LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - It normally takes months of college courses to become a pharmacy technician, but Lufkin High School is ahead of the curve because it offers the rigorous program to high school students.
"When they graduate they'll already be pharmacy technicians. They can go into the field and actually work as a pharmacy technician," said Darlene Henderson, an LHS teacher.
Henderson teaches the course that initially had an enrollment of nearly 20 students.
"But when they saw what all it entailed and the rigor of the course, they kind of decided, and it does require a lot of time, they ended up dropping out and deciding that it was not quite what they thought it would be," Henderson said.
However, one of Henderson's students stuck with it and is now the area's first student to become a certified pharmacy technician because of this program, the result of a long and difficult journey.
"I was happy that I got the preliminary pass, because I didn't totally fail it, but it was really nerve-rracking because anything can cause you not to keep that score," said Pressley Nicholson, who's now a certified pharmacy technician.
It's a first for Lufkin and the end product of much dedication for Nicholson.
"That's why I'm proud of Pressley, because she's also involved in band, very strong, and still in spite of that, she was able to maintain the rigor and keep her grades up," Henderson said.
And for Nicholson, it's a continuation of her family's legacy.
"Both of my cousins are paramedics. My grandma was a registered nurse, and my uncle is a drug representative," Nicholson said.
Nicholson's above-and-beyond mindset is admired by many, including the one who was there from the very start.
"She has always had that tenacity to get it done and that motivation. She takes the initiative," Henderson said.
Nicholson is now a freshman at Stephen F. Austin State University, and although she can officially start work as a pharmacy tech, she plans to stay in school and pursue a career as a toxicologist.