Scholar of the Yr pursues profession path with ardour


Jun. 25—Carsyn Gragg all the time cherished animals and has needed to be a veterinarian since kindergarten.

The 2022 McAlester grad mentioned she grew up on a farm and all the time needed to assist animals earlier than she developed extra curiosity within the medical discipline as she grew as much as cement her determination to pursue a profession as a vet.

Gragg mentioned she questioned her curiosity as a highschool junior — “do I actually need to do that or is that this just a bit child factor?” she laughed.

However she entered the McAlester Excessive College internship program and interned at a neighborhood veterinary clinic, the place Gragg realized her ardour might be a profession.

She mentioned Dr. Jesse Patton at Patton Veterinary Clinic in McAlester supplied perception into the sphere and steering for numerous accidents veterinarians see in animals introduced into their workplaces.

“With any surgical procedure, whether or not it was a spay or neuter or leg amputation, he would take the time to say ‘placed on a pair of gloves and really feel this type of tissue and this muscle,'” Gragg mentioned.

“He simply defined every part intimately and I fell in love with being a vet — like ‘now I do know that is for me,'” Gragg mentioned.

Gragg was a co-valedictorian within the MHS Class of 2022 and plans to attend Oklahoma State College and pursue veterinary college.

She was a scholar of the month at MHS, an Oklahoma Educational All State nominee, government president of the MHS Scholar Council, president of MHS’s Nationwide Honor Society, a varsity soccer captain, lead drummer on MHS drum line, obtained a number of scholarships, and is concerned in a number of organizations and actions.

Gragg was not too long ago named the Patriot Auto Group of McAlester and McAlester Information-Capital’s Scholar of the Yr throughout Thursday’s banquet on the McAlester Nation Membership — and she or he gained a free 2022 Jeep Compass.

She sat behind the wheel and mentioned it’s a blessing and an improve from her 2013 Ford Focus that has roughly 200,000 miles.

“My mother was involved about me driving to varsity,” Gragg mentioned. “She was involved about me going forwards and backwards.

“So that is undoubtedly going to assist me journey safely,” she added.

Gragg thanked a number of lecturers, college officers, her mother and father and lots of extra.

Six finalists for the highest honor additionally included Savanna’s Ariana Byington, Calvin’s Kylee Tollett, Crowder’s Madison White, and McAlester’s Taylor Kelley and Emilee Coxsey.

Patriot Auto partnered with the McAlester Information-Capital in 2019 for the Scholar of the Yr program to acknowledge college students in McAlester and the encircling areas.

Tatton Manning, Patriot Auto Group principal supplier, mentioned he enjoys seeing native college students present management and needed this system to acknowledge them for these efforts.

“All the finalists work more durable than any of us can think about,” Manning mentioned. “I do not know the way any of them sleep they make good grades and they are going to exit in to the world and do nice issues.”

“We recognize our partnership with Patriot Auto Group to make this program doable to honor and acknowledge wonderful college students in our space,” Information-Capital Writer Reina Owens mentioned. “College students in our space proceed working within the classroom and out of it to offer our neighborhood, our society a brighter future.”

This system began in 2015 with the primary automobile given to the Scholar of the Yr in 2016 on the Bartlesville dealership — with Patriot Auto Group giving college students a minimum of a dozen autos by this system since then. He mentioned this system stemmed from the thought of recognizing college students for his or her work within the classroom and in the neighborhood.

Crowder’s Kiley Watkins turned the primary McAlester-area Scholar of the Yr in 2019 and McAlester’s Zoie Newman gained the award in 2020.

Highschool seniors turn out to be eligible for Scholar of the Yr with native college officers nominating them. A variety committee picks the scholars of the month all year long and narrows the sphere to the finalists.

A variety committee narrowed the sphere to 6 finalists as an alternative of 5 as a consequence of a tie in scoring from a earlier spherical.

The finalists accomplished a video essay and a written essay as a part of the ultimate spherical.

Gragg was chosen because the winner of the highest honor and obtained a 2022 Jeep Compass, valued at $30,000 and supplied by Patriot Auto of McAlester.

She mentioned a number of folks impacted her schooling.

She thanked McAlester Excessive College instructor Rachel Morris for displaying her she’s able to finishing robust challenges. Gragg additionally thanked MHS instructor and scholar council advisor Tim Collier for instructing her to trust in herself. She thanked Esther Santos, a fellow coach of MAC United soccer, for serving to her deal with work-life stability.

Gragg additionally thanked her mother and father, Chad and Ashley Gragg, for his or her assist and motivation.

“My mother is aware of how necessary my schooling is to me and so it is necessary to her,” Gragg mentioned. “She’s all the time been my largest cheerleader and she or he pushed me to pushed me to achieve my highest potential in my schooling.”

“And my dad has been there for all of it; the great, the unhealthy — every part,” Gragg mentioned.

“They push me to do the most effective with my schooling and so they’re supportive of me in every part,” Gragg mentioned.

Gragg is gaining extra expertise within the veterinary discipline by working at Patton Veterinary Clinic this summer season as she prepares to maneuver to Stillwater, the place she’s going to pursue a veterinary diploma at Oklahoma State College.

She can be going forwards and backwards from residence to Stillwater for orientations — honors faculty, Freshmen in Transition, President’s Management Council, and extra — plus team-building camps, and the precise transfer.

“I keep busy so this automotive is so good,” she chuckled.

Contact Adrian O’Hanlon III at


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