- Associated Press - Friday, May 30, 2014

SUBLETTE, Kan. (AP) - Douglas “Andy” Davis graduated from college one week before he graduated from high school.

The 17-year-old’s dual-graduation feat in May established a record for Sublette High School and Seward County Community College, Liberal. Davis plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree and then a master’s degree, both online, while continuing to work.

“I’ve never really been a go-with-the-flow student,” Davis said during a recent interview in Spearville. And he said, “I like being busy.”

Davis is owner/operator of Drew’s Showroom Shine Auto Detail, with a shop in Sublette. On the business’ Facebook page, Davis lists the hours as “always open.”

The business also operates a mobile unit, with equipment loaded on the GMC Sierra four-wheel-drive pickup Davis purchased in March. That enables Davis to detail vehicles at the customer’s home. Hence, the reason Davis was working in the Spearville area recently, The Hutchinson News reported (https://bit.ly/1jXPm9c ).

Davis selected the nickname “Drew” for his business because he used Drew “during racing season,” he explained. Davis used to compete in stock car racing in the region but has sold his car.

The four-year Sublette High wrestler - in the 113-pound weight category - can be found outdoors during winter weekends: He’s a pheasant hunting guide for clients of the Sublette-based Lazy J Hunting Inc.

“I can run off little sleep,” Davis said. Juggling various activities “is not new to me,” he said.

“He’s just a driven kid,” said Sublette High School/Middle School counselor Sally Bruce.

Even before Gov. Sam Brownback’s state-aid program was launched to encourage high school students to take community college classes geared toward a degree in certain technical fields, Sublette USD 374 was financially helping high school students take classes at Seward County Community College, according to Bruce.

A school bus would leave Sublette about 7 a.m. for the approximately 30-mile trip to Liberal, Davis said. The students would be back at the high school for afternoon classes.

Davis began taking college classes during his junior year in high school. When he learned it was possible to complete an associate’s degree in automotive business management by the end of his senior year in high school, that became his goal.

“‘Oh, my gosh, Andy, that’s a lot,’” Bruce said was her reaction when Davis told her his objective for the 2013-14 school year.

“I tried to talk him out of it,” Bruce said. But she said, “I wasn’t going to tell him he couldn’t do it.”

Davis beefed up his class schedule at the college. Night after night, Davis drove the 30-plus miles to Liberal for classes, arriving back home about 10 or 10:30 p.m. He also took an online course.

College algebra proved tough, and Davis said Sublette USD middle school math teacher Gwen Simmons and high school math teacher Richard Baker helped him.

For three weeks this spring, Davis said, he “shut down the business entirely” and devoted his energy to finishing school and taking finals.

On May 10, Davis received a green-colored diploma book at Seward County Community College’s graduation. On May 17, he received a red-colored diploma book at Sublette High’s ceremony.

Duane Dunn, president of Seward County Community College, is among those impressed by the young graduate. Dunn said Davis told him he wants to get advanced degrees and would “really like to come back and teach full time.”

Larry McLemore, division chairman for Industrial Technology at Seward County Community College, considers Davis his go-to local contact if enrollment this fall in the college’s auto business management program is so sizable that an additional adjunct faculty member is needed.

Potentially, Davis said, he could work full time this fall at Seward County Community College in an adjunct faculty position.

Davis, the middle child of Chad and Jennifer Davis, has no intention of moving from Kansas, saying he “would prefer to stay in Sublette.”

July 29 will be another red-letter date for Davis. He’ll turn 18 years old.


Information from: The Hutchinson (Kan.) News, https://www.hutchnews.com

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