QCHS grad set to make his mark in medicine and the military

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.”