SPARKS — The small high school of Excel Christian now houses all grade levels on one campus, a feature benefitting senior Haley Etchart, who is researching how to develop young leaders.
Etchart is undertaking the task as part of her senior project, a year-long process that will feature a 10-page paper, a PowerPoint presentation and a slew of information. As the senior class Secretary, Etchart works with the sixth-grade class officers frequently and has been amazed at the cabinet’s growth as leaders.
“(The sixth graders) are working very hard, but they come at it from a sixth-grade standpoint and it really made me realize that we can help make these kids leaders at any age,” Etchart said.
In addition to Etchart’s senior project, which is being done for her College Prep class at Excel Christian, she is handling a full schedule that includes English, Pre-Calculus, Government, Anatomy, Yearbook and Leadership. She said though she enjoys the lively discussion and the “outside-the-box” mentality of her Government class, she finds Leadership to be her favorite.
“I started in Leadership last year and it was never really a finite class. We would just agree to meet at lunch or something like that,” Etchart said. “The class is mostly made up of kids who know their way around the school and have been here for a while longer, but all of us really enjoy being at the school and always showed up early or stayed late to help set up or clean up even before Leadership was an actual class.”
As graduation quickly approaches, Etchart said she would like to study medicine in college and eventually make a career out of it. She said the field of medicine has been intriguing to her since she was very young and the more she is able to understand the more she yearns to know.
“I have always loved medicine in general. It has fascinated me, and I always jump back and forth between what career I want to have, but medicine is something where I am always of service to other people,” she said. “There is always something you can do for other people and medicine is always going to be necessary.”
Etchart has been exploring her options for colleges and said she is hoping to find an out-of-state college on the West Coast. She said the idea of “diving in full fledged” to a new city and school is something she looks forward to.
“I love traveling and I love being in different places. I have always lived in Reno so I think for me it is nice to be able to say that I am not running away I just want to go somewhere where I can be brand new,” she said.
Whitworth University and Seattle Pacific University, both located in Washington state, are on the top of Etchart’s list thus far. She said she plans to apply to “as many (colleges) as possible” to ensure she has a back-up plan.
As for her future career in medicine, she said entering the field of surgery would be a great fit for her. She said its complexity and push toward modern technology would keep the job entertaining and diverse.
“I would really love to get into surgery. It is really so cool how we can do so much with the human body and they don’t even feel it,” Etchart said. “It seems foreign, but it’s new and it’s changing. You are never going to run out of possibilities with it and I think that is so cool.”