• School: Joplin High School.
• Planned career field: Engineering.
• Long-range goals: To finish college, find a job and eventually complete a master’s program.
• Advice to freshmen for academic success: Study when you don’t know things, and don’t put things off.
• Parents: Jason and Dana Stokesbary.
• Inspiring educator: My freshman year, I decided to take the Intro to Engineering and Design class at Joplin High, taught by Mr. Donald Carey. This class and Mr. Carey got me not only more prepared for high school, but for life in general.
Mr. Carey pushed me to actually learn and understand concepts completely, and to apply them wherever possible. I am grateful for this, as that is a very valuable life skill: applying prior knowledge to situations to then be better prepared. The class was a lot of work. Much of it hard, but sometimes the work was simpler.
His class also taught me how to pace out the work, so that I can complete things on time, and put my best work forward at the same time. This scheduling is something I use often, even outside of schoolwork, and helps me be productive while also having time for myself. Mr. Carey’s class pushed me to put out better work, successfully structure my time to accomplish my goals, and introduced me to high school courses. For that, I am grateful.
• School: Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School.
• Planned career field: Medical.
• Long-range goals: My plan is to go to the University of Missouri honors college and major in chemistry. From there, I will go on to medical school to follow my dream of becoming a doctor. After I graduate medical school, I will go on to complete my residency in whatever I choose to specialize in. Once I finish my schooling, I want to start a family and practice medicine in a warm state such as Florida.
• Advice to freshmen for academic success: You do not have to have everything figured out yet. With that being said, give yourself the best opportunity for success so that doors are open to you in the future. Make sure you make memories throughout your years in high school. It goes by faster that you think.
For extracurriculars, make sure you do things that you are passionate about. Don’t just try and check boxes for college, but do things that are rewarding to you. Community involvement can be fun if you find things that you actually care about. Connect with people during high school. Being able to socialize and bond with people is a useful life skill and will give you connections which help in the future.
• Parents: Troy and Jennifer D’Amour.
• Inspiring educator: I would like to thank Mrs. Paula Bohm for challenging me the most to excel as a student. She taught me AP Calculus AB during my junior year. The class itself was definitely the hardest class I have taken, yet Mrs. Bohm’s positive attitude and confidence as a teacher made learning the subject very enjoyable. The concepts of the course were very difficult, but Mrs. Bohm set a positive tone in the classroom. This made everyone, including myself, highly motivated to learn and solidify the material in our brains.
When in-person school ceased to occur during the early stages of the pandemic, it was very easy to take classes less serious. Almost everyone was confused how to go about the online Zoom calls, and the lack of motivation was reflected by many students and teachers. Mrs. Bohm was an exception. She continued to push us through the lockdowns with practice AP tests and review Zoom classes. Without her, there is no way I would have performed as well as I did on the AP test. She truly motivated me to be a better student and pushed me harder than any prior teacher.