A trip to the zoo

A student’s love for animals inspired her to join Academy


photo courtesy of Hailey Reavis

This is a picture of elementary schoolers planting a garden with the help of Hailey Reavis. They started planting in a field near the Henry Doorly Zoo. “We took an empty field and turned it into a garden and home for insects,” Reavis said. “While doing that we also taught some younger kids about the importance of the environment and planting seeds.”

Garrett Wilcoxen, Staff Reporter

Out of 2,525 students at Millard West High School, senior Hailey Reavis, was one of two selected to be part of the Zoo Academy, at the Henry Doorly Zoo. Each day she interacts with animals in their habitats, learning more about how to care for them.

Ever since she was little, Reavis had a passion for animals. Last year, Reavis’s mom suggested the idea of the Academy and Reavis instantly fell in love with it. She joined the zoo Academy at the beginning of her junior year. In this academy, she began to grow her love for animals more every day. 

Many job and college opportunities come with the experience. Reavis hopes to be a wildlife biologist someday, traveling the world, researching and getting up close in person with the animals. She is going to Friends University of Wichita for college and studying Zoology.

“I am thankful for the opportunity because this will impact me greatly now and for the rest of my life,” Reavis said. “Doing something you love is important in life. It gives you a sense of place.”

Reavis started class every day at 7:30 a.m. and it lasted till 10:20 a.m. She has A/B scheduled days Monday through Thursday. During these days she learns math, English and zoo animal care by shadowing others. On Fridays or C days she learns about Zoo conservation. One of the things she admires about this opportunity is how it’s not just worksheets in a classroom, but actual hands on learning. 

“I would get up really early every morning and drive all the way down to the Zoo to get to class by 7:30 a.m.,” Reavis said. “Even though it took lots of gas money and time, I don’t regret any of it.”

Reavis met many people, including students from other Millard Schools. Although she does not go to Millard West everyday she still tries her best to keep in touch with all her friends there. Her brother and sister are jealous of the experience she gets to have throughout her high school years, but are also happy for her and excited as is her mom.

“There were 70 people all together in the academy and about 5-15 per class,” Reavis said. “I met lots of new people there and made many new friends.”

She hopes to pursue her dream of being a wildlife biologist someday through dedication and a hard working attitude. The Zoo Academy has set her on the path.