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APW senior makes history as first high school graduate to receive an associate degree

Altmar-Parish-Williamstown senior Peyton Flanagan receives his high school diploma this weekend, but it will not be his first time walking across a graduation stage. In May he graduated Magna Cum Laude with an associate degree in humanities and social sciences from Onondaga Community College. This makes him the first APW student to graduate high school in four years with a college degree, and one of only few to do so at OCC.  


Thanks to APW's partnership with Onondaga Community College and APW facilitator Beth Dunham, Flanagan was able to join the Early College Program when he was in ninth grade. He began taking advanced and college courses via distance learning to earn 30 college credits by the end of his junior year, allowing him to spend his senior year full-time on the OCC campus.


Adding to his impressive achievements, Flanagan has been awarded a Dean’s Scholarship to American University School of International Service in Washington D.C. where he’ll be studying international relations with concentrations in foreign policy and national security.


At the age of 16, Flanagan was one of only 500 kids globally selected to attend Harvard University’s Summer Program where he studied international law and world conflict. His passion for reading and his interests in military and global events have driven his academic pursuits.


Flanagan’s parents, Bruce and Maryellen, attribute his success to the support of the school district. “His teachers, coaches, advisors and administrators all played a crucial role in guiding Peyton along this journey,” they said. “We truly appreciate everything the district has done and without them it wouldn’t have been possible.”