With parents, siblings and others watching, Newark High School students participating in the Project Lead the Way BioMedical Sciences program recently were outfitted for their participation in the college and career readiness program.
The 22 new students who were able to attend the ceremony received white lab coats. This symbolic gesture was borrowed from a tradition at the University of Rochester Medical School.
The PLTW-BMS Community Partnership Team, comprised of biomedical professionals, parents, educators and students, liked the idea. They started a similar tradition four years ago in Newark with the hope of creating a greater sense of belonging for new students in the program as well as enhancing community spirit and hometown pride in their work.
The new biomedical students were helped into their new jackets by older students in the program. Noah Arnold, a four-year participant, told attendees that the biomedical course is “above average” and provides a “mind-blowing” experience at the high school level.
“I couldn’t think of anything I could do to make it better,” Arnold said.
Shawn Flanagan is the biomedical sciences teacher at NHS. He is a state-certified paramedic and the director of junior membership for Newark Emergency Medical Services. Flanagan spoke at the ceremony about the program’s inception and how it continues to grow.
Newark is one of three PLTW Biomedical Sciences programs in the region, and is the only local course to be nationally certified. Flanagan said it gives students who are considering a career in the medical field distinct advantages, including exposure to a wide array of experiences that help them discover — before college — if it is really a good fit for them.
“After this first year, you are either going to love it or say ‘no way,’ and that’s OK,” Flanagan told students during the ceremony. “I’d rather you find out now than after spending $20,3040 or $50,000 in college.”
He said the program is bolstered by support from the Newark Central School District administration and board of education, Principal Tom Roote and his administrative team, and the Community Partnership Team. So much so that they approved and hired a second teacher, James Breithaupt, to teach freshmen this year.
“As our program continues to grow and become a lot for one person to handle, our principal and others selected someone to join us who is a fantastic teacher,” Flanagan said. “It’s all for the freshmen and it’s going to be fantastic.’’
Breithaupt, who also teaches living environment at NHS, received his own white coat at the ceremony. He previously taught high school science for five years at Canyon View Preparatory Academy in Prescott, Arizona.
Richard Martin officiated at the event. He and his wife, Jerri, helped with the white coat and participation pin ceremony, and provided refreshments.
The following students participate in the biomedical sciences program at NHS.
New students: Kelsie Adams, Preston Berrios, Lacey Boshetto, Kylee Camacho, Gabriel Caraballo, Morgan Davis, Elissa Fenty, Alana Hicks, Lydia Hinkle, Justan Hughson, Amber Johnson, Kassandra Ladd, Ondrayus Parish, Taylor Serrett, Jayce Smith, Donald Tonkinson, Jeydimar Viera, Roxanne Wang, Victoria Ward, Tamia Watkins, Emelina Wilck and Angelina Wood.
Second-year: Arianna Conant, Tyler Craig, Jared Dennis, Jade Eldridge, Hunter Horvat, Meghan Johnson, Samantha Johnson, Jordan Marvin, Ciera McShanley, Riley Rice, Joseph Shaw, Julius Teabout, Annie Ventura, Jackson Vermeulen, Cameron Watson and Kyle Wood.
Third-year: Olivia Daniels and Evelyn LoTempio.
Fourth-year: Noah Arnold, Kailyn Crawford, Adian Elliott, Koebi Gorske, Jaiden Hernandez, Alexis Horn, Elizabeth Lang and Phillip Ross.
Refreshments were provided after the ceremony by the PLTW-BMS Community Partnership Committee.