Medical Academy Charter School in Catasauqua opens doors to first students

Author: , Reporter, BKoltnow@wfmz.com
Published: Oct 01 2012 08:00:00 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 03 2012 06:33:51 AM EDT
Medical charter school opens doors to first students
CATASAUQUA, Pa. -

While jobs are in short supply in many industries, that's not the case in the medical field. 

A new charter school in Lehigh County is now trying to address that need.  The Medical Academy Charter School in Catasauqua is the first of its kind in the Lehigh Valley. It's goal is to better steer kids into the field of health care.

Between the algebra and history of the Jamestown settlement is an art class teaching students how drawing can turn to healing for the sick.

"This is an example of a Zen tangle art therapy method that psychotherapists may use to draw out emotions in patients," said teacher Carol Traynor.

The new school is using the promise of a career in health care to draw students in.

"This is where the jobs are going to be now and in the near future. It's ever growing," said Joanna Hughes, CEO and principal of the school, which opened in September to 9th and 10th graders.

The school, which will expand to 11th and 12th graders, infuses health care sciences into the general curriculum, Hughes said.

"We will provide the children with opportunities so that they can be an x-ray tech or a phlebotomist or someone who works in the office doing billing," Hughes said.

Taylor Fullin, who wants to be anesthesiologist, transferred from Northampton Area High School.

"My brother is paralyzed, and I've dealt with a lot of medical stuff, and I've always wanted to help other people," said Fullin, 15.

Aside from health profession classes, the school will also offer field trips, internships, and job shadowing. It's all geared toward helping those like Taylor eventually help someone else.

School enrollment is at 138 students; however, there's still room for another 60 or so students. Within the next several years, 400 students will be able to be enrolled.