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(Correction: Other Marshfield High School graduates also earned an associate's degree in the 2019 graduating class. Among the other graduates was Elise Martin's twin sister, Callista.)

COOS BAY — Marshfield High School graduate, Elise Martin, is receiving not just her high school diploma, but also an associate’s degree this month.

Martin worked hard to get as far ahead in her education as possible, taking as many as 23 college credits while also attending Southwestern Oregon Community College. The hard work has paid off though, landing her into Bowdoin College, part of the “Maine Big Three” college consortium.

She also received $2,000 from the Marshfield High School Scholarship Program to help pay for her continued education.

In fact, the Marshfield High School Scholarship Program handed out the most local scholarships in its history to a total of 69 seniors out of a class of 180 students this year. Other students who received some of the largest scholarships include McKayla Myrand with $20,000 from Everett & Mabelle Chamley Memorial Scholarship, while Payton Davidson and Troy Ligget both received $14,000 from Albert H. Powers Family four-year scholarship.

When asked how she felt about leaving high school, Martin laughed and admitted she thought graduating would be more exciting.

“I am really excited to move across the country,” she said, ready to settle into Brunswick, Maine. “Coos Bay is a great town and a great place to grow up, but I’m excited for change and my parents are excited for me to experience something new.”

Martin plans on studying biology and then go on to attend grad school to study epidemiology, or public health with a focus on the study of disease.

“I have put a lot of work into school,” she said. “For me, it’s always been the most important thing. It predicts the rest of my future and is the key to where I want to go. I’ve worked hard and taken hard classes. I will also graduate from SWOCC and all of that is partly so I have the resume to get into a good college and know I’m prepared to be a competitive student once I’m there.”

But to her fellow students, she encouraged them to leave for a while, though not forever.

“Get out of Coos Bay,” she said. “See the world. Get some perspective.”

Reporter Jillian Ward can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, or by email at jillian.ward@theworldlink.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JE_Wardwriter.

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