Dare to Excel

This outstanding Warrenton student is a champion focused on the future

By Jason Koch, Editor
Posted 12/20/23

Phillip Kackley is a Warrenton High School senior who just medaled at the Missouri state cross country championships and is interested in going into a health occupation.

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Dare to Excel

This outstanding Warrenton student is a champion focused on the future


Phillip Kackley is a well-known student athlete at Warrenton High School

He medaled at the MSHSAA state cross country championship in November, finishing in 29th place.

Not bad for a young man who was just in his second year as a runner.

But Phillip is also focused on the future, and he has his eyes on a career in the medical field.

Here’s how being a runner on both the Warriors cross country and track teams, and being enrolled in health occupations has helped the high school senior figure out who he is and what he wants to do with his life.

Q: What do you do with health occupations?

“We learn about all the different systems and it helps prepare us for different jobs, helps us see what we like, what we don’t like. It just gives us an idea for people interested in the health care field.”

Q: Is that what you want to do?

“Yeah. Not completely decided yet, but I’ll figure it out.”

Dare to Excel: Liberty Christian senior Andreanna Scheltens

Q: What are some of the things in health care that you’re considering?

“An optometrist, a dentist, or maybe a chiropractor. Those are some of the things I’m interested in.”

Q: What got you interested in health care?

“One of my former classmates and team members, she did health occupations last year and she just said she had a great time with it and it’s just an amazing program. And just the things she described, it sounded like something I’d be interested in."

Q: What made you think you’d be interested in it?

“I think it's my personality and I think it seems like a very fulfilling career. Something that I’d be happy with and it’d be nice to know that I’m helping someone every day.”

Dare to Excel: Wright City senior Charleigh Ferrell

Q: What did you learn from running cross country this year?

“Preparation is key, like with running. The only reason I had such a good season was because I trained the entire summer and you can’t do anything without the proper training or studying, in this case. You really just need to make sure you do the work.”

Q: How has your desire to go into health shaped your senior year so far?

“I was planning on taking a bunch of easier classes in my senior year just to kind of ease out of high school and then into college, kind of a break year. But with health, I’ve taken a harder class load and am really just trying to learn as much as I can before I go off to college.”

Q: Besides what you learned about preparation and everything, what else did you learn from running cross country this year?

“You can do more than you think. I mean, as you’re running, it feels awful. Running is not fun. But you can push yourself way harder than you think you can. It’s really good.”

Dare to Excel: Warrenton senior Roy Briggs

Q: Have you decided on a college yet?

“I’ve decided on Missouri Baptist University.”

Q: What made you choose Missouri Baptist?

“I really liked the coach. The coaches were amazing. Everybody was super, just very welcoming there. And the Christian atmosphere was very important to me as well. And they also have a very good running program."

Q: How did you get involved in cross country and track here at school?

“I’d actually never run before high school. I did the mile in PE and I had a pretty good time and my PE coach was like ‘hey, you should do track,’ and I did it. And I really like it, so I felt like this is something I could really excel at.”

Dare to Excel: Wright City senior Tayla Payne

Q: What do you like about it?

“I just liked that it all kind of rides on you. I previously played soccer and it was kind of frustrating to me whenever I'd been playing well, but the team wouldn’t and we’d still lose. But with track, it’s all up to you. If you have a bad race, then that’s on you. If you have a good race, that was all you.”

Favorite class: Body conditioning

Favorite food: “I really like shrimp.”

Favorite kind of music: Indie alternative

Favorite band or musician: Dominic Fike

Favorite vacation destination: Oregon

warrenton, high school, student, health, athlete