A: Thirteen! I started here for kindergarten. Only one other classmate and I have been together all these years.
Q: How big is your graduating class?
A: We have 12 people graduating in 2012. We are among the smallest high schools in the state.
Q: Have you ever missed going to a big public school? Do you feel sheltered?
A: No, I don't think I missed anything, and yes, I am sheltered, but I'm proud of it. Private Christian schools get a bad rap. It's a huge blessing that my parents could afford to send me here. I really wouldn't want to go anywhere else.
Q: What is special about Grace?
A: Our classes are small, and we have good relationships with our teachers. They have the chance to focus on the help and encouragement we need. As students, we feel like brothers and sisters. These are people we count on as we would our own families.
Q: What has been your favorite class?
A: It's called Christian World Perspectives. Like a current world problems class at a public high school, it's a chance to look at what is going on in the world. But in our class we put on what we like to call our "gospel glasses." We view the world as Christians.
Q: We understand your folks are involved at Grace Academy. What do they do?
A: My mom and grandpa, Fred Howard, coach track. My dad coaches girls basketball.
Q: And what sports have you played?
A: I made the all-league volleyball team, I played center on the basketball team, and I run individual and relay events in track. I have been captain of all the teams. Volleyball is my favorite sport.
Q: What else keeps you busy at school?
A: I'm the yearbook editor, and I designed the book covers this year and last, and I do a lot of the photography. I have been in the past four plays at school, including "Peter Pan," "The Diary of Anne Frank," "Harvey" and "Anne of Green Gables."
Q: What were your favorite roles?
A: I enjoyed playing Wendy in "Peter Pan," but I also liked playing Marilla Cuthbert in "Green Gables." It was a challenge to play a stoic adult instead of a kid.
Q: What is your schedule like?
A: School from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., sports from 3 to 5:30 p.m., and play practice from 6 to 9:30 p.m. And then there's homework and scholarship applications and job applications. I don't have any free time, but it's OK because I need to be part of the team at school. I played basketball so we would have enough players. My top priority now is to find a job to pay for college.
Q: You have volunteer experience, too, right?
A: I have helped my church, Christ the King of Arlington, pass out school supplies to children in the fall, and I work at the Arlington Fly-In in the summer. I also help out with chapel and fundraising events at school. These days, there's too much of people thinking only of themselves.
Why would you want to do as little as possible in your community when you could do so much to help? I hope that doesn't sound cheesy.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: I plan to attend Everett Community College, and I hope to transfer to Eastern Washington University. I'm not sure what I want to study yet, but I am interested in photography, graphic arts and sports medicine. These are all things my mom is interested in as well. We're best friends.
Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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