DACC’s Tucky plans future in conservation
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It was during summers growing up in Delaware that Hannah Tucky would go each day to the zoo with her family and come to love all the animals — especially the gorillas.
And it is this love of animals that has determined her plans for the future. Attending Zoo School through the Delaware Area Career Center, the senior has plans to work with endangered animals in her future.
“I’m thinking the great apes, primatology,” she said, admitting it is still early to make a final decision. But she does know that she wants to work in the field with either biology or zoology and travel to different countries. She is considering programs at Otterbein, Kent State, Wright State or Ohio State universities to study zoology, biology or environmental science.
Right now as a senior the one thing she looks forward to is writing her thesis. “Most kids don’t say that,” she said, adding she is excited to do the work.
Last year in Zoo School, her study was on the aggression of lorikeets, checking the sound levels within the enclosure for the parrots. This year she is doing a study on the apes, specifically Annaka’s group. The silverback has had a heart monitor inserted, and so Hannah is collecting data by observation to compare with the data in the chip.
Attending classes both at the zoo and then back at her home school at Hayes High School, Hannah said she does a lot of balancing, sometimes not sleeping.
“But when you see what you get out of it, it’s totally worth it,” she said.
Besides school, Hannah plays softball. Playing since age 4, she plays the sport year round.
“It’s really a lot of fun,” she said, noting she has friends from all over the state.
Yet even with the long history with the sport, she said once in college she plans to focus on her studies and maybe only play club ball.
Among other activities that keep Hannah busy are her volunteer efforts through her church for People In Need, working at various soup kitchens and working with the Run the Race Club for underprivileged youth in inner city Columbus.
Sarah Ressler is an English teacher at Hayes who says that Hannah has been “a wonderful student” to have in her classes.
“Both as a sophomore in humanities and now as a senior in AP literature, Hannah’s insights in class discussions and cheerful demeanor regarding literature and analysis makes her a joy to teach,” Ressler said. “Hannah is always willing to tutor fellow students and remains passionate about her zoo school program. I’m incredibly impressed with her dedication to her work and her positive attitude — she is a great artist, intelligent student and cheerful friend.”
Jordan Blackburn is a social studies teacher at Hayes. He said that Hannah is “intelligent, thoughtful and driven. She finds a way to make things work. She doesn’t whine or complain when things don’t go her way, she buckles down and makes ‘IT’ happen. She balances an extremely difficult schedule at Hayes, while taking several courses on zoology at the Columbus Zoo, and is also involved in several extracurricular activities.”
Blackburn said that “a lot of what we accomplish in life has to do with the expectations we set before hand, combined with what we do when we encounter setbacks. (Hannah’s) toughness is something I’ve always admired because she never quits on herself, or lets thoughts of becoming overwhelmed with life’s challenges enter her mind.”
He added that Hannah’s integrity and her work ethic set her apart.
“She’s different than most and therefore she will accomplish quite a bit over the course of her life,” he said.
Blackburn said, “We have more kids who have been pushed hard by parents in all aspects of life from the time they were born to when they get into high school now. Hannah is the type of kid produced through an environment where discipline, high standards and an understanding that the parents are in charge, exists. It’s exciting that a young lady like her ‘wins’ awards like this, because she lives success each day. It’s encouraging that the percentage of kids each year entering our high school who have high standards and are equipped with the tools to excel, is increasing. This makes teaching more fun.”
On being a senior, Hannah said, “It’s so weird. I still hang with the same friends I have had since preschool, yet not knowing where we will be in the future.” She added it was a bit bittersweet to leave behind her friends, yet she realized the opportunities for her future are ahead of her.
For now, she is just hoping to spend time together before they all go off their separate ways.
“I’m excited,” she said of the prospects. Hannah had the following advice for underclassmen.
“Don’t change who you are for school or friends. I should have been more myself my freshman year.” She went on to explain that she was quiet when she first came to Hayes from St. Mary’s. “I wish I had been more out of my shell.”
Hannah is the daughter of Todd and Mimi Tucky of Delaware.