Some adolescents believe a regular high school isn’t really for them – the classes are too big, the school day lasts too long, or coursework moves at too slow or fast a pace.
To accommodate these students, Hardin County Schools offers Hardin County High School as an alternative.
The district will hold a graduation ceremony at 7 p.m. today for Hardin County High School students and those who will obtain their General Educational Development diplomas at Central Hardin High School. The high school is on the College View Campus at 521 Charlemagne Blvd. in Elizabethtown.
Many students of Hardin County High School spend their school days learning with online educational programs where they learn at their own pace and in a smaller environment.
One Hardin County High School student, Madilyn Taylor, will graduate early and attend college as a 17-year-old. Taylor said she decided to attend Hardin County High School after her father moved off of Fort Knox and she wasn’t interested in attending any of the other high schools in Hardin County.
Taylor previously attended Fort Knox High School and enjoyed the close relationship with her teachers, she said.
“I had gotten used to a smaller school and I kind of liked that,” she said. “It just felt like I could excel more in a smaller classroom. That kind of pushed me toward this.”
Taylor, whose father is in the military, was born in Alaska and has lived in numerous states including Vermont, Georgia, Tennessee and Massachusetts. In the fall, Taylor plans to attend Castleton University in Vermont where she will major in the school’s pre-medical program.
Taylor said the prospect of attending college as a 17-year-old was “weird at first” but is “worth it in the long run.”
“I’ll probably miss the calmness of it all,” she said of Hardin County High School. “Once I get into pre-med, it’s going to be very, very crazy.”
Hardin County High School accommodates a wide spectrum of students, including those who are struggling with academics or with home life.
“Students come here to sometimes finish up classes that they may have failed or finish up classes early,” said Matt Deneen, lead teacher at Hardin County High School.
Deneen said the online courses also cater to students who live in foster care, are sick or who might have emotional issues.
“They’re not bad kids, they need an alternative setting,” he said. “That’s what this is.”
The school also offers an on-site mental health counselor to help students who might suffer from mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Deneen said about 125 to 200 students graduate each year from Hardin County High School.
“Many of those kids would have been dropouts if it weren’t for this program,” he said.