Editor's note: This is the seventh in a series of articles highlighting local students and their accomplishments, in order to encourage young people to complete school and achieve their dreams.
PARSONS - A 2009 Tucker County High School graduate is sharing enthusiasm about her career path in pharmacy with high school students.
Lyndsey Nestor, daughter of Craig and Robyn Nestor of Parsons, said she has given several presentations at her old high school.
"I have been able to give a few presentations at Tucker County High School regarding prescription medication misuse," Nestor said.
"Through these presentations, I have had many students inquire about pharmacy school and what all it entails. "
Nestor said she is very happy to share her experiences and advise students, helping them decide whether this is something they want to do in the future.
While at Tucker County High School, Nestor was very active, playing on the varsity basketball team all four years of high school. She also served as secretary for the Young Christian Club, team leader for Raze, president of the National Honor Society and yearbook assistant editor. In her spare time, she coached little league basketball.
Nestor was a valedictorian of her graduating class, and was named The Inter-Mountain Player of the Year for two years in basketball.
She was named to the All PVC Team, State Tournament All Tournament team, All Sectional Team and the Academic Athlete of the Year. She was on the Principal's List for four years, and is a recipient of the PROMISE Scholarship.
She said the challenges she thought she faced in high school do not seem as difficult, looking back.
"I played basketball, which took up a great deal of my time," Nestor said. "One of the hardest things to do was manage my time efficiently. I remember many nights, coming home from basketball games with the dome lights on in the car so I could study for an exam or quiz the next day."
Another challenge Nestor said she faced in high school was her difficulty accepting failure or defeat.
"There are many lessons to be learned in high school, and the best thing you can do when you mess up or fail is to learn from your mistakes and move on," Nestor said. "This was difficult for me at the time, but now I know that it's how you handle the situation that shows if you failed or not."
While in high school, Nestor said she decided to pursue a degree in pharmacy. She "attended Davis & Elkins College for two years, completing pre-requisite courses so that I could apply to West Virginia University. After those two years, I was accepted by the WVU School of Pharmacy."
Pharmacy school is a four-year program, where the first three years are coursework and the last year is rotations.
"I am in my last semester of coursework and begin rotations in May," Nestor said. "Right now, I work in Parsons at Community Care Pharmacy as a pharmacy intern."
Nestor also serves on the board of the Tucker Community Foundation.
"There are many things I do on a day-to-day basis that I thought I would never use again after high school," Nestor said. "Math is the subject that stands out in my mind. People have a misconception of pharmacy, saying we only count by fives, which is far from the truth. Our job is very intense and important. We have many calculations to do on a daily basis and it is important to have a basic math background in order to perform these calculations.
"While in high school, I had many instructors influence me in many ways," Nestor said. "There is, however, one teacher who stands out in my memory, Mr. Tom Klus. He was always pushing me to be my best. There were many times I would go to talk to him about my thoughts for my future and many times I wanted to give up."
Nestor said Klus always had the best advice for her and taught her about life, not just about school.
"He had a 'tough love' mentality," she said. "He would always tell me that if it were easy, everyone would do it. He said in order to get what you want, you have to be able to jump through the hoops and persevere. He was a great instructor, and I am glad I got the opportunity to be in his classes before he retired."
Nestor said she would tell students today to enjoy what is left of their high school careers.
"Time flies so fast and I was the student who could not wait to get out of high school and move on," Nestor said. "But life isn't easy. I would encourage them to learn responsibility as young as possible and take advantage of the time you have and make as many memories as possible."
Nestor said she would encourage students who plan to continue their education to take as many honors and college classes as possible while still in high school.
"Even though it will be more of a difficult course load at the time, it will pay off in the end," Nestor said. "It is very easy to want to slack and take the easy road, but the easy road is only going to take you so far."
Following graduation, Nestor plans to move back to Parsons.
"I really enjoy what I do and want to help out the community I live in," Nestor said. "The people here are wonderful and it is such a friendly atmosphere. I am very excited to become a pharmacist and live out what I have been planning for so long now."