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Senior completes associate degree while navigating high school

John Decker

A high school diploma in one hand. An associate degree in the other.

Williams Field High School senior John Decker spent any free time he found the last few years working toward an associate degree, while also navigating high school.

How did he do it? John Decker shared his story to inspire students and show it is possible.

During John’s sophomore year, he met with Chandler-Gilbert Community Collage counselors to plan out how to attain 60 credits and the classes he needed to get his associate degree. On top of dual enrollment classes at the high school, Decker also needed 17 credits at the community college, which he took over the summers, as well as during senior year.

“It was very nice though because the college had many different classes that I could take that weren’t offered at the high school,” Decker said.

The hardest part of doing both, Decker said, was the scheduling

“You constantly have to make sacrifices to your schedule in order to fit all of your college classes, whether that meant taking summer break to do more classes or any free time that you may have.”

In addition to high school and college classes, John was involved in marching band the past four years, as well as winter winds the last five years. He also performed with the drumline, the symphonic band and the jazz band.

“He worked so hard to earn his degree while being highly involved in the different programs,” said John’s mom, Jennifer Decker.

In the future, John plans to major in biochemistry and possibly do a double major in cellular biology. He earned the Arizona Wildcat award from the University of Arizona, which will cover up to $24,000 in tuition the next four years.