Braxton Citizens' News, Schools

Laina Hamner balances academics and extracurricular activities

By Shirley Shuman

Seventh in the BCHS Class of 2024, Laina Hamner manages to participate in several extracurricular activities. She served as manager of the football team all four years of her high school career, and she is currently president of HOSA. The daughter of Mahalia and Robert Hamner is also the Health Occupations CTE program representative and belongs to the local chapter of the National Honor Society.

In the academic area of school, she chose Health Occupations as her favorite class because “it involves hands-on, living experiences and connects us to the outside world,” she explained. Linda Brooks and J.D. Drake are her favorite teachers.  “Mrs. Brooks is a great mentor,” she said. “She has always been there for me not only in classes but also personally.”  Of her other choice, she said, “Mr. Drake is a very respected and respectable man. He also tells you what you need to hear in any situation and is always very helpful.”

After four years in the Health Occupations cluster at Braxton County High, Hamner plans to pursue a BSN/RN pathway at the University of Charleston. “I’ve always wanted to be in the medical field to help people, and there is a great shortage of nurse,” she said.

Regarding what has had the biggest impact on her high school career, Hamner answered quickly. “The teachers and being with classmates,” she said. “Our teaches are great people to talk to and great mentors. School may be boring at times, but we can work with peers to make it more interesting.”

The senior also mentioned the negative impact of the pandemic and noted, “It especially impacted those in medical fields because of the need for hands-on learning in that field. Going for two and one-half years without hands-on definitely affected us negatively.”

As she prepares to leave BCHS, Hamner offered some advice for incoming freshman. “You need time management,” she stated. “In addition to hard work and effort in your studies, don’t forget to hang out with friends and enjoy life,” she added.  This young woman fully intends to follow her own advice once she begins her studies at the University of Charleston.