NOXAPATER, Miss. (WCBI) – To the average person, graduating high school is a big deal. It’s a rite of passage and a significant milestone.
For one Noxapator Attendance Center student, this accomplishment is everything and more.
Clay Kugle is a multi-sport athlete. In fact, he participates in every single sport his school has to offer.
He’s also a hard-working student and a friend to all he meets.
Kugle is also classified as having an intellectual disability.
For students like Kugle, opportunities after high school are limited. That’s where the MSU ACCESS program comes into play.
Through this program, Kugle could become employed and even live independently– These are goals Kugle and his mentors have all been working towards for a long time.
Today, those years of hard work and determination are paying off– as Kugle has been accepted to Mississippi State University for the Fall Semester.
“We’re extremely proud of Clay because every student here, they work 13 years, Kindergarten through 12th grade, so that they can be college and career ready. Ready to move on to that next step, whether that’s getting a job or going on to school, so we’re extremely proud that clay has this opportunity,” said Noxapater Attendance Center Assistant Principal Sarah Webb.
“You know, we always strive for independence for our students. Independence looks different for every special education student, every individual with a disability. So, you know, we’re always striving for independence, so every step in the right direction, you know, ideally, we would hope that Clay would be successful on his own, be able to have his own home, have his own job, you know, and all the things that come along with being an adult that a lot of us take for granted,” said special education teacher, Beth Sanders.
“I’m excited to live on my own, and meet new friends, and going to college…” said Noxapater Attendance Center Senior, Clay Kugle.
Kugle said after college, he plans to one day become a full-time baseball coach.