Four NHS grads receive dual degrees

KateLynn Slaamot

Paige Deyo receives her associates degree from Eastern Wyoming College during the 2021 Newcastle High School commencement ceremony on Sunday. 

KateLynn Slaamot

NLJ Correspondent


Four graduating seniors from Newcastle High School took advantage of the classes offered by the Eastern Wyoming College outreach in Newcastle, and they are graduating not only with a high school diploma but also with an associate’s degree. Paige Deyo, Sierra Checketts, Peyton Crinklaw and Rebecca Henkle put in long hours of hard work to make this a reality. 

“My main reason was to push myself,” Deyo said, and she also noted that taking advantage of the dual credit classes saved her time and money for college. Now, to complete her bachelor’s degree at Black Hills State University, she only has to attend for 2½ years instead of  the
customary four. 

“It was very challenging. I’m realizing how beneficial it was even with all the long hours and long nights,” Deyo said. “It was so much work, but it was so rewarding.”

The other three students agreed that the opportunity to complete their associate’s degree is beneficial because the effort saves time and money toward their future degrees. To these students, all the hard work was worth it to get one step closer to achieving their goals.

“It took a lot of support from everyone else,” Crinklaw said, noting that her parents encouraged her to keep going, even when she felt overwhelmed by her workload. Kim Conzelman, the Newcastle outreach coordinator, also helped the students to make sure they were on track. 

“Along with my hard work, they also put in a lot of hard work to get me to where I am,” Crinklaw said. 

However, despite all the time and effort, the students still had good times. Henkle said that she greatly enjoyed being part of the soccer team, and some of her best memories are of her time on the team. Crinklaw, also part of the soccer team, enjoyed soccer trips and all the funny memories made along the way. 

Deyo’s favorite memory was her junior-year FFA trip to Indianapolis, Indiana, for nationals. The students got to tour around the area, visit farms, go go-karting and more. 

Checketts is excited for her next chapter in life, she said, and is anticipating what her future will hold. 

“I am just glad to have it done, and (I’m) very excited for the next chapter,” Checketts said. 

Checketts will be attending Brigham Young University in Hawaii, and she will be pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business. She then hopes to eventually get her master’s degree in business from Utah State University and eventually own her a Ford dealership. 

“I just want to run a successful business,” Checketts said. 

Deyo has always had an interest in early childhood development, she said, and she plans to attend Black Hills State University to get her bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Between helping her mom with day care children, helping her younger brothers with school, helping her middle school teachers grade papers and her job at Double AAces where she worked with kids kindergarten through fifth grade, Deyo said she discovered that working with young children is where her passion lies. 

“I’ve found that’s where I want to be,” Deyo said. 

Crinklaw has wanted to be a veterinarian for as long as she can remember, and she is going to attend Colorado State University to major in zoology and minor in French. Crinklaw has hopes of pursuing a career in exotic veterinary science. 

With a love for art since she was young, Henkle plans to major in illustration at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, and she hopes to be a concept artist for an animation company or be an illustrator. 

As these graduates begin their next chapter in life, they have words of advice for their younger classmates who continue to navigate high school. 

“Soak up every memory possible,” Deyo told the News Letter Journal. “It literally goes by so fast.” 

Checketts wants to remind students that the concurrent program with EWC is a great opportunity that should be taken advantage of. 

“Take as many opportunities as you can,” Crinklaw said, adding that one may never know what their interests could be until they try new things. 

Henkle challenges her younger classmates to not be held back by limitations and to pursue their dreams. 

“You can pursue anything. Don’t think your career is impossible. If you start this early, you can do anything,” Henkle said.


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