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MHS junior earns Sno Isle Skills Center’s Student of the Year award

Published:2015-08-10 School
MHS junior earns Sno Isle Skills Center’s Student of the Year award    Print Snohomish Times    
MHS junior earns Sno Isle Skills Center’s Student of the Year award

Monroe, WA – Sno Isle Skills Center has selected Monroe High junior Savannah Clendenen as this year’s veterinary assistant program Student of the Year for her amazing scholarship.

“She really has a passion for large animals,” said Nichole Couffer, who runs the program. Students learn anatomy, medications, injections, restraints, and all the rest of what they need to know in order to be a part of a relief team in an animal hospital or support a veterinarian preparing for surgery.

Clendenen was honored to be selected as Student of the Year. “I was definitely very excited. I was crying,” said the daughter of Shannon Boling and Robert Clendenen. Savannah is also one of the rare few to be invited back for the second year.

“It’s very elite group to get asked back for a second year,” explained Couffer. The second year curriculum is streamlined to become a licensed technician or in preparation for studying to be veterinarian.

This year Clendenen completed an internship at the Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital, which is one of the largest animal hospitals in the United States. “We have horses that are shipped to us from around the country,” noted Couffer, who continues to assist at the hospital in addition to her teaching.

Clendenen said she has learned more than she ever expected from the program. “Not only vet assisting, but discipline, leadership, and making new friends,” she explained.

Couffer noted that it takes a special kind of person to go into the veterinary field. “Someone who simply loves animals is no good to me,” she explained. “I need students who can put their feelings aside when they see broken and hurt animals and ask ‘What can I do to help this animal?’”

After she graduates from Monroe High School next year, Clendenen will be well prepared to apply directly to an undergrad program at Washington State University to be a veterinary technician, which is her plan.

As for whether there will be work for her when she graduates, Couffer has no doubt. “All of my second year students already have jobs,” noted Couffer. “They are already working in the hospitals. Employability is huge for our students.”

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