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 Contact Information

Tabetha Reynolds
Assistant Principal

Debbie Austin
CVCC Liaison
2550 Highway 70 Southeast
Hickory, NC  28602
Office (828) 485-2980
Fax (828) 485-2981

 Office Hours

The CHS office is open
from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Monday - Friday

Quick Launch


Challenger Early College has opened its doors for the 10th year to a new class of incoming freshmen.  Serving 400 students from Alexander and Catawba Counties in partnership with the four school districts, CVCC, NC New Schools, and the NC Department of Public Instruction.  The early college supports project based and inquiry based learning while promising each student exposure to life-ready skills, infusion of the Habits of Mind and 21st Century Skills, adherence to the early college model, access to the Future Ready Core Diploma with the required university admissions courses, and access to earning an associate’s degree.  The school is the only early college in the state that offers a comprehensive performing arts program and interscholastic athletics program.  In terms of to economic impact, the school has created more than 100 additional local jobs, due to higher graduation rates and greater earning potential for our graduates earning Associate’s Degrees, and contributed in excess of a net half-million dollars to local government revenue with our total 419 graduates in our ten years according to the Regional Economic Analysis Laboratory at Clemson University.  For 10 years running, the Firebirds top the state and county in academics, attendance, and graduation rate.  In fact, the most recent data ranks Challenger Early College High School the number 2 high school in the state.  Designed around research, the school follows the national early college model offering students a personalized environment, powerful teaching and learning in classrooms, and a pervasive ready-for-college culture that creates pathways and opportunities for life in the 21st Century.


 Who does CHS serve.png

CHALLENGER school colors are Purple and Silver and the CHALLENGER mascot is the Phoenix.  A Phoenix, the mythical Firebird, will continuously rise from the ashes and keep trying to attain the vision.
Ninety-seven percent of the graduating students of 2015 are expected to earn their Associate Degree which is equivalent to two years of transferable college credit.  All graduates will have a college-ready high school diploma.  Pass rate of college courses:  92%.
Graduates are promised:
  • Infusion of the Habits of Mind and 21st Century Skills
  • Access to the University-prep Diploma and an Associate Degree
  • Exposure to Life-Ready skills
  • Fidelity to the Early College Model
Students at Challenger Early College complete a minimum of fifty hours of community service and an E-Portfolio that reinforce the tenets of integrity, stewardship, and citizenship. 


10 year Anniversary:
Challenger Early College Totals
80% first-generation college attendees
434 graduates
over 100 local jobs created
43,400 hours of volunteer community service
1 State and 1 National title in SkillsUSA events
#12 Robotics Team in the state
100% graduation rate
127 created jobs in the area
$779,000 revenue in the local government
19 million dollars in goods and services created in the local area
2,000 pounds of BBQ
10,000 egg rolls
320 AA degrees
3 AS degrees
41 AGE degrees
1 Assoc. of Fine Arts degree
1 SACS accreditation
4 promises to every graduate
1 principal of the year
1 counselor of the year
#2 high school in the state
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