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. Public Schools of North Carolina . . State Board of Education . . Department Of Public Instruction .



Sixteen-year-old Corban Hossley grinned in a red Balfour Education Center sweatshirt Friday afternoon, clutching a certificate of completion that gives him a leg up on his peers. When the East Henderson High junior turns 18, he'll be certified as a level II firefighter in the state.Hossley was one of 14 career-ready cadets to graduate as the first inaugural class of Balfour Education Center's Fire Fighter Academy. The graduates were the first to complete the public safety and fire technology course offered through Henderson County Public Schools' Career and Technical Education program.The one-year course, which began last January, allowed cadets to complete 19 out of 20 courses needed to obtain certification as a level II firefighter, with transferable college credits. The accomplishment is something most firefighters can't begin to work on until their 18th birthday — an age requirement needed to begin the level I/level II course at the Henderson County Fire Academy.When Hossley turns 18, his certificate will be waiting for him, thanks to the school system's free program at Balfour.