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Student came from behind to graduate a year ahead of schedule

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Tabitha Dotson went from being two years behind on her high school coursework to now graduating a year ahead of time.

"I busted my rump," Dotson said of finishing her high school credits early.

A student at Rutherford Opportunity Center, Dotson began high school at Rutherford Early College High School, but fell behind.

"I probably would've graduated, but it would've been way later," she said.

Leaving REaCH, where the student body is "one big family" was scary for Dotson, and she was worried about what she might experience at the ROC.

"Most people think it's a school for bad kids, but that is a stereotype," she said. "Most students come to the ROC because they want to graduate early."

The ROC proved to be a good fit for Dotson. Her teachers were more understanding and she could work at her own pace, which proved especially beneficial during her senior year when her mother's illness kept her from being able to attend school.

"Because everything was online and I had my MacBook, I was able to be at home with my mom and keep up with my school work. My teachers and I stayed in contact, and anytime I had questions they were quick to email me back," Dotson said.

The daughter of Angela Ault and Thomas Dotson, Dotson plans to go to dental hygiene school this fall. This summer she plans to take it easy in order to jump right back into her studies.

"I don't want to do what a lot of people are doing and take a break from school - I want to stay in the swing of things," she said.

The Rutherford Opportunity Center graduation will be June 9, 7pm at Isothermal Community College.

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