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Knox County's Career Magnet Academy looking for students for Class of 2026

Want to graduate high school with your Associate's degree? That's doable at Knox County's Career Magnet Academy.

STRAWBERRY PLAINS, Tenn. — When it comes time to choose a high school in Knoxville, Career Magnet Academy wants you to consider them.

Students there can call themselves high schoolers and college kids at the same time.

"We're an early college magnet high school in partnership with Pellissippi State Community College," said Principal Matthew Mosley. "So we offer the opportunity for our students to earn as little or as much college credit as they choose to starting right out the gate when they come into high school."

Junior Tucker Riley is taking advantage of that. He's on track to graduate high school with an Associate's degree.

"I have no high school classes, all college classes this semester," said Tucker.

Those classes are conveniently located upstairs, since Career Magnet Academy is on Pellissippi State Community College's Strawberry Plains campus.

Sophomore Micah McGill is on the fast track, too.

"My main goal is to get my Associate's degree before I graduate with my high school degree," she said.

Tucker and Micah were zoned to go to Carter and Fulton high schools, respectively, but both had their reasons for choosing Career Magnet Academy instead.

"Not only because it'd be a new experience, but also just because I thought about taking a chance and the head start I could get come into Career Magnet Academy," said Tucker.

"I liked how small it was," said Micah. "Because that just meant that I could really talk to my teachers, talk to my peers and just get to know everybody."

At 255 students, the size has been a problem in the past, prompting the Knox County Board of Education to consider closing Career Magnet due to costs three years ago.

Mosley said the school is working to attract more students.

"We can design a path for every individual that comes to us, period," he said. "We do not have one expectation for every student at our school. We want to know, why are you here? What are your goals for the future? How do we put a whole package together that's going to serve you as an individual."

Tucker and Micah both play on the golf team, are involved in clubs and Micah even serves as sophomore class president.

They said they don't feel like they're missing out on the 'traditional' high school setting and experience.

"I don't think I miss out on a regular high school because I know I still have plenty of connections with people at Carter," said Tucker. "And I still reach out and I go, but no, I don't think I miss miss out on a high school experience. I like this a lot better."

Tucker and Micah are hoping more Knox County students will join them at Career Magnet.

The school is having an open house for perspective students and parents at 5:30 p.m. on February 10th. 

Career Magnet Academy is located at 7171 Strawberry Plains Pike.

Any student who lives in Knox County is welcome to apply through KCS's transfer portal.

The deadline to apply to the school is February 28.