One of Quakertown Community High School’s former student leaders, currently in medical school, was recently sworn in as an Army 2nd Lt. Noah Wood, a 2017 QCHS graduate attending Kansas City University — Joplin, will become a Captain and perform his residency upon graduation, followed by four years of active duty.
“I’m really excited,” Noah said in a recent phone interview. “For one, it’s a full ride and I’m paid to go to school. Two, there are many areas of medicine to learn, and perhaps develop a specific interest, along with opportunities to travel.”
A former football, wrestling and academic all-star at QCHS, Noah said he reached out to Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner when he was applying to medical schools. Dr. Harner put him in contact with his son. Senior Maj. Billy Harner Jr., a critical care pulmonologist with Madigan Army Medical Center in Washington state.
The Senior Major explained the military’s Health Professions Scholarship Program to Noah and “he was helpful in formulating my ideas and I was accepted into the program,” Noah said. “I always thought about becoming a doctor and serving others in the country.”
A 5‑foot‑8, 185-pound all-league linebacker, running back, and wrestler as a Panther, Noah also excelled in the classroom with a 4.19-grade point average. He was part of the Medical Career Pathways program and during his senior year spent two days a week at St. Luke’s Quakertown Hospital. “It gave me the opportunity to see different aspects of health care,” he said. “It was eye-opening. From that experience, I knew this is what I wanted to do.”
Noah played football at Ithaca College and graduated with a degree in exercise science. He is now studying to become a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine at Kansas City University. QCHS teachers said Noah’s leadership skills were evident in high school, and no one is surprised at his achievement and successful game plan.
“You could see in class how he had a lot of respect from his peers and took the lead to make sure his group was successful,” said Brett Farley, who had Noah in his British literature honors class. “He was a respectful kid who fit in with everybody. He took work very seriously and I saw a lot of growth from him throughout the year.”
Football coach George Banas marveled at Noah’s “unbelievable maturity at such a young age. He was a starting linebacker as a sophomore, and our onfield leader calling plays and check-ins. So studious that he knew our gameplan inside and out. It was like having a coach on the field.
Coach Banas said he maintains contact with Noah and will send him a happy birthday text or a congratulatory message about “taking the next step. He was always going to do the right thing.”
Wrestling coach Kurt Handel describes Noah as “a real gritty kid” and “part of the wrestling family.” He told Noah that whenever you’re in town “you’re going to help coach That gives our kids a great workout partner and mentor.”
Noah is the son of Todd and Melissa Wood. He has an older brother, Luke, and his younger brother Ryan is a QCHS senior. Noah’s message to students: “Set your goals high and make contacts along the way. Always work hard and don’t settle, go for it! Make as many contacts as you can. You never know when someone knows somebody else. A lot of people I met opened a lot of doors for me.”
And to the educators who made a difference in his life, he said “Thank you to my former coaches, teachers, Dr. Harner, and everyone else who helped me. I’m forever grateful.”