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Texas Early College High senior, college grad ready to build his future

By Bridget Ortigo
May 20, 2016 at 4 a.m.

Texas Early College High School graduating senior Jadan Stutes is seen at the school on Tuesday. Stutes, who received his associates degree from Panola College last week is set to graduate high school on Saturday.

Texas Early College High School graduating senior Jadan Stutes is ready to build his future.

The recent Panola College graduate received his associate of science degree from the college on Friday, a week before he's set to earn his diploma from high school.

"I have 60 hours of college credit. I've earned my associate degree," Stutes said Tuesday. "The plan now is to further my education by attending LeTourneau University to study mechanical engineering."

Building things is Stutes' specialty, he said.

"Every time I took one of those career tests to see where my mind was, the answer always involved engineering in some way," he said. "I find it fascinating to study how things are made, what makes them tick and how they work or how to improve upon them."

Stutes is specifically interested in the Longview university's 3-D printing program.

"My calling seems to be prosthetic limbs, specifically those constructed by 3-D printing machines," Stutes said.

"I have watched videos of children with deformed limbs who receive prosthetic limbs and it warms my heart. These limbs bring kids another chance."

After attending Trinity Episcopal School in his elementary years, Stutes said he enjoyed the early college high school's pace.

"You can go at your own pace here," he said. "My teachers have been great. I particularly liked my eighth grade teacher Mrs. Brian. I miss her greatly."

Stutes, a Star Wars and Doctor Who fan, said he is glad he chose the high school and now has his associate degree at just 18 years old.

"I wanted to get a leg up on the competition I guess you could say," he said.

Stutes will be joined at the graduation on Saturday by his family and 12 other graduating seniors.

The class' valedictorian is Austin Miguez and salutatorian is Jessica Moore.

Miguez is headed to Stephen F. Austin State University to study political science, psychology and accounting. He plans to later attend law school.

Moore plans to head to Southern Arkansas University to study psychology and criminal justice. She hopes to become a clinical psychologist.

The school's graduation ceremony is set for 11 a.m. Saturday at the Marshall Convention Center.

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