STEM School graduates its first class

The Dayton Regional STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) School in Kettering celebrated a milestone June 1 with its first graduating class — the Class of 2013.

With co-valedictorians Anna Marie Bowsher and Madeline Grace Nagel, the class of 52 students is comprised of 46 graduates who will attend a two- or a four-year college or university. Five graduates are pursuing the military.

“Everyone in our class is going to have a phenomenal future and be successful whichever road they choose to go down, because of the foundation that the school has given us,” said Valedictorian Anna Marie Bowsher.

Bowsher, who has attended the school since its inception, earned a 4.0 GPA. After graduation, she plans to pursue medicine at Texas A & M University-Commerce in the fall.

“The school has given me direction. I have taken a lot of opportunity to advance in the biological sciences,” Bowsher said. “I have had so many opportunities to pursue my interests and I know my friends have had opportunities to pursue theirs. It has been a big help to have that kind of foothold in our interest areas.”

With help from faculty, staff and peers, she said internships, integrated projects and collaborations promote a positive culture for learning, while allowing each student to pursue his or her own interests.

Graduating senior, Jeremiah Ross has been a student at the school since the tenth grade. He has signed up for the military and is pursuing the Air Force, starting as an A2 Airborne Linguist. He expects to be stationed in Nevada.

“I am going to college part-time, while I am working a regular job,” Ross said.

Although he was a student, he also enjoyed assisting his teachers with various projects. One example was working on a bottle rocket unit for the ninth-graders. He helped build launchers and fix technologies. He said the school has taught him to be more flexible and to adapt rapidly to changing situations.

“How that will help me in the military is that I’ll be moving around a lot, so I will have to continually adapt to new jobs, changing environments, or challenging situations.”

According to Laurie A. McFarlin, Director, Communications and Partnerships, Dayton Regional STEM School, the school is always looking for ways to be relevant in the community and in the world. In order to do that, she said there is a strong base of community and business partners, who are actively involved in the school.

“We look for every opportunity to have the content areas integrate and interact with each other. We also look for ways to publicly display and celebrate what our students are doing,” McFarlin said.

Officials said the Dayton Regional STEM School’s Class of 2013 students have been offered 1.6 million scholarship dollars. Founded in 2009, the public school is one of 10 STEM schools across Ohio. The school’s curriculum engages students in an inquiry-based, hands-on, individualized learning experience and serves students in grades 6 through 12 in Montgomery, Greene, Clark and Warren Counties.