She owns a perspective not too many young people possess, and that’s because she fully intends to return to the Wheeling area after she has earned her physician assistant graduate degree from Seton Hill University.
And that is because Lexie Kosanovic wishes to give back to a community she insisted has afforded her a plethora of opportunities.
She proved to be the valedictorian for Wheeling Central Catholic High’s Class of 2017 after completing her senior year with a 4.54 grade-point average, and was accepted into Seton Hill’s fast-tracked, five-year Bachelor of Science-to-Masters of Science-Physician Assistant Program.
“It allows me a more direct route to the PA program because usually it takes four years in undergrad and then two more years in the grad program,” Kosanovic explained. “But this program is accelerated, so it is a very sought-after program that’s pretty difficult to get into, so I was very, very lucky. I shadowed other physician assistants as I completed the application; then I had an individual interview and a group interview, and I also had to write an essay.
“And then, believe it or not, I received the call on Thanksgiving Day,” she said. “My admissions representative told me then that I was accepted into the program, and it was the best phone call I’ve ever received. I was so excited, and I still am.”
Kosanovic was a student at the Mount de Chantal Visitation Academy through second grade and then attended St. Michael School until she was graduated following eighth grade. It was then off to Wheeling Central because her parents, Edward and Leslie, believe it was the most attractive educational atmosphere in the area.
“I know my parents wanted to have their child raised within a Catholic environment where we can practice our faith openly, and they also wanted a small enough environment where everyone knows your name,” Kosanovic said. “My grandfather and great aunt graduated from Wheeling Central, but my father went to Bishop Donahue, and my mother graduated from John Marshall.
“I believe Wheeling Central provided a lot of opportunities because they have a very dedicated staff, and the teachers would help you with anything if a student has any kinds of questions,” she reported. “I took advantage of those opportunities and asked as many questions I could think of, and I got answers and that allowed me to further my education as much as I could.”
A number of different advanced-placement courses offered at CCHS permitted her to raise her grade-point average well above the straight-A level, and while she did not participate in athletics for the Maroon Knights, she studied dance at Oglebay Institute for 16 years. Kosanovic also has volunteered many hours at Wheeling Hospital and is employed in a local doctor’s office this summer in an attempt to get a jump-start on her college education.
“It’s always been my plan to do well in school because learning is something you hopefully experience your entire life,” she explained. “The way I’ve always looked at is that if I am never going to stop learning, I might as well try to be pretty good at it. I knew I would be in this atmosphere for only so long, so I really worked hard to take in the information from my classes so I could use the knowledge later on him life.
“It really meant a lot to me to be the valedictorian for my class,” Kosanovic continued. “I was one of 58 students in my class, and I believe there were as many as 20 of us that scored very well on the tests and things like that so it was an honor I didn’t know I was even close to reaching. It means a lot to me that I was able to speak to my class at our commencement.”
She also applied to Duquesne University and West Liberty University because both institutions offer physician assistant programs, a growing industry across the United States. When she’s earned her degrees, she will become a healthcare professional who practices in the medical field alongside fully accredited physicians.
But this where her return to the Wheeling area bounced back into her idea for her future.
“I have to see where this field takes me, and I do still need to select an area of medicine to really concentrate on,” Kosanovic said. “Right now, I am thinkong about pediatrics because I really do love children, but we will see what I learn about it at Seton Hill. I know it could change.
“And returning to Wheeling is definitely something I plan to do because this city has provided me with a lot of opportunities, and I know I intend to give back to a place that has given me so much,” she said. “Studying dance at Oglebay Institute since I could pretty much walk is an example because there aren’t too many communities that have an Oglebay Institute in them. Plus, Wheeling Central? I just can’t say enough great things about Wheeling Central.
“I just think the city of Wheeling is a great place, and I am so happy this is where I was raised,” Kosanovic added. “That is why I intend to go to college, expand my education, and return to this area so I can continue my life in this community. I see a lot of growth taking place right now and I want to be a part of that growth once my college education is complete.”
(Photos provided by Lexie Kosanovic)