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Turn of the Tassel: Joan Coles

Brenau Academy

POSTED: May 28, 2008 5:01 a.m.
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Joan Coles

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Joan Coles wants to dedicate her life to a field from which most students flee — chemistry.

Coles will graduate from Brenau Academy on Saturday, and will then focus on making the big move up to Marlboro College in Marlboro, Vt.

At the school of about 250 students who study in restored farm houses, Coles will begin the journey to becoming a college chemistry professor.

“I’d never really done anything before with chemistry until my freshman year,” Coles said. “I had a really good teacher at Lakeview Academy, Mr. (Hyuk) Kim. I loved his class, it was so much fun. Then I decided that’s what I really want to do with my life.”

Coles said she has always wanted to be a teacher, but until she stumbled upon chemistry, she didn’t know exactly what it was she wanted to teach.

“When I was in preschool, I had a long list of things I wanted to be,” she said. “On that list was a cowgirl, a ballerina and a school teacher.”

With all its new advancements and breaking technology, Coles said chemistry thrills her. She said she wants to publish frequently and teach on the college level.

“I want to help people become interested in it because it’s a hard thing to study and I think some people try to stay away from it,” she said.

Coles admits it will be hard to be so far away from her family while studying in Vermont, but she’s pumped about being on her own.

“I’m really excited about taking classes I want to take,” she said, adding that French and psychology are also top academic priorities for her.

Marlboro College might be a little school in Vermont, but Coles said it’s perfect for her.

“I visited and I just loved it,” she said. “I could tell it was where I needed to be.”



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