JMCSS hosts grand opening of JCM Early College High School

JACKSON, Tenn. — Community leaders stood with high school freshmen and sophomores Monday morning to officially open a new building for Jackson Central-Merry Early College High School.

early college high ribbon cutting“The success of Early College High will only make our community stronger,” Principal Nathan Lewis said. “So it was just great to see so many people interested in that and excited about that, and I really look forward to the future.”

Lewis said the school has about 140 ninth and 10th graders right now, but each year the program will expand. In two years, it will be a full house with up to 400 ninth through 12th graders.

“It’s fun. It’s open. It’s a good opportunity, and if you’re willing to work and put in the hours, everything will be pretty easy,” student Cinque Peggs said.

Students said they’re using this opportunity to push themselves.

“I always took the easy way out, trying not to do any work, but I saw that me taking the easy way out wasn’t going to help in the long run,” student Brian Winters said.

A former school warehouse has been transformed into a workout facility, new cafeteria, and art wing.

“They’re excited to be at school,” Lewis said. “They’re excited to learn, and especially as it ties to what career they’re interested in. We try to tie that into every class. How does this apply to maybe a career I’m thinking about choosing?”

“It’s really just given me a whole other perspective, this whole program,” Winters said of the school. “It’s just stuff that I never thought I’d learn, I wind up learning.”

Students can have an associate’s degree by their senior year.

This is the second year for Early College High. Last year, it operated out of North Side High School.

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