On the Cutting Edge: West Medical Academy


2017 Medical Academy Graduates

Esat Saiti, Reporter

  West Anchorage High School was founded in 1953, making it the oldest high school in the Anchorage School District. Despite it’s physical age, West stays on the cutting edge by offering many Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses, such as the Medical Academy.

Although technically a club, the Academy is a part of the ASD Healthcare Academy and focuses on preparing students for careers in a healthcare field. They do this by practicing with hands-on activities and teaching an engaging curriculum. Examples of the learning environment for the students include being around other healthcare students, professionals, and sometimes patients, for obtaining the knowledge and learning to apply it in the real world. The courses are taught in the CTE wing, with state-of-the-art tools and technology. Utilizing modern equipment helps students stay current with professional standards.

Katrina Quinn has been teaching in the Academy at West for two years. Quinn teaches two Academy courses: Health Occupations and Essentials of Athletic Injuries.  When asked to define what the Academy is, she says, “the Medical Academy is a club where we meet every second Thursday of every month and we have different professionals come in who are within the medical field, and they talk about it, and it’s just exposure for kids.” Quinn says the Academy is pretty popular and also mentions the statistics. “On average there are 60 to 70 students that join but only 20 graduate from the Academy,” she says.

Quincy Lynch, a senior in the Medical Academy, says she loves it because the teachers and students are helpful and friendly. When asked who their favorite teachers in the academy are, Lynch said Evelyne Tunley, because “she tells funny stories and she has a great personality.”

John Maqui, a senior currently in the Medical Academy, says the academy is easy for him because subject matter is of interest to him. Maqui says he’s learned how to manage time and how to communicate with others from his medical classes. Some life skills that he picked up were CPR and oxygen treatments.

Maqui thinks the Medical Academy will help him get further  by making his college resume look more appealing to colleges and potentially medical schools. He recommends the Medical Academy for all students that are thinking about the medical profession because it prepares students very well for the future in the field.  Maqui praises Davis and Tunley for their effective teaching abilities. “They both teach very well and are great at engaging with their students,” he said.