Monday, May 11, 2015

Student Earns Morrisville Degree Before Graduating from High School

News from Morrisville State College:

Hank deGlee on his family's farm
By Franci Valenzano

Hank deGlee considers himself an average high school student. 
He enjoys playing sports, hanging out with friends, hunting and working on his family’s dairy farm.

But aside from the regularities of his normal life as a high school teen playing football and tackling
trigonometry and calculus, the 18-year-old from South New Berlin is anything but average.

On Tuesday, deGlee took his last two college final exams. On Saturday, he will graduate from Morrisville State College with an associate degree in agricultural business, seven weeks shy of earning his high school diploma from Unadilla Valley Central School.

deGlee was among graduates who earned their degrees during Morrisville State College’s commencement ceremony Saturday May 9. Sitting in the crowd watching him receive his degree in agricultural business will be the mentor who helped him open so many doors — his mother, Anna deGlee.

An only child, Hank starting paving the way toward earning a college degree as a high school freshman. Anna shared every step his journey, driving him from high school classes during the day, to Morrisville State’s Norwich Campus in the afternoon, until he was old enough to drive himself.

In-between racking up college courses and working on the family dairy farm, the 6 foot 5 inch achiever excelled on the high school football field, where he earned first-team all-star honors and was named a New York State Scholar Athlete for Class D Football. He was also an all-star in basketball.

There was no mistaking there was something special about Hank at an early age. 

“He spoke in complete sentences before he was a year old and was the first student in kindergarten who did enrichment in the classroom,” Anna said. “He can hear something once and he obtains it like a sponge.”

While he mastered every subject, it was math and science that gave Hank the most gratification. 

Always willing to embrace a challenge, Anna wanted to enrich Hank’s education, home-schooling him from sixth to seventh grade. Because he wanted to be a normal kid and to play sports, he eventually returned to the classroom.

His humble nature still defines him. “I’m just a normal kid who loves to hunt and to work on the family

Hank follows in the footsteps of his mother, five uncles and grandparents, who work their 1,000-acre dairy farm, deGlee Valley Farm in South New Berlin, themselves.

His passion for farming led him to the Morrisville State College Norwich Campus, where he was challenged academically and thrived, earning dean’s list accolades. Three of his uncles also began their higher education at Morrisville State College and graduated with ag business degrees under their belts.

Because he did not have a high school diploma and was only eligible for Del Button Scholarships, Hank paid for most of his education out-of-pocket. Science, math, and English were connected with TC3, Albany State and Morrisville’s high school college credits.

He credits Morrisville State faculty and staff, particularly Dr. Marsha L. Cornelius, for sharing his vision,

What else does the future hold for Hank deGlee? He will graduate from Unadilla Valley Central School June 27—and there are no plans to slow down his academic progress after that. 

He’s been accepted at Cornell University where he plans to study agriculture. While he’s still undecided about a specific discipline, he is going to start with animal science. He also landed a spot on the Cornell football team.

Obtaining a master’s degree may also be in his future, but for now, Hank is content “just being like everyone else."

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