A focus on medical careers

The renovation of Hawthorne Academy of Health Sciences was celebrated Nov. 12, with students, staff and district administrators coming together to dedicate the school.

The program included remarks from Principal Diann Weston, Superintendent Ann Clark and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education member Rhonda Lennon, who represents District 1.

Lennon spoke about her own career as a nurse, saying that opportunities today are truly amazing.

"With the education you are getting at Hawthorne, you are going to make this world a better place. The career opportunities facing you are endless," Lennon said.

Weston said the school's business and healthcare partners are giving students an academic experience they wouldn't be able to get at any other school.

"There has been a lot of support for Hawthorne being a health sciences school," said Weston. "This school gives students wide and varied Hawthorne-ribbon cutting_14 INSIDE.jpgexperiences of what they can actually do. It makes it real. They are adding to their academic resumes and also gaining career experience."

During the ceremony, three students were recognized for their accomplishments. Junior Bryan Rodriguez was awarded the Hawk Spirit Award for designing the school's logo. Daniela Guzman won the Hawk Health Sciences Award for achieving Certified Nursing Assistant status as a junior. Senior Ranekqwa Edwards was presented with the Hawks Scholarship Award for being offered a renewable scholarship at Wingate University.

Bryan entered a contest his freshman year at Hawthorne to have a logo put on a t-shirt.

"I thought it would be cool to have that on a shirt. That's all I thought it was going to be. Then at the beginning of this year I started noticing it on the papers coming home. I said, 'That's my design.'"

Asked what he wants to do with his future using his experience gained at Hawthorne, Bryan said, "I want to go into art therapy. I like art and I want to help people."

The renovation was done with funds from the 2007 bond. The whole school was renovated, and now serves grades nine through 12. Hawthorne has 31 classrooms and a total of 107,000 square feet.