Coats and Oaths: Biomedical Program Sets School Record for Graduates

By Mia Herdeman, Current Staff

This time, when Grethel Hokenson stood with her husband in front of a crowd, she was thinking about a white coat instead of a white dress.

Both Hokenson and her husband, Michael, are doctors at Children’s Wisconsin. They were invited to present advice to seniors at a special ceremony honoring students at the West Bend High Schools who have completed the Biomedical Project Lead the Way program. Students who mastered all four levels of the program were recognized at a “white coat” ceremony May 23 in which they received a lab coat traditionally worn by doctors. This year included 12 recipients, which is the largest group in the school’s program history.

As part of the ceremony, the students also recited the Hippocratic Oath.

Through a rigorous series of classes, the program introduces to students different job opportunities in the medical field. The four levels of the PLTW curriculum include: Principles of Biomedical Sciences (PBS), Human Body Systems (HBS), Medical Intervention (MI), and Biomedical Innovations (BI).

Patricia Noonan, an East science teacher, instructs the first and last levels of PLTW. Normally she asks her classes to choose who will present this year. This year, East senior Willow Prost spoke up.

“People were recommending their dentists and their pediatricians and I was like ‘Oh, my dad has this friend who’s a doctor,’” Prost said. 

Prost introduced Noonan to the Hokensons. Michael Hokenson is a neonatal-perinatal physician. His wife, Grethel, is a pediatric nurse practitioner. 

When asked how he felt about the duo presenting, Richard Prost, an East science teacher, said it would be super influential from previous students to current students.

“I think it’s great (that they’re presenting) because obviously, he’s a product of the West Bend high school system,” Prost said.

(Top image: Michael and Grethel Hokenson speak to WBHS students on May 23 in the WBHS library presentation room. Photo courtesy of Patricia Noonan. Other photos courtesy of the West Bend School District.)

Leave a comment

Filed under School News and Features

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s