Coroner’s Office participates in forensics class _lowres

Photo provided by Josh Galasso -- Gathering in December for a segment on the St. Michael forensics class are, from left, Nathan Kristof, Victoria Passman, Kylie Dixon, Alana Lyons and Will Englade. The class was featured as a Cool School on WBRZ.

The St. Michael High School forensics class provides upperclassmen a solid foundation in physics, chemistry, biology and advanced mathematics led by a first-year teacher who is a certified death investigator for the West Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office.

Alana Lyons’ students and the program were recently highlighted in a “Cool School” segment on WBRZ television.

Lyons said she works closely with St. Michael alumnus and East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Dr. William “Beau” Clark.

She said Clark often serves as a guest lecturer and provides the opportunity for her forensics students to witness an autopsy. She said her students receive a firsthand glimpse into the lives of a coroner and a death investigator thanks to the partnership with the Coroner’s Office.

“There are a lot of opportunities and avenues ranging from wanting to be a physician, pathologist, medical examiner or even a coroner like myself,” Clark said. “I hope this class opens up the door to numerous other graduates from St. Michael pursuing a career in the medical field.”

Senior Victoria Passman said she has developed an interest in pursing a career in the medical field because of her experiences in the class.

“We learn a lot of different things like how to determine cause of death, how long they have been dead, blood splatter analysis, fingerprinting, bullet projector and do a number of other hands-on activities such as growing maggots outside, rotting meat and more, and even went to witness an autopsy firsthand,” she said. “I am really happy I decided to take this class this year because I am now interested in possibly pursuing a career in the medical field.”

For information on St. Michael High School or the forensics class, visit