HOSA students adjust to the absence of their advisor

Ashlyn Wagner, Staff Reporter

Canyon Ridge High School HOSA students have had to adapt to the frequent absence of their advisor, Mrs. Cawley, who has missed two semesters in the last two school years because of Leukemia. 

HOSA, which stands for Health Occupations Students of America, is a chartered organization for students that are interested in a career in healthcare. 

Although Mrs. Cawley’s Leukemia has often kept her from being at school, she said she has “still been a very active member as [HOSA’s] advisor,” and she has a co-advisor, her daughter Rachel Cawley, who is a past HOSA president.

Mrs. Cawley said she does plan on coming back to school, “Not just as an advisor, but as a dual credit health, health, occupations, medical, terminologies, and certified nursing assistant teacher.” 

HOSA students have had to adapt by taking over more responsibilities and learning various tasks that used to be done by the advisor. “I believe that in my absence, the HOSA students had to step up their student leadership abilities. HOSA truly is a student-led organization, with their advisor being absent. We communicate with email and text, but that’s never the same as being there in-person,” said Mrs. Cawley. 

Brooklyn Anton, HOSA’s secretary, is a junior at CRHS and has been a part of HOSA since her freshman year. She said, “Cawley, even though she wasn’t here, tried to prepare us the best she could with the materials…We had a lot more new people…and we had to try and prepare them as best as we could.”  

Vannessa Cortex, a junior at CRHS, has also been a part of HOSA since her freshman year and is currently HOSA’s treasurer. “It’s definitely harder to get our ideas and fundraisers approved by the school because we have to go through Dr. Teske,” said Vannessa. 

Since Mrs. Cawley has often been absent, the students have had direct communication with administrators and have taken on more responsibility. “But surely this is the way it should be, and the way it will continue to be in the future when I return,” said Mrs. Cawley. “I really push them to do things for themselves. I do this because it’s the greatest part of a learning experience to be able to stand on the stage and have truly earned your accomplishment and know that you took all the steps on your own to get up there.”

Photo Source: HOSA Instagram @crhs.hosa

Despite having to make changes to how HOSA functioned this year compared to previous years, HOSA still did well at competition and many of the students placed. 

Brooklyn Anton earned bronze recognition for the Barbara James Service Award, Gabriel Biberos placed 3rd in Medical Terminology, Avery Hodges placed 2nd in Human Growth & Development and 7th place in Health Career Display, Vannessa Cortez placed 5th in Prepared Speaking and earned silver recognition for the Barbara James Service Award, Emily Thornsen placed 7th in Human Growth & Development and 7th in Health Career Display, Dominic Merman placed 4th in Medical Reading, Behdad Ebadeh Ahwazi placed 1st in Nutrition, Brynlee Attenbury placed 8th in Nutrition, and Max Bradbury placed 6th in Research Poster.