Braxton Citizens' News, Schools

Brehana Smarr see Covid as having big impact on students

Sixth in Braxton County High’s Class of 2023, Brehana Smarr still sees some impact of the pandemic on students. “Missing some of my freshman year and all of my sophomore year really affected me and everyone else,” she said. “Being virtual and being restricted because of Covid really prevented us from having some of the important high school memories. It was hard being away from everyone.”

However, even though she has felt the effect of the time outside the school environment, Smarr has managed to make the most of the last two years of high school. She has been active during that time and has enjoyed the activity. Four years of playing soccer and basketball dominate in the extracurricular activities she named. She also belongs to student council and the local chapter of the National Honor Society.

Outside of school, Smarr is a busy young woman. “Usually, I spend most of my time outside of school working at Starbucks. Sometimes I feel like I’m always at Starbucks if I’m not at school,” she noted.  When she does have free time, she spends it with friends and family and in reading.

One of the sports she played appears in her response to a query about what she has enjoyed most about high school. “Playing soccer was one of the highlights of my high school career,” she said.  “I got to be with my friends every day, and I saw a lot of my dad and got closer to him during the time we spent together in soccer,” she added.

Smarr, whose parents are Nate and Jessica Smarr, has enjoyed most of her classes, but her favorite is math with instructor Mackenzie Helmick. “I really like math,” she said, “because once you learn a formula, you can solve any problem involving that formula. I also liked having Mrs. Helmick as a teacher because she made an impact on me and having her around was awesome.”

Jerry Frame is her favorite teacher for several reasons. To begin, he was her basketball coach during her freshman and sophomore years “and did an amazing job connecting with [his players].”  She also discussed Frame as a classroom instructor. “I don’t like social studies usually but really enjoyed his classes because he knows how to relate to his students,” she said.

Smarr plans to enroll in West Virginia University this fall to begin working toward a degree in pharmacy. “I wanted to go into the medical field because I really wanted to help people. Since almost everyone takes medicine sometime, by distributing it, I’ll be helping,” she said. This Top10 senior would like to tell incoming freshmen “Don’t wish your high school years away. Enjoy the time you’re in high school.”  Smarr noted that she hasn’t always done that. “I sometimes wished I was out of school, and now it’s less than a month until graduation and I realize I really should have made the most out of my time while I was here.”