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St. Louis University Student Credits Conrady Teachers for Helping With Career Choice

Former District 117 Student Looks Back on Earlier Years


It’s really no surprise Olivia Waight decided to study physical therapy at St. Louis University. The 19-year-old Hickory Hills’ woman spent enough time during high school in the athletic trainer’s office and in physical therapy sessions to get an up-close-and-personal understanding of the profession.

“I probably spent more time there than I’d like to admit,” said Olivia, who attended Dorn, Glen Oaks and Conrady Junior High schools before heading to Stagg High School.

She said she selected St. Louis University because it offered direct admission to the physical therapy school. She had considered Marquette University in Milwaukee.

“Playing volleyball and basketball (at Stagg), I suffered my share of injuries,” she said. “I was out with knee and ankle injuries from playing both sports. I saw what a great job the physical therapists did to get me back on the courts.

“I decided I wanted to help other athletes recuperate from their injuries as well,” said Olivia, who played volleyball, basketball and ran track at Conrady.

She knows she has a tough road ahead as she navigates a six-year program that will have her earning a doctorate in physical therapy when she graduates.

Olivia reflected back on her formative years in North Palos District 117 and says she received “a great education from some amazing teachers.”

“Ms. (Adrienne) Pavek and Ms. (Bernadette) Skobel are incredible math teachers,” she said. “They are the ones that challenged me and got me excited about taking math to higher levels.”

Olivia said she also enjoyed science courses as well as math, which helped since she is taking a heavy dose of both in college.

She still finds time for sports. She is part of the school’s Ultimate Frisbee Team and is looking forward to playing intramural sports later this year.

Olivia Waight