Education

Shelter Island School senior graduates with 46 college credits

A recent Shelter Island graduate is poised to complete his college undergraduate degree in two-and-a-half years.

Tyler Gulluscio, 17, has begun his studies at Florida Southern College this fall, but already has 46 credits toward his bachelor’s degree, thanks to his ability to take college courses while still in high school. Besides saving time, his family is saving money on tuition had he taken those credits in college.

Tyler was in the 8th grade when he first heard about the program that allows students to take courses that give college credits beginning in the 10th grade.

Graduating as a member of the National Honor Society, Tyler was active in student government and was a Peer Leader in the Anti-Defamation League program. Despite carrying a heavy load of academic subjects, he found time for cross country running, track, basketball and baseball, and won numerous awards.

He also received a number of scholarship awards to further offset his college costs.

The college-credit program is in conjunction with Suffolk County Community College’s Beacon Program and St. John’s University’s Advantage Program, according to guidance counselor Martha Tuthill.

Generally, students who enroll in the program earn a semester’s worth of credits, but Tyler was determined to push himself and worked with Ms. Tuthill to select courses, including those in biology and English. He described his mentor as “the greatest guidance counselor ever,” saying she helped many students to pursue the advanced coursework.

“I’m thrilled for him that he is off to a great start,” Ms. Tuthill said.

Not all colleges accept the credits, Ms. Tuthill said, but many private and public schools in and out of state do.

Florida Southern was Tyler’s only serious choice of colleges. He received early acceptance, so he knew throughout most of his senior year in high school where he would be studying. When he finishes his bachelor’s degree, he intends to pursue a graduate degree with an eye to teaching history and coaching high school sports.

In pursuing a course of studies for a career in education, he will be following in his parents’ footsteps. His father, Todd Gulluscio, is Director of Athletics, Physical Education, Health, Wellness & Personnel for the District and his mother, Jennifer Gulluscio, is a reading teacher.

Not only does he aspire to a career in education and coaching, but would love to do so in a small district like Shelter Island or, better yet, at Shelter Island School, he said.