Kansas teen to get high school, Har­vard diplo­mas in 1 month

Miami Herald (Sunday) - - Nation -

ULYSSES, KAN.

A 16-year-old Kansas boy will soon earn his high school diploma — and a few days later he’ll travel to Har­vard to col­lect his bach­e­lor’s de­gree.

Ulysses High School se­nior Brax­ton Moral will at­tend both com­mence­ment cer­e­monies in May, be­com­ing the only stu­dent to suc­cess­fully pur­sue a four-year high school de­gree and a bach­e­lor’s de­gree from Har­vard at the same time, The Hutchin­son News re­ported .

Har­vard has changed the rules, Brax­ton’s fa­ther Car­los Moral said, so his son will “the one and only” reach­ing that mile­stone. Brax­ton Moral will be 17 when he gets his diplo­mas.

Car­los Moral said they be­gan to re­al­ize their son was spe­cial when he was in the third grade.

“They told us: ‘You need to do some­thing. He’s not just gifted. He’s re­ally, re­ally gifted,’ ” he said.

Brax­ton Moral skipped the fourth grade.

The Ulysses school dis­trict al­lowed him to take some high school classes while he was still in mid­dle school. Be­fore high school he took a class of­fered at Fort Hays State Univer­sity. Then he was ad­mit­ted into Har­vard.

Brax­ton Moral si­mul­ta­ne­ously stud­ied at the high school and the Har­vard Ex­ten­sion School. The pro­gram typ­i­cally serves adults who work and can’t at­tend classes on cam­pus full time.

Ulysses High School math teacher Patsy Love served as the proc­tor for the Har­vard pro­gram, ad­min­is­ter­ing Moral’s tests in Kansas. Moral spent the sum­mer be­fore his ju­nior year at Har­vard’s cam­pus in Cam­bridge, Mas­sachusetts.

“We con­stantly are mon­i­tor­ing Brax­ton to make sure he is not too over­whelmed,” said Julie Moral, Brax­ton Moral’s mother. “No achieve­ment is worth him be­ing un­happy.”

Brax­ton Moral is on track to grad­u­ate from the Bach­e­lor of Lib­eral Arts pro­gram, with a ma­jor gov­ern­ment and a mi­nor in English, said Harry Pierre, as­so­ciate di­rec­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions for Har­vard’s Divi­sion of Con­tin­u­ing Ed­u­ca­tion.

Brax­ton Moral said he hopes to at­tend Har­vard Law School next.

“Pol­i­tics is end game for me,” he said, though he’s still too young to vote.

SAN­DRA J. MILBURN The Hutchin­son News

Brax­ton Moral finds some free time to re­lax in his high school in Ulysses, Kansas. He is on sched­ule to grad­u­ate in May, then grad­u­ate from Har­vard days later.

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