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King Tech Student First to Pass Veterinary Assistant Exam

King Tech student with her instructor Vanessa Forbes King Tech High School senior Aryana Spohnholz with her Veterinary Technician instructor Vanessa Forbes.

Full-time King Tech High School (KTHS) senior Aryana Spohnholz will be honored at the Tuesday, Sep. 17 School Board Meeting as the first King Tech student to pass the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) Approved Veterinary Assistant Exam since the high school received the approval to be a NAVTA Approved Veterinary Assisting program in May.

Aryana sat for the 150-minute exam on Friday, Aug. 24 just after starting her first week of her senior year on Wednesday, Aug. 20.

To accomplish this impressive feat, a student must complete four courses—Veterinary Assisting, Advanced Veterinary Assisting, Animal Anatomy & Physiology, and Clinical Practices in Veterinary Science (which requires 100 hours of clinicals). More impressive still is that Aryana was so motivated to pass the exam before graduating high school, she completed all of the necessary requirements in just one year, which means she essentially doubled up her Veterinary Assistant courses to get everything done in a single year.

Aryana completed her 100 hours of clinicals at the local Anchorage Hillside Veterinary Clinic. At the clinic, Aryana worked with numerous species, from the typical dog and cat to the more exotic hedgehog and iguana. Aryana found the most interesting animal to work with were chameleons. She was surprised to learn more about the many different types of surgeries that could be performed on various animals. Truly enjoying her experience, Aryana has been promoted at the clinic from a Kennel Technician to a full-time Veterinary Assistant.

After graduating from King Tech High School this upcoming spring, Aryana plans to attend the University of Alaska Anchorage to study Biology and enroll in an online Veterinary Technician program through Penn Foster College. Since she was five years old, her goal has been to become a Veterinary Technician and, clearly, Aryana is well on her way to meet that goal.

Aryana’s ability to sit for this certification was all made possibly thanks to her Veterinary Assistant instructor at King Tech, Vanessa Forbes. For three years Ms. Forbes has been dedicated to improving the Veterinary Assisting program at King Tech to provide her students with the greatest possible opportunity after high school.  

Morgan DuClos
duclos_morgan@asdk12.org