College bound

FDSH seniors set their sites on college, careers

-Messenger file photo by Britt Kudla

Not surprisingly, a large chunk of students in the graduating class from Fort Dodge Senior High will continue their education at Iowa Central Community College.

Of the 201 students that submitted their post-high school plans to the high school, 94 will continue their education as a Triton. And of that group, a majority will head to the community college with several college credits already earned, thanks to the early bird and Triton Academy classes they can take while in high school.

The University of Northern Iowa was another popular destination for this year’s seniors. Fifteen graduates will be heading to Cedar Falls. Ten students from FDSH will head to Iowa State University, while seven are going to the University of Iowa.

Nine students will be attending college out of state, either a community college, trade school or four-year university.

One student is heading to a college in Florida while another will be going to Arizona State.

At least 22 students have chosen to enter the work force after high school, either heading directly to work or securing an apprenticeship.

Some areas of studies for the students from the graduating class are quite interesting and challenging. They range from veterinary/animal science, to aerospace engineering and chemical engineering.

Thirty students will be studying nursing in college, mostly at Iowa Central.

“Iowa Central is a great choice for nursing school. Financially it is a great option. There are so many scholarships and grant opportunities for nursing along with other medical professions,” said Kiley O’Leary, who teaches the health occupations classes at the high school. “It was predicted many years ago that there would be a shortage of nurses because of the baby boomer generation retiring. Unfortunately, COVID caused the shortage to happen earlier than predicted. It also caused high burn-out rates and less people went into the profession. Looking ahead, having a career in healthcare is a great option. Students can have a job in just about anything they want. The opportunities are endless.”

“Iowa Central has a great two-year nursing program. That’s mostly why I chose it,” said Fort Dodge senior Dari Cook. “Financially almost all of my tuition is paid for through scholarships, and I can live at home so I can go there nearly for free. Right now, I am thinking of going to the University of Iowa (after ICCC) to get a Bachelor of Science in nursing, but those plans may change.”

Cook also took advantage of college classes being offered at the high school. That has helped her as she heads to Iowa Central, she said.

“It helped me work toward an associates degree (because the nursing program is a certificate program), so I don’t have to do as much outside of the program,” she said.

Senior Kyra Raymond also agreed that taking college classes in high school helped her get a head start on college.

“I have taken enough classes in high school to be able to enter the nursing program right away when going to Iowa Central,” she said. “Taking classes while in high school has saved me a lot of money that I will now be able to put towards my tuition and supplies in the next two years.”

Senior Camden Doster also chose Iowa Central, she said, because of the ability to take classes while in high school and because of the strong nursing program.

“Iowa Central has grown tremendously over the years and this includes their nursing program as well. They have so many great resources and departments and it’s all for a very reasonable cost,” she said. “I also happen to have my tuition fully covered due to my GPA, which allows any other scholarship money I get to go toward other campus fees.”

Seven students from Senior High are planning to study education, with the goal of being an elementary or high school teacher. And seven students are going to study criminal justice in college.

“I chose criminal justice as a major because I was always interested in it as a kid and I like to help people out,” said senior Zeke Pineda, who will be attending Simpson College and will play football for the Storm.

Fort Dodge Senior High will hold its graduation on Saturday, June 1, at Dodger Stadium. The ceremony will begin at 7:30 p.m. Class Night will be held at 7 p.m. May 23 in the high school gymnasium.


Algona High School

2 p.m. May 19

High School gym

600 S. Hale St., Algona

Bishop Garrigan

2 p.m. May 12

Friedman Auditorium

1224 N. McCoy St., Algona

Eagle Grove H.S.

2 p.m. May 19

Elementary gym

425 N. Fort Ave.

Eagle Grove

East Sac County

2 p.m. May 19

East Sac Co. Jr./Sr. High

801 Jackson St.

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Fort Dodge Senior High

7:30 p.m. June 1

Dodger Stadium

1930 Elmhurst Ave.

Fort Dodge

Humboldt High School

2 p.m. May 19

High school gym

1500 Wildcat Road


Manson Northwest

Webster High School

1 p.m. May 19

MNW gymnasium

1601 15th St., Manson


2 p.m. May 12

High school gym

205 S. Clark St., Newell

Pocahontas Area

2 p.m. May 19

High school gym

205 Second Ave. N.W.


South Central Calhoun

1:30 p.m. May 19

High school gymnasium

709 W. Main St., Lake City

Southeast Valley H.S.

2 p.m. May 19

High school gymnasium

1005 Riddle St., Gowrie

Webster City H.S.

2 p.m. May 19

High school gym

1001 Lynx Ave.

Webster City

West Bend-Mallard

2:30 p.m. May 19

High school gym

300 Third Ave. S.W.

West Bend


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