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McKeon Earns Degree Before Graduation

Even in middle school, Gavin McKeon knew he could push for more.

McKeon — then finishing up seventh grade — asked to move up to more advanced courses, and then continued to push forward and challenge himself throughout his high school career.

McKeon is now reaping the rewards. He earned the rare feat of walking the stage to accept his Associates Degree before his high school commencement.

“I’ve always been trying to do more, because I think that I’m capable of it and my parents have always pushed me to do more in life,” McKeon said. 

McKeon took extra Math and English courses in middle school, and continued to work ahead. He had hoped to graduate from Moravia CSD a year early, but that plan was sidetracked.

Through the PELL program in cooperation with Center for Instruction, Technology & Innovation BOCES and Cayuga Community College, McKeon was able to take college courses before he graduated from high school. McKeon used the opportunity to get many of his general education credits out of the way en route to his Liberal Arts degree.

McKeon excelled in a mixture of in-person and online courses through Cayuga. Professor John Lamphere said he assigned McKeon bonus points due to the high frequency of his class participation, but never awarded them as he did not need it.

Diana Valdina, another Cayuga professor, praised McKeon for being responsive and informed.

“Kudos to his English teachers who prepared him very well for a 200 level course,” Valdina said.

Now McKeon is looking forward to a four year college, Clarkson University, in the fall. He is essentially entering the Chemical Engineering program as a sophomore. 

“I was given this opportunity, and it would be silly not to take it,” McKeon said. “I have an opportunity to go many different places. … It’s very open ended.”

To learn more about the CCC PELL On Campus Program, contact Melissa Daniels at CiTi BOCES, Director of Virtual Learning & Innovation P-16, at or 315.963.4298.


Gavin McKeon