TRAVERSE CITY — Not many high school seniors hold an associates' degree.
But Central High School student Jonathan Patterson does, and soon he will be enrolled as a junior at Grand Valley State University.
It's all part of Patterson's plan to get to law school as fast and efficiently as possible.
"That's why I'm speeding through this process, for lack of a better term," he said.
Patterson, who celebrated his 18th birthday Saturday, began taking night classes for his associate's degree at Northwestern Michigan College last winter while enrolled as a junior at Central. He took more classes in the summer and resumed night classes when he returned to Central as a senior.
Patterson earned his associate's degree in December.
Now he is preparing for his first semester as a Grand Valley State student, where he will start with enough credits to qualify as a junior. He will take night classes at NMC's University Center while he continues his high school education at Central.
Patterson said he is "slightly apprehensive" about the harder courses he expects to take through Grand Valley, but he also looks forward to the challenge.
"I want to prove to myself I can do it," he said. "I believe I can."
Patterson also faces the challenge of balancing those harder courses with high school extra curricular activities. The student is a member of Central's National Honor Society, Key Club and chorale group. He also participates in the school's theater productions.
So far Patterson has proven adept at such balancing acts. He graduated from NMC with a 4.0 grade point average and has maintained the same average in high school this year.
Patterson's mother Christina Boehm said her son possesses a rare work ethic. In addition to school and extracurriculars, Patterson works at a local vineyard in the spring and a cherry farm throughout the summer to earn money he will use to pay his tuition.
"He's very diligent," Boehm said. "He won't even take a break to go to the bathroom, usually."
Patterson wants to focus on liberal arts studies with a pre-law emphasis while at Grand Valley. He hopes to earn his bachelor's degree by the spring of 2014, and then to head off to law school shortly after that.
He does not know where he wants to study law; that largely depends on his Law School Admission Test score. LSAT scores range from 120 to180.
"If you see me get in the 170s, an Ivy League? Hey, I'll go for that," he said.
But Patterson, for now at least, knows he wants to be an attorney.
"My personality is very fitting," he said. "I'm articulate, analytical. And I guess there is an altruistic side to helping people."
Patterson's fast-tracked academic career means he will miss out on the traditional college and high school experiences. He used spring break this year as an example. The Grand Valley break and the Central break do not coincide. When Patterson is on break at one institution, he will still be studying and attending classes at the other.
"I kind of just look at it as a sacrifice I have to make if I want to stand out," he said.
TRAVERSE CITY — Not many high school seniors hold an associates' degree.
Joliet beats slumping Beach Bums
For Traverse City, it was a case of the Mondays. The first case this year, actually.Continued ...
Commissioners adopt cafe ordinance, drop platform dining
John McGee had plans to build a deck that seats 40 people in two parking spaces in front of his Park Street restaurant but those plans will wait as city commissioners postponed action on parking-space platform dining indefinitely.Continued ...
Roller derby bout set for Saturday
The Toxic Cherries take to the flat track against the Glass City Rollers followed by the Cherry Bombs against the Barry County Black Heart Maidens on Saturday at the Civic Center.Continued ...
Deputies catch bicycle-riding suspects
Grand Traverse County Sheriff's deputies cited two boys suspected of shoplifting condoms and drinking alcohol after chasing the bike-riding minors through a drive-in restaurant and a mini golf course.Continued ...
Red Ginger to reopen
Pam and Dan Marsh hope for a crush of a different kind when they reopen their Red Ginger Restaurant almost eight weeks after a column collapsed and closed the popular downtown eatery.Continued ...
Sports in Brief: 07/22/2014
TC East wins Little League district; Local players compete in Midwest tourney; Michalowski wins two divisions. (Plus more)Continued ...
Schmerheim shoots hole-in-one
Kim Schmerheim shot an ace Sunday at The Crown.Continued ...
Editorial: Suing for money inmates don't have is wasted effort
To hear Grand Traverse County Sheriff Tom Bensley tell it, a Sheriff’s Department policy to sue to collect $20 daily housing fees from jail inmates isn’t an effort to “squeeze blood out of a turnip.”Continued ...
Letters to the Editor: 07/22/2014
Wake them up; Mind our own business.Continued ...
Borgman, Hammar, Peyerk, Wilkerson first-time winners at Merritt Speedway
The Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club was present and brought plenty of sunshine along with them for a night of racing action in all seven classes Saturday at Merritt Speedway.Continued ...
- Poll: Should GT jail sue to collect daily inmate housing fees?
TC Hounds 2014-15 schedule
The Traverse City Hounds 2014-15 Midwest Junior Hockey League schedule:Continued ...
4-H livestock donations will feed the hungry
Goodwill Northern Michigan and 4-H hope crowdfunding packs more locally-sourced meat into local food charities.Continued ...
House candidates to appear in forum
The 10 people running in Michigan's most crowded House race will appear side by side to answer questions.Continued ...
Cherry Capital totals on the rise
New statistics show business took off at Cherry Capital Airport this spring. Both passenger numbers and fight totals rocketed skyward.Continued ...
Farmers could get money for 2012 losses
Jim Bardenhagen is no different from other farmers across Michigan: late frosts in 2012 destroyed his cherry crop.Continued ...
Deadline to file for local school boards is 4 p.m. Tuesday
The petition-filing deadline for candidates interested in sitting on local school boards is 4 p.m. Tuesday.Continued ...
UPDATE: Maxbauer's market closes after fire
More than meat was smoking when a grease fire broke out at Maxbauer's Meat Market. The Union Street store closed Monday after the fire started in the market's smokehouse at about 10:30 a.m.Continued ...
Division, Boughey streets lane closures planned
Commuters on Division Street heading north can expect delays when work crews close one northbound lane to install a new curb at the alley between Seventh and Eighth streets.Continued ...
2014 All-Region Girls Soccer Teams
The 2014 All-Region Girls Soccer Teams:Continued ...
Maxbauer's market closes after fire
Maxbauer's Meat Market is closed following a grease fire in the market's smokehouse.Continued ...
GT board will fund Lafranier Road construction split — somehow
Grand Traverse County commissioners backed the county's participation in a three-way split of local funding for a major overhaul of Lafranier Road, but they did so without identifying exactly how the county will pay its share.Continued ...
To the Grand Traverse Conservation District, which was to run guided kayak trips over the weekend on the Boardman River from Scheck’s State Campground to the Brown Bridge Quiet Area.Continued ...
Gateway finishes off TC sweep
Despite wonderful weather, it wasn’t a pretty weekend for the Traverse City Beach Bums.Continued ...
Historical Photo of the Week: 07/21/2014
Can any readers identify the young women in this photo?Continued ...
- Joliet beats slumping Beach Bums