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Abby Collins has Always Been a Step, or Two, Ahead of the Pack

Abby Collins recieving her degree from the President

When Abby Collins was in kindergarten, her teacher would let her read to first- and second-grade students.  

The trend of being a step, or two, ahead has stayed with Collins. 

Collins, 17, who was double promoted, is supposed to be a junior in high school.  On Friday, May 26, she graduated as co-valedictorian of her class at Magoffin County High School. 

Remarkable? Yes. 

Here’s another catch: On May 6, she graduated from Big Sandy Community and Technical College with both an Associate in Arts and an Associate in Science degree, becoming the first Magoffin County High School senior to graduate high school with an associate degree. 

“This is a remarkable accomplishment, and I can’t put into words how proud we are of her,” said Timothy Collins, Abby’s father.  Abby’s mother is Karen Collins.  Timothy graduated from BSCTC last year and is a recent graduate of Morehead State University after being laid off from Joy Global after 24 years. 

Abby, who scored a 32 on her ACT, admitted the road was tough. 

“It was hard to juggle both high school and college,” Abby recalled. “After several semesters, I thought about just going back to high school, but I had a meeting with Gail [Cooley], and she encouraged me to stay the course.  I was just 10 credit hours away from my degree.  I’m thankful I did that.” 

Abby will attend the University of Kentucky this fall, where she hopes to attend the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and become a cardiothoracic surgeon.  She will be a member of the Lewis Honors Scholars at the University of Kentucky and has earned the Presidential Scholarship and the Big Sandy Alumni Scholarship. 

“It was such a blessing to experience my time at Big Sandy,” Abby said. “Jimmy Wright was so helpful, and I remember the conversation we had when I was 15 and I had scored a 27 on my ACT.  Judith Valade was also a tremendous help to me.  She was my dad’s advisor and was always there to help me along the way. This journey would not have happened if it wasn’t for so many people that helped me along the way.” 

Chris Meadows, principal of Magoffin County High School, said, “I am extremely proud of Abby and her accomplishments.  In addition to obtaining two associate degrees, she has maintained an excellent academic standing at Magoffin County High School placing her at the top of her graduating class.”