Junior Manages Hoops Schedule with Special Zoo Program

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Junior Manages Hoops Schedule with Special Zoo Program

Junior Dylan Folda takes a baseline jumper during practice

Junior Dylan Folda takes a baseline jumper during practice

Yamilett Ramirez

Junior Dylan Folda takes a baseline jumper during practice

Yamilett Ramirez

Yamilett Ramirez

Junior Dylan Folda takes a baseline jumper during practice

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The zoo is one of many favorite spots for any kid, and in Omaha we’re fortunate to have one of the best zoos in the world and in the country.  But what would it be like going to school at the zoo? Junior Dylan Folda is living that dream out. Starting at 7:30, Folda, along with two other Westside students, begins classes at Henry Doorly but finishes his day here at Westside.

Folda is a basketball player at Westside, but says that the weird schedule hasn’t been an issue as far as conflicts with the zoo program.

“The coaches have been excellent at making sure I’m able to do both of these activities simultaneously.  Before tryouts, there was shoot around in the morning. I wasn’t able to attend these sessions due to zoo school but the coaches allowed me to go shoot after school.”

However, being away from Westside for half the day brings some challenges.  Folda sacrifices morning workouts to be at the zoo but makes up for these workouts after school. Being away from the team this much, Folda misses a lot of important bonding time, but he’s made it a goal of his to not let zoo school affect the team’s chemistry.

“The chemistry isn’t anything that I worry about, we all spend time together during open mods and outside of school, it was important to me that I didn’t let zoo school overtake basketball and vice versa,” said Folda.

Days at the zoo go similar to how they’d go at a normal high school. At the zoo, Folda takes government, english, and zoology, and takes his math, marketing, spanish, and history at Westside.

“It’s block scheduling, so Mondays and Wednesdays are government and zoology while Tuesday and Thursdays are my shadow days. On those days I go to English, and then for an hour and a half I go and shadow the keepers.”

At the zoo, Folda watches the zookeepers tend to the animals, a job that he’s dreamt of having since elementary school.  

“I have a bit of experience in all the ani-areas now just from seeing what goes on behind the scenes. My assigned ani-area is hoofstock which deals with giraffes, rhinos, cheetahs, and any other animals with hooves,” said Folda.  “I’m fortunate for this opportunity as this is what I want to do as a career.”

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