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Key for valedictorian: 'I study really hard'

By JIM BREWER Published: May 30, 2017 4:00 AM
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Editor's note: Tenth and last of a series of personality stories on the top 10 academic students in the Loudonville High School Class of 2017.

With a perfect straight A, 4.0 academic average, Ashlynn Beachler is the valedictorian of the Loudonville High School Class of 2017.

In addition to getting straight As in her high school classes, the daughter of Chad and Lynn Beachler of rural Perrysville also got 22 hours of As from college level classes she has taken. She had four college-level hours her junior year offered at the high school, and spent her entire senior year taking classes at the Mansfield Campus of Ohio State University, nine hours each semester.

Her next step is to start work on an undergraduate degree in biology, on the pre-medicine school track, at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

She traveled to the UK campus early in April while on a college visit with friend Teresa Mehaffey, fell in love with the campus, applied the next day, and was accepted two weeks later.

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Earlier, she made application to a number of schools, including all of the Ivy League schools, Vanderbilt in Nashville Tennessee, Ohio State, Ohio University and other colleges. She was accepted at Ohio State, Ohio University, Case-Western Reserve and Belmont College in Nashville.

Her ultimate goal is to become a physician, following in the footsteps of her great-grandfather, the late Dr. Charles McMullen, who practiced in Loudonville from the 1950s to the 1990s. Her desire to be a doctor was underscored by a desire to find a cure for cancer, which robbed her of grandfather Ken Stake, who was a victim of the disease several years ago.

"Grandpa Ken and I were very close," she said.

One of the specialties she is interested in is pediatric oncology.

"I want to help anyone victimized by cancer in any way I can," she said.

At LHS, she listed as her favorite classes anatomy and physiology taught by David Spreng, and the college-level American government and American politics classes taught by Eric Stoner. Not surprisingly, she listed Stoner and Spreng as her favorite teachers. She also voiced appreciation of her parents for "supporting me in everything I've done, and my grandmother, Mrs. Pam McMullen, a former teacher, for encouraging me to work very hard to do well in my classes.

"To do well, I studied, studied a lot," Beachler said. "When I would get home from school or classes at Mansfield, I would immediately transcribe what I heard in class onto note cards, You'll see hundreds of my note cards strewn about our house."

She said she preferred the college classes to the regular high school classes she took, noting "the teachers, or professors, gave us the information and left it up to us what we did with it. I like having that responsibility."

Beachler is also an athlete, following a very successful career in statewide circles as a gymnast while in grade school.

"I competed from first through seventh grade, when my career was cut short by a bad back," she said.

She has been a cheerleader through high school, and a pole vaulter on the track team. Injuries also have hampered her as a cheerleader, but she had a very successful seasons as a pole vaulter.

She is the third of four Beachler children. Sister Shai just completed work on a master's degree in early childhood education at Ohio University; Sister Brooke just completed an associates degree in dental hygiene at Shawnee State; and younger brother Cade is a freshman at LHS "and, with straight As so far, is also following in my footsteps," Ashlynn said.

This June, Beachler will participate in a medical school internship at Ohio State University Hospital, even getting to practice medical skills like sutures in intubation. She hopes to land a job in the area after that before starting classes in Lexington.


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