Of horses and of courses

Future veterinary surgeon says NDP huge in preparing for college and career.

Sarah Morelli is charging forward into a career as a veterinary surgeon. This 2009 Notre Dame grad, who currently is halfway through Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, said she likely would not be anywhere near her dream of becoming a practicing vet if it wasn’t for the education she received in high school.

“I am halfway done with veterinary school and I’m so grateful for the skills Notre Dame gave me,” said Morelli. “I feel that I not only got a great education at Notre Dame that prepared me for college, but I gained great study skills and habits that have made the rigorous veterinary curriculum and courses doable for me.”

Morelli also is member of MSU’s Polo Club team and, despite an extremely heavy load of courses, she said she’s able to handle it all due in large part to NDP.

“Because of how prepared I was for college and veterinary school, I have been able to continue to competitively ride horses on the polo team,” she said. “I feel that the teachers at NDP did a wonderful job preparing me for college and gave me a competitive edge over my peers throughout college.”

Morelli did her undergrad at Saginaw Valley State University where she earned a degree in biology. She also completed a fellowship at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Kentucky and will be doing an externship this winter at the Four Sixes Ranch in Texas. Her success thus far, Morelli acknowledges, did not come without the help of many of her teachers at Notre Dame who played a huge role in her post-secondary career accomplishments, both at SVSU and MSU. 

“I do miss all the teachers at ND and although all of them played a part in getting me to where I am today, I do have the most wonderful memories from my classes with Dr. Heinbuck, Mrs. (Kochenderfer) Preiss and Fr. Strasz.” She also had high marks for the times she spent in the school office helping Mary Jane Pasko and Marie Place.

It’s no accident that Morelli is in veterinary school or plays polo. Horses have always been her passion and being able to turn her passion into a career will be a dream come true for her. Of course, polo also plays a role in her dreams.

“I love what I am doing and cannot imagine doing anything else,” she said. “Even when classes get difficult, just heading out to the barn for polo practice helps me remember my dream and makes all of the studying worth it. My parents have also been a huge inspiration for me and I would not be here without their love and support. I also believe the skills that will make me successful in veterinary medicine are the ability to think on my feet and problem-solve, as well as my social skills for interacting with clients and coworkers.” 

Skills that came in no small part from her Notre Dame tenure, which she said she’ll forever be grateful.

“I think it is important to reflect upon where I came from because everyone in my life, including those at NDP, played a role in shaping me into the person I am today,” Morelli said. “So I feel it is important to look back and remember those people, and include them in the celebrations of my success. Without them, I may not have made it to where I am today. I also think it is important to be an inspiration to those who follow behind me. You never know when you will have a positive impact on someone else’s life.” 

Comments or questions? mkelly@ndpma.org.

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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy

Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. The school's upper division enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower divisions enroll students in jr. kindergarten through grade eight. All three divisions are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." The Marist Fathers and Brothers sponsor NDPMA's Catholic identity and manages its educational program. Notre Dame is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school's home page at www.ndpma.org.