The Mercury

Karen McDaniel
Future zoologist, Karen McDaniel (‘19), is now a senior at Bellows Free Academy.

McDaniel attended St. Albans Town Educational Center from third grade to eighth grade, which she thinks benefitted her in high school.

“I went to [St. Albans] Town School, and I guess it gave me a lot of connections, like, there a lot of kids that come from [St. Albans] Town School and from [St. Albans] City School so I already knew a lot of the people that were at BFA. So that was nice to already have some friends and some insight,” McDaniel said.

McDaniel wants to be a zoologist in the future, and she mentioned that one of her biggest inspirations is Steve Irwin, an Australian zookeeper featured on The Crocodile Hunter.

“[Steve Irwin] is the most famous person to do [zoology], and he was a big part of my childhood. I watched a lot of Crocodile Hunter, and when I was a kid, Animal Planet was my favorite thing. I watched so many documentaries, I don’t know why. It was not a very typical kid thing. It really shaped my interests in life. Like, seeing that, I knew that was what I wanted to do; I wanted to work with animals somehow,” McDaniel said.

McDaniel also mentioned how she first wanted to be a veterinarian for wild animals, however she deferred from that profession because it would make her too sad to put them down.

Being in her senior year, McDaniel has decided that she wants to expand her education when she leaves high school.

“I would like to go to college for zoology. Hopefully, going down south, probably Florida, either St. Petersburg, Miami, or Orlando,” McDaniel said.

McDaniel has learned a lot in her high school experience, specifically about overcoming stressful situations.

“I guess I’ve overcome a lot of school stress, stress at home, and all these different factors that are kind of overwhelming at points. I’ve made it through, I’ve learned what my limits are, and I’ve learned how to adapt. I’ve experienced a lot of different things in my time at BFA that were good life lessons,” McDaniel said.

This is McDaniel’s first year in the Journalism class, and she will use it as an outlet to rediscover her interests in writing.

“[Journalism is] something that I’ve always had an interest in. I don’t write as much as I’d like to, at home. I’m not that strong of a writer, but I would really like to write more often. I really like the idea of reporting on things or writing my own thoughts on things to share with other people,” McDaniel said.

Karen McDaniel, Writer

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