Students have good foundation

Published 7:43 pm Monday, May 27, 2019

Future psychologists, nurse practitioners, physical therapists, veterinarians, genetic counselors, forensic scientists, trauma surgeons, pharmacists and more have been molded over the last four years in their time at Lakeland High School.

The 17 special graduates soon to graduate from Lakeland recently had their graduation ceremony for its Project Lead the Way Biomedical Sciences Program. This special program, held just at Lakeland, draws students from across the district to get challenged especially in the biomedical sciences fields.

Each of them had shown an interest in the biomedical sciences and entered this program expecting rigorous work to learn critical thinking skills, effective communication, the value of diversity and a commitment to lifelong learning, which are all essential not only in the biomedical sciences but, really, in any field.

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Based on the students’ gratitude to program instructor Sarah McDonald, we think they’re destined for great things.

“I would just like to say thank you, Ms. McDonald, for everything that you’ve done for all of the past four years,” said LHS senior and program graduate Sarah Wallace-Stansick. “She goes above and beyond for all of her students. She treats us like we’re her own children, like she said.”

The students donned white coats as they prepared to move from high school to college. We are certain these students are well prepared for their programs at such well-regarded four-year institutions as Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia State University, George Mason University, Virginia Tech, Old Dominion University, Emory University, Norfolk State University, University of North Carolina and Emory and Henry College. Some students are making the smart move of starting out at Tidewater Community College, while another plans to start her career with service to her country through the U.S. Army.

This was the second graduating class for this program, so there is not yet a plethora of practicing scientists of all sorts that owe their start to this particular program. We are certain, however, that with time, the biomedical sciences around the world will begin to see the fruits from this excellent program at Lakeland High School.