High’s dual-enrollment program, the computer engineering major is allowed to transfer 120 college credits from FAU to the University of Florida.
“It was well worth coming to FAU High. I would not have chosen any other school,” said Takore. “FAU High lives up to the environment where we have been placed. As students, we were allowed to take advantage of every class and club FAU had to offer. It made the experience that much better.”
Thakore, who began FAU High in ninth grade, was a perfect candidate for a dual-enrollment high school such as FAU High. As an eighth-grader at Don Estridge High Tech Middle School in Boca Raton, Thakore had taken an FAU online Calculus II course. This experience prepared him for the rigors of college courses. The transition was seamless for Thakore who, despite his heavy work load and a research assistanceship, also assumed leadership roles on campus. Thakore was co-president of the National Honor Society, co-founded the Japanese Cultural Club and served as that club’s vice president. He was also a member of the Research Club and Nirvana.
About Florida Atlantic University:
Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts 10 colleges: College of Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the College of Business, the College of Education, the College of Engineering & Computer Science, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Graduate College, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.