May 10, 2016


CONTACT: Donna Oracion, 575-624-7403             



Tanner Thornton, 15, was recognized by ENMU-Roswell and Roswell Independent School District officials today as the first graduate of Early College High School (ECHS). Thornton has completed the requirements to earn his high school diploma and he will complete his Associate of Applied Science degree in Mathematics after he finishes two classes (psychology and physical education) this summer. Thornton will be participating in ENMU-Roswell’s 65th Commencement Convocation on May 13.

Thornton began taking college algebra classes when he was an 11-year old student at Sidney Gutierrez Middle School. His mother, Jamie, said his ENMU-Roswell mathematics instructor, Darlene Klassen, was very supportive and encouraged him to continue taking additional classes. When Thornton enrolled in Early College High School, he had already earned many college credits. He then began his fast track to a college degree, taking 18-20 college credits each semester. Thornton has been able to complete the four-year early college program in just two years. “It was challenging and a lot of work keeping track of both high school and college classes,” he said. Thornton said his favorite college class was Calculus II taught by mathematics instructor, Coy Speer.

Thornton will complete ENMU-Roswell classes this summer on the Presidential Scholarship. He then plans to enroll at NM Tech in Socorro in the fall to study mechanical engineering on the NM Lottery Scholarship. His mother and his father, Brian, say they are very proud of Thornton, and plan frequent visits to Socorro. Jamie and Brian actually first met on the ENMU-Roswell campus and are both graduates of ENMU.

ECHS is a free public high school within RISD, in partnership with ENMU-Roswell. Students take all classes on the ENMU-Roswell campus and have the opportunity to graduate with a high school diploma and up to two years of college or an associate degree from ENMU-Roswell. School bus transportation and meals are provided. According to ECHS principal, Porter Cutrell, there are currently 85 students enrolled and about 80 new students are expected to attend in the fall. For more information about ECHS, contact Cutrell at 575-627-2751.