Dare to Excel: Nakota Buchanan

Posted 6/14/22

Looking back on her high school career, newly graduated Wright City student Nakota Buchanan will be able to say that she was one of the highest performing students in her class during one of the …

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Dare to Excel: Nakota Buchanan

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Looking back on her high school career, newly graduated Wright City student Nakota Buchanan will be able to say that she was one of the highest performing students in her class during one of the strangest times to be a high school student.

Buchanan was among the school’s less than 100 Wright City seniors who were honored to walk across the graduation stage last weekend and celebrate the completion of 12 years of study. On top of recognition for that achievement, Buchanan was also adorned on graduation day with awards recognizing her summa cum laude academic status, high grades, participation in the A+ and National Honor Society programs, and multiple awards for being a leading student in the school’s health occupation class and programs.

“It was nice to be able to show all of my accomplishments,” Buchanan commented.

She also has tried a number of other academic and social activities as a student in order to be involved, but said that she narrowed her focus in her senior year to the activities she really enjoys and cares for.

“It was a lot balancing all of that, but I loved it,” she added.

Buchanan is looking forward to a future career as a registered nurse working in hospital operating rooms, and also hopes to become a volunteer firefighter. She plans to fully complete her college studies at St. Charles Community College, having come out of high school with a semester of college credit already completed.

One of Buchanan’s main focuses as a student was the health occupation program at the high school, which includes a semester full of clinical visits to different health services and preparations for future health careers.

“It made me want to go into nursing even more. I got to see a child birth ... I got to go on an emergency call. It was a flipped car,” she recalled. “I got to go into an OR, and that’s how I learned I wanted to do OR. I never thought I could handle it ... (but) I was like, ‘Oh, I like this.’”

Q: What’s been your biggest challenge?
“I definitely struggle with procrastinating and making sure I knew everything I needed to get done. ... And it was also hard for me to balance school with the social part of the high school experience.”

Q: Did anything help you keep up?
“Every week I would make a to-do list to keep organized. ... And then I had certain days dedicated to different classes.”

Q: What impact did COVID have on your schooling?
“It affected more the social aspect and norms of high school, but the education stayed the same. All the teachers did amazing.”

Q: What advice would you give to younger students?
“Don’t overwork yourself. ... Get your good grades, but don’t make yourself miss out on all the other opportunities that high school gives.
“Also, if you’re confused in class, just raise your hand. It’s hard ... but it will better you in the long run.
“And don’t join a lot of clubs that you don’t want to be in, just to have your name on more things (and look better). I did that ... but I ended up not enjoying many of them.”

Favorite food: Cheeseburger
Favorite show: “New Girl”
Favorite movie: “The Help”
Favorite music: Bluegrass country
Favorite destination: Vermont

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