SHS Students Receive CCMA Certification, Make History Despite Pandemic-related Challenges


Despite numerous pandemic-related challenges, five Sycamore High School students took the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant exam and received their CCMA certification on May 20.

It was the first time in school history that clinical internship students were given the opportunity to take the exam.

Made possible by the district’s receipt of a Perkins Reserve Grant from the Tennessee Department of Education, the opportunity provided Kelsie Green, Searra Lankford, Michael Harris, Kaitlyn Vandygriff, and Catie McLachlan with the tools they need to enter the medical field after graduation.

The class is offered to seniors, and is designed to provide them with real-world application of skills and knowledge obtained through their prior courses.

The students, taught by Dawn Thomas, Sycamore High School’s health and science instructor, also worked with various clinical placement sites to provide them with the hands-on experience that prepares them for a career in healthcare. Local sites that aided in this process were: The Village Primary Care, Grace Pediatrics, Steel Family Medicine, Tristar, and Regents Medical Center.

School closures in March cut the students’ clinical time down significantly, and forced them to do a bulk of their studying on their own.

“They have worked so hard this year, even with this pandemic,” Thomas says.

To keep them connected, weekly Zoom meetings were scheduled, but it was “definitely not the same as learning in class or seeing/doing at clinical sites,” says Thomas.

“We did the best we could under the circumstances, and the students never complained. They were just happy that they were still given the opportunity to test— six feet apart,” she adds.

“I enjoy providing opportunities that will set students up for success, and look forward to providing this opportunity for more students in the future.”

Nine Cheatham County Central High School students also passed the exam: Adan Canizalez, Breanna Cook, Kiah Fisher, Shaye Garrett, Emily Groth, Carlie Hogan, Sara Johnson, Carson Moseley, and Dakota Wilver. They were instructed by Kelly Lewis.

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