‘It’s much more than getting the pretty report card’: JCHS senior reflects on her state recognition

JUNCTION CITY, Kan. — Lifelong Junction City resident Kaelyn Burch has been heavily involved in her past four years at Junction City High School, from dancing to working as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) to keeping good grades to volunteering within her community.

All this hard work led Burch to be recognized as a Kansas Career and Technical Education Scholar by the Kansas State Department of Education, one of only 50 other high school seniors within the state. However, when she applied for the recognition, she wasn’t expecting to receive it.

“I just thought I might not be recognized for my academics because I was seeing myself as average, but getting the award made me realize it’s much more than just getting the pretty report card, there’s a lot more tied into it,” Burch said. “There are a lot more aspects like getting involved in your community, extracurricular activities, and just being a well-rounded person, in general, can get you recognized.”

Through her competitive and high school dance team, Burch volunteered heavily within her community, dancing for cancer research, teaching Special Olympics, and holding dance classes for those with special needs.

“A lot of it was built around dance,” Burch said. “Dance really got me involved.”

Additionally, working as a CNA at a local nursing home allowed Burch the opportunity to discover her passion and what she wants to continue after graduation. Burch also credits Junction City High School’s Science Engineering Technology Academy for helping her have real-world experience within the healthcare field before she even began her career.

“I’ve got to take classes that interest me, as well as getting personal experience,” Burch said. “I’ve had teachers who are passionate about the subjects they’re teaching, and it really helped me be able to decide what I want to do with my life.”

After graduation, Burch plans to attend Wichita State University to study nursing and continue with her education to become a physician’s assistant.

Geary County Schools USD 475 congratulates Burch for this significant achievement and looks forward to seeing the accomplishments she will continue to make.

For inquiries, please contact Lindley Lund, Marketing and Media Specialist for Geary County Schools USD 475, at lindleylund@usd475.org.