Cassidy Korman: First Ridge Student to Graduate with AA


Cassidy Korman, Ridge Senior

Molly Bomar, Journalist

Mountain Ridge students are given some incredible opportunities to exceed academic expectations through dual enrollment courses, AP classes, and acceptance of online and in-person summer school. Some students take a few, some none, and some use the process to their advantage. For Cassidy Korman, she was that student. 


Korman, a member of the class of 2021, will be the first Mountain Ridge senior to graduate with her Associate’s Degree (AA), a two-year community college degree, after completing and excelling in the numerous dual courses our school has to offer. 


According to Korman, she has been personally benefiting from the advancements since the summer after her freshman year, taking a multitude of classes during school hours and on her own.


“At the end of the school year I will have taken 11 dual classes and 8 other online college classes for a total of 60 credits,” Korman said. 


With the help of her parents, both teachers and experienced in their fields, Korman planned out her course load during her first year at Ridge. 


“Once we had a blueprint of which classes I’d take and when, I took my plan to the school counselor. She made sure I met every requirement,” Korman said. 


Angela Belnap, one of Ridges’ many student advisors, attested to Korman’s commitment to her education during their meetings. 


“Cassidy is a dedicated student,” Belnap said. “She knew what she wanted and was willing to do the extra [work] required to make it happen.” 


Some students are unaware of the many assets available, breezing through highschool courses oblivious to the possibility of cutting down student loans, shortening years stuck in college, and using their time efficiently.  


According to Belnap, Korman was intentional and focused during her four years at Ridge, staying devoted to her future.


“She definitely had a different perception from the standard approach to college,” Belnap said. “By completing her AA while in high school she has cut off 2 years of college before earning her bachelor’s degree.”


Arizona State University offered Korman the President’s Scholarship for $40,000, granting her money deserved after working hard the past 4 years. 


“Taking all these classes and my good grades showed that I do well academically,” Korman said. “I think potential universities liked to see that I would have almost two years of college done, before graduating.”


Despite the belief of some going to universities solely to let go and let loose, Korman doesn’t seem bothered by the shortened college years as she is focused more on her academic career than her social one. 


“I don’t think I’m going to miss out on the college experience,” Korman said. “I will still stay in the dorms and hang out with the other kids my age who are freshmen.”


Korman plans to complete her master’s program, ultimately staying as long as other high school graduates from ‘21.


Despite her success and inspiring achievements, the ‘Korman path’ isn’t for everyone.


“It is a great path for students who are willing to do the extra work of college-level classes in high school and during a couple summers in order to achieve an AA degree,” Belnap said. 


While Korman is the first Ridge senior with her AA, it shouldn’t be the last. The process may be difficult but it’s proven possible. 


Cassidy will attend ASU in the fall of 2021, majoring in psychology.