EDITOR’S NOTE: The Daily Jeffersonian highlighted a senior from the three area public high schools this week. They were nominated for a Senior Spotlight by their school administration.
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines anxiety as an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physical signs.
Anxiety causes doubt concerning the reality and nature of a threat or situation while creating self-doubt about the individual’s capacity to cope with their condition. A result is panic attacks.
The psychological impact of long-term anxiety and panic attacks can cause the brain to release stress hormones that increase the frequency of headaches, dizziness and depression.
It’s not a good way to spend your school days.
For Meadowbrook High School student Kacie Ramshaw, anxiety nearly derailed her high school education during her freshman year at the Byesville area school.
“I had bad anxiety,” said Kacie. “I would overthink everything. It really beat me down.”
In addition to the anxiety, Kacie said she was bullied at times during a difficult freshman year.
“I would get made fun of for things like wearing the same clothes a lot, because I didn’t have enough clothes to wear something new all the time,” she recalled. “That also took a toll on me.”
The anxiety and bullying prevented Kacie from handling a schedule that included six or seven classes and resulted in her failing one of those classes.
“I had a lot of struggles early,” said Kacie.
But near the end of her sophomore year in 2020, the struggling student found a new way to attend class through remote learning — thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Taking classes online helped lessen my anxiety,” said Kacie.
When students returned to the classroom for the 2020-21 school year, Kacie stayed with online classes through a program at Meadowbrook High School. But, she was not alone in the classroom which didn’t help her anxiety to start the year.
“I don’t like to talk to people,” said Kacie. “I prefer to stay to myself, but I would sit in the same classroom all day with the same people. The people in that class brought me out of some of my anxiety, and I didn’t worry as much.”
It was also during the 2020-21 school year that Kacie discovered she could graduate early first completing her junior classes online and then her senior classes.
“The thought of being able to graduate early was really exciting to me,” she said. “That helped me to feel even less anxiety.”
As Kacie completed her junior classes online, she would pick up a senior class and in just weeks had all of her senior classes completed.
Meadowbrook Principal Devvon Dettra said changes by the Ohio Department of Education due to the COVID-19 pandemic helped Kacie get through her senior classes in such a short time.
“It took me two months to finish my senior classes,” said a proud Kacie. “I successfully completed nine or 10 classes this year to complete my junior and senior years after all those struggles as a freshman.”
The hard work paid off when Kacie received her diploma with the Class of 2021, a full year ahead of her classmates when she entered high school.
The daughter of Christina Knight and Joel Ramshaw, Kacie said she knows she could not have accomplished the feat without the help of several individuals including Credit Recovery teacher Matt Dalton, her mom and her boyfriend, Jacob Addison.
“Mr. Dalton was my biggest supporter at school,” said Kacie. “Without him, I would not have been able to finish the classes and I would not have graduated early.”
The chance to start a life with Jacob, a member of the U.S. Army National Guard, was also a driving force for Kacie to graduate early.
“We have had a plan since before graduation that we would look for a house or an apartment together,” Kacie said.
Jacob will be attending Advanced Individual Training for the Natural Guard for six weeks this summer. The couple will celebrate their second anniversary together in August.
“I want to get a job and save money for when Jacob returns,” said Kacie. She has yet to determine her career field.
“I just want a full-time job and to be able to work,” said Kacie.