Ranch Reflections are articles written by LRHS students and staff who want to share their experiences, thoughts, and concerns. This is a great opportunity for Mustangs to branch out beyond traditional news stories.  This edition features one student’s efforts to trim a year from her high school education.

The author, who will graduate early

Dakota Wernet – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – During the first semester of my so-called junior year, I decided I wanted to accelerate my high school education. The process was not as easy as I thought it would be.

I took high school level courses as early as seventh grade. At the time, I never knew why I decided to do this, but I appreciate it now.

Three weeks before winter break, I went out to dinner with my mom. We talked about how high school was not what I had hoped for and decided that I did not want to continue.

We came to the conclusion that I would do all I could to skip right to my senior year.

Within a couple days I had an email sent out to my School Counselor Jennifer Moser. She not only guided me through the long process but became one of my biggest supporters.

In total, it took about two weeks to set everything up.

To make sure I was on track, I signed up for last minute credits and forms.

I mainly communicated with the guidance and attendance office.

Feeling like I was so behind other seniors was one of the hardest things to catch up to.

They already put in their cap and gown sizes, scholarship information. With the help of LRHS Senior Class Adviser and math teacher Ann Fleury, I was able to get caught up in just a couple days.

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By winter break, I was officially set up to be a senior for the 2023 spring semester. 

My biggest academic goal is to get my bachelor’s in nursing and work with pediatric oncology patients.

While the end is near, I still have a lot of work to do for the next couple of months.

The biggest thing I have learned from this decision was to never second guess myself.