Sears Sees Future Helping Others


It’s no doubt that being a PHS student and walking through these hallways is something that will stick for many years after high school is over. The graduates of Paoli can be found in all areas of life. They are set apart in different career fields, values, and lifestyles, but they all share the common origin of Paoli High School. What does it mean to be a graduate of PHS? And what kind of effects does it have throughout a person’s lifetime?

Clara Sears graduated in 2008 as salutatorian of her class. She went through high school in a family of five including one brother and one sister. Like most graduates of PHS, her high school years still have a lasting impact on her today. The lessons and memories created by her time in our classrooms and hallways are something she values to this day.

“I would say I enjoyed most of my time at PHS. I had some really good friends and we made some memories that will last a lifetime,” said Sears.

Life in PHS is still happening much like it did years ago. Sears recalls that her favorite part of high school life was being with her friends, something that is still heavily valued today. Sears also recalls some aspects of high school that she may have missed out on.

“If I had one regret it would probably be not going out for the volleyball team. As weird as that sounds I always thought it looked fun, and now that I don’t have that chance I wish I would have taken advantage of it while I could,” said Sears.

The community of Paoli is often closely tied with the happenings of the high school, in Sears’s case, the feeling of a close knit community was something she enjoyed and heavily relied on during her high school years.

“The lesson I learned from PHS was how important a solid community is to the development of students. Being surrounded by people and teachers that genuinely care about you is more valuable than most people think,” said Sears.

Today, Clara is currently enrolled in a doctorate program at the University of Louisville. She studies epidemiology, otherwise known as the branch of medicine dealing with control of diseases and factors related to public health. Sears feels that the work she is doing and will do in the future is very important and could help a lot of people stay healthy.

“I am interested in my field and finding new ways to help people stay well by controlling and slowing the spread of diseases,” said Sears.

All of these accomplishments can be traced back to Sears’s start at PHS, something that has given her academic and social experience for her life. Reflecting on her time in high school as a whole, Sears gives advice on what today’s kids should expect:

“If I could go back I don’t think I would do anything hugely different. I am happy with how my life was and where my decisions have brought me. I would say kids today need to learn work ethic for their lives after high school. They should read and study often. What you learn and do in high school is the mold for how you will be later in life.”

With the future bright for Sears she is continuing to explore her options for future employment, as well as working with doctors in hospitals currently to better the public health system. Sears is just one of the stories of PHS, finding its way out into the world to try and change it for the better.

Story by Dietrich Sears

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