Motivated by her passion, Grace Cool earns a position as lab assistant


Pouring chemicals, shuffling papers, organizing labs. From start to finish, senior Grace Cool loves everything about her job as AP Chemistry teacher David VonEhr’s lab assistant. After two years of taking chemistry, Grace applied for the position, but she doubted her abilities in the subject despite her passion for it. VonEhr recognized her gifts and dubbed her as his lab assistant for the upcoming year.

“I really like experimenting and finding solutions, and [I love] the fact that everything has a reason beyond a set experiment,” Grace said. “I think it’s really cool how open it is and how much room there is for experimenting.”

While some are intimidated by harder classes like AP Chemistry, Grace was not at all. She embraced the challenge despite any difficulties she faced, and ultimately that determination and love for chemistry is what helped her to earn the position as lab assistant.

“I just really enjoyed the class,” Grace said. “It has a great atmosphere, and there are just so many smart people around you. I also loved having VonEhr as a teacher. Just knowing that when you’re in the class he’s gonna do whatever he can to make sure you’re successful and then knowing that you will be prepared if you work for it.”

Even though Grace doubted herself, VonEhr saw her potential. In the past year, he has been an outstanding mentor for Grace, constantly pushing her to be her best.

“[VonEhr] is so smart, but he’s also really easygoing,” Grace said. “Once you get to know him, he’s really fun to talk to and kind of goofy. He’s smart, and it’s really [interesting] listening to him talk because he’s obviously so passionate about the subject. It’s [unique] being a young student and having the same interest. It’s so cool to see him really love the subject and be eager to help everyone to understand it and have a similar love of it.”

[I love] the fact that everything has a reason beyond a set experiment.

— Grace Cool

In fact, Grace does have that same love for it, so much so that she hopes to pursue it in her future as a possible degree in college. Wherever that passion and curiosity take her, she will always treasure the meaning it gives her and the freedom she has to explore the world of chemistry.

“I love how open [chemistry] is,” Grace said. “In chemistry, what I really enjoy is that everything has a reason, but also you can find different reasons. Every experiment has a reason behind that, and it’s just so open.”