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Preparing for Success

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1st Lt. Tanya Steward speaks to Palmyra High School Sophomore Class.

“How many of you have plans for when you have completed high school?” Thus began the presentation by US Army 1st Lieutenant Tanya Steward, a 2006 graduate of Palmyra High School, to the sophomore class.  Following high school, Tanya enlisted in the US Army to be trained in the medical field as a surgical tech. After completing Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training she was assigned to a post in Colorado.  While there she served on base and enrolled in classes at Colorado State University in Pueblo, working her way toward a degree in nursing. Ms. Steward continued this process for several years, receiving several promotions, a nursing degree, and a commission as an officer in the US Army.

She encouraged the students to have a plan, but not to expect to have all of your life figured out at a young age: plan, sure, but be open to new opportunities. Lt. Steward stressed the importance of following your heart and passion and not give way to the temptation to follow simple security.  Pursue happiness. She related how important it was to weigh you heart and seek what you want out of life in order to make the right decision.  Recently she made the decision to leave the military after serving for 10 years and becoming an officer. She is just ten years away from retirement, but has chosen to follow a dream to work in a university hospital system and earn a master degree in California.


Her open and honest presentation touched on so many meaningful subjects for students: having goals, seeking a mentor, following your heart, avoiding peer pressure, remaining open to new opportunities, getting a great education at Palmyra, and serving in the community through churches and organizations.

Lt. Steward is the daughter of District OR 1 School Board member Susan Steward who also attended the presentation.