Early Graduation for Former Junior Bailey Storms


To most, high school is a four year process which makes the learning experience more challenging at the passing of each year. Junior year is when you begin to realize what you want to do in the years after high school and then all of a sudden, senior year dawns on you and forces you to make a decision on the direction you want your future to go. For former junior Bailey Storms, these years are wrapped into one.

“I decided to graduate early because I felt that I would be better setting myself up for success,” said Storms. “I just feel that I am ready for the next step in my life, and all the new challenges that come with that.”

Storms was officially approved for early graduation on Feb. 13 by the Board of Education and received the following email from principal Jarred Fuhrman the next day.

“I wanted to let all of you know that the BOE did approved early graduation this year for Bailey. I know there is a lot of work to [do] and that Bailey is capable of finishing it. We will do what we can to help her reach her goal.“

With optimism, Storms is currently facing the mountain of work needed to graduate early. For graduation, students are required to have completed 28 credit hours and at the end of junior year, most students only have 21.

Storms would have finished her junior year five and a half credit hours short of the quota, but has found a way of obtaining those credits through online classes. Not only does she have online classes stacked on top of normal classes, but she also finds herself doing two research papers for junior Honors English and senior English classes. In total, her two research papers add up to be 18 to 20 pages.

“It’s actually the worst experience ever,” said Storms, “It’s just a lot of work at one time, but is totally doable.”

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, this early graduation will group her with only 3% of the nation’s students. Storms is looking to the future with plans of attending Washburn University in Topeka, or St. Mary’s to become a nurse and work in the ER.

“I want to be a nurse because when I was in the hospital I had a nurse that really affected my life his name was Mr. David and whenever I get down I think of his voice inside my head,” said Storms. “That’s a pretty profound impact you have on someone who’s coming in and out of the hospital. I want to be able to touch people’s lives like Mr. David touched mine in ways that I won’t be even be able to measure.”

Even with a plan for afterwards, the graduation walk still slowly approaching with Storms joining a new group to wear her robes with.

“Walking with a different class is going to be a different experience. Graduation day is something that I have looked forward to for a long time, and I suspect that it will be a shock to lots of seniors who don’t know that I am graduating now!” said Storms with a smile.