CLASS OF 2013

Early trials have made grad stronger

May 27, 2013 

Rebecca Caughman

USED WITH PERMISSION

  • About this series

    Through Friday, The State will run a series of Q&As with some Midlands high school seniors representing a range of interests – from athletics to academics to service – reflecting on the past four years and looking ahead.

    View snapshots and photo galleries from high school graduation ceremonies, and Columbia-area college graduation ceremonies, too, at thestate.com/class-of-2013.

Rebecca Caughman

School: Batesburg-Leesville High

Graduation date: June 7

We understand you are planning a career in pharmacy. When did you first become interested in that?

Caughman:When I was 3, I had some health problems, and then when I was 5, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. This allowed me to become acquainted with the medical field and sparked my interest. As time passed, my older sister enrolled in the South Carolina College of Pharmacy at the University of South Carolina. Through talking with her and shadowing a pharmacist, I decided pharmacy was the right path for me.

We understand you won the Central Savannah River Area Regional Science and Engineering Fair’s top honor twice! Tell us about your projects.

Caughman:For my first winning project, I tested the effects of different concentrations of tart cherry juice on the growth of Escherichia coli. For my latest project, I compared antibiotics to organic substances to see which would work best in inhibiting E. coli growth. It began as a school assignment, and my AP Biology teacher, Mrs. Cathy Watson, encouraged us to perform an experiment that interested us. I found that I enjoyed the competition as well.

What’s your favorite book?

Caughman:Choosing a favorite book is difficult because I have many that I like. I would have to say that my favorite is tied between “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen, “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins, and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” by J.K. Rowling. Although these books are very different, I thoroughly enjoyed reading them all.

Parents love to brag about their kids. What do your parents love to tell their friends about you?

Caughman:

My parents like to tell their friends that they are proud of everything that I have overcome to get to where I am today. As a young child, my medical issues led to fears that eventually became a fear of standardized tests. Over time, I learned to get past this fear. According to my parents, they are most proud that I have a kind heart and that I care about others.

Tell us about your plans after high school.

Caughman:After graduating from Batesburg-Leesville High School, I plan to attend the University of South Carolina and major in pharmacy. I chose USC because there, I will be able to complete my pharmacy degree in one location. I have visited the campus, and I think it’s beautiful. I wanted to attend a large university since my high school is small. Additionally, it isn’t too far from home if I want to come home to visit!

Tell us about one of your most memorable moments or events from high school.

Caughman: Other than my science fair wins, one of my most memorable moments would be performing Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” at my spring chorus concert last year. This is memorable for me because I was given the chance to perform a song that I knew and have fun doing it. Also, I remember this well because I received a large round of applause when I finished singing, and many accolades after the concert.

What song sums up your high school years?

Caughman: A song that sums up my high school years would have to be “For Good” from the Broadway show “Wicked.” In this song, it talks about how the people you meet change your life. I would definitely say this is a good representation, because I have met many people who have had a positive influence on me. Because of them, “I do believe I have been changed for the better.”

If you could only keep one object from high school for a box of treasured possessions, what would it be?

Caughman:

I would be hard-pressed to choose just one object. I would be torn between a petri dish that symbolized my science fair accomplishments and a piece of music that I have performed in a chorus concert. Both are passions of mine. If I had to choose just one, I’d have to choose the music because I plan to spend the rest of my life in a science field.

What’s the biggest life lesson you learned from a teacher?

Caughman: I would have to credit my biggest life lesson to my chorus teacher, Miss Erin Wash. From her, I have learned that life is like a musical. If something goes wrong, or you mess up, you have to push past it and keep singing.

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