Career path: Kindergarten teacher

A Center Grove teen had dreamed of graduating early, just like her father did.

But when her father was diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer, Kayla Corbett was struggling to concentrate and began falling behind in her classes. That was when she transferred to the Center Grove Alternative Academy, with the hope to at least catch up to her peers, if not graduate early.

She couldn’t catch up with her father, who graduated as a junior, but Corbett is finishing school six months early, and getting an early start in working to help pay for college.

“Since she came here last year, she has always wanted to do her absolute best in every single class,” said Center Grove Alternative Academy director Beth Bryant.

Attending classes at the alternative academy also helped Corbett decide on a future career as a kindergarten teacher.

On Fridays, students at the alternative academy volunteer throughout Johnson County. Corbett has spent the last year volunteering at one of Center Grove’s elementary schools, assisting teachers by doing everything from making copies of assignments to helping students make crafts. That work led Corbett to decide she wants to be a kindergarten teacher.

“My mom was surprised at how far I had come from last year,” Corbett said.

She plans to start taking college classes once she saves money. Corbett has been working after school as a hostess, but now that she’s graduated, she plans to work full-time to save more money for college.

The Corbett File

Name: Kayla Corbett

Age: 17

School: Center Grove Academy

Future plans: Go to college to be a kindergarten teacher