New medical teacher, program goals for HOSA


The medical program at Parrish Community High School is expanding  thanks to April Thornton, PCHS’s new medical teacher. It may be  Thornton’s  first year teaching high school, but she has been teaching nursing students and peers for over twelve years at hospitals she had previously worked for.

Thornton first attended the University of Florida for architecture, but soon realized her true passion was in helping those in need through nursing. Thornton then attended Hillsborough Community to obtain her nursing credentials and become a registered nurse. She worked at Blake Hospital for six years before deciding to teach high school. “One of my main motives to leave the hospital and to come and work at PCHS was it allowed me to have more time with my family,” stated Thornton , “I've also always just had a passion for teaching.”

Thornton had said she had a big agenda for the health science classes, “My goal for this medical program is to bring it to its full potential and to fully access what it was created for,” said Thornton. The medical pathway at PCHS was designed to allow students interested in the medical field to get a head start in their education before they applied to medical schools. Taking these classes allows  students to earn certifications that could get them hired right out of high school or to add to their applications when looking for universities. Another aspect Thornton is hoping to add to the medical program is to give students the ability to dual enroll with Manatee Technical College and to begin earning their medical degree.

Not only is Thornton working to improve the medical program, but she has also taken on the HOSA club. HOSA  is a globally recognized club that enrolls its members around the world and offers a multitude of competitive conventions where students compete in several different health science categories. Compared to last year, this year's HOSA club has gained several new members who are all interested in competing to try and qualify for the nationals in Houston, Texas on June 26-29. While the club has some work to do to catch up with other HOSA clubs, Thornton is confident that the members could win in upcoming competitions. As Thornton carries out her plans the PCHS medical pathway will continue to expand and grow more advanced for present and future students and thus creating an ongoing tradition for the school.