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Hartselle Enquirer

Hartselle seniors get early acceptance into pharmacy school  

Two Hartselle seniors were recently accepted into pharmacy school before their graduation that will be held May 20. Their early acceptance was made possible through their participation in the high school’s Medical Academy.  

Lakelen Crider and Jett Johnson have participated in the academy since their freshman years and are certified pharmacy technicians at Gilchrest Pharmacy.  

Crider’s offer was from the Harrison College of Pharmacy at Auburn University while Johnson’s was from the McWhorter School of Pharmacy at Samford University.  

Having already accumulated 40 college credits, Jett will not attend Samford for his bachelor’s degree – he said he plans to attend Calhoun for a year to save money and go straight into pharmacy school.  

Crider will attend Auburn University this fall to pursue a degree in biomedical science. She said the peace of mind knowing she has a spot waiting for her at the Harrison College of Pharmacy is a relief.  

“It’s just so competitive, to get into these advanced programs,” Shelton said. “It’s like they’re saving them a spot.”  

For both Jett and Crider, their choice in pursuing careers in the healthcare industry is about the connections made with people.  

“I have compassion for people and an empathy for helping others,” Johnson said. “I actually didn’t know what I wanted to do before I started working in a pharmacy. I got into the job, and I love what I do.”  

“Any time someone has a question about their health, they pick up their medicine and they ask a pharmacist,” Crider added. “You have to know so much and I want to be like that. I love the connection they have with their communities and how they know their names. It’s very special.”  

Jett and Crider attribute their early acceptance into pharmacy school to their years in the medical academy and, specifically, their instructors, Lynne Shelton, Kim Goins and Jan Langston.  

“It set us up for success not just with knowledge, but there’s a work ethic that you build and professional development,” Johnson said. “You work on yourself over time, and it makes you grow up and set some goals.  

“All this is really because of Mrs. Shelton, she’s worked on me for four years,” he added.  

“I came into my freshman year not even knowing what I wanted to do, and I had no motivation – I didn’t even get good grades,” Crider said. “Then Mrs. Shelton instilled motivation in me that I never had before and I’m genuinely so excited to see where it takes me.”  

It’s not for everyone, you have to want to work and work hard,” Shelton said.  

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