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Isabella Nicastro

Area High School Student Spends Senior Year at MCLA

11/07/18

Mount Greylock Regional High School senior Isabella Nicastro of Williamstown, Mass., is getting a jump start to her college career by spending her entire last year of high school at MCLA. But she had an even earlier introduction to college: she has taken a summer course at MCLA since the ninth grade.

The decision to attend MCLA full time this year came when Nicastro was selecting her course schedule with her high school guidance counselor, and they realized she had exhausted Mount Greylock’s math and science offerings.

Nicastro explained, “I wanted to take anatomy and physiology in the 10th grade, but the course was only offered to seniors with a biology prerequisite.  If I wanted to take the course, my only option was to take biology at MCLA.”

So, she contacted Joshua Mendel in MCLA’s Office of Admission. “He was able to fit me in to Dr. Ann Billetz’s introductory biology course.” As a result, “My only high school requirement to graduate [from high school] is a full year of English, and taking all other classes at MCLA is a huge benefit to my education.”  

This semester, Nicastro – who aims to major biochemistry on her way to becoming an anesthesiologist – is taking courses in calculus, developmental psychology, English and chemistry at MCLA, while she participates in sports, clubs, and various high school events at Mount Greylock, where she is the captain of the girls varsity soccer team.

“MCLA has provided me with an amazing opportunity,” she said. “All of my professors are so helpful, the campus is beautiful, and the resources are unlimited. ... I would absolutely recommend this program to others who have a passion for education and are ready to make the next step into achieving their personal goals.”