MARYSVILLE — Jenna Knudson, 17, will graduate this spring from Grace Academy, a private Christian school. After growing up in Marysville, she moved with her family to the countryside in Arlington.
Question: Have you been at Grace for all your high school years?
Answer: I’ve actually been here since preschool. I’m the first person to be here that long. It’s been 14 years. It’s pretty cool.
Q: What’s that like?
A: It’s sometimes weird. I talk to friends who go to public school and they’re in different classes every year and don’t really know everyone. I know everyone here. I know all the teachers. My brother went here. He met his wife here, and they’ve been married 13 years. Her mom used to be the principal here. It’s kind of this long legacy I’ve been introduced to. It’s like family. And I really enjoy my education here.
Q: Your brother, and a sister, are quite a bit older than you, it sounds like.
A: My parents were married young and had kids when they were young. Then they had me. They didn’t want to be empty-nesters. So they had me when they were 37.
Q: What classes are you taking right now?
A: My first class is calculus, which is pretty crazy. I’m also taking physics. I’m in English, and our “Global Perspectives” class — we learn about different worldviews and a Christian perspective. We all take Bible. And then I chose a theater survey class. We do a lot of improv.
Q: Do you have a favorite?
A: I really love physics. I used to not like science at all. Our teacher, Mrs. Mellema, is passionate about it. And I like calculus, actually.
Q: What are your plans after high school?
A: I’m going to go to community college and get my (associate’s degree) first and get that out of the way. I think I’m going to go to Skagit Valley College. I live in Arlington Heights, so it’s 40 minutes either way to Skagit or Everett. Right now I’m thinking of what traffic I want to deal with. … I want to transfer to Western Washington University.
Q: Do you know what you want to study?
A: Right now I’m interested in so many different things. I’m trying to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life. I’ve thought about journalism, science, engineering. I used to want to be a lawyer, a doctor. I’m excited to see all the (career options) out there. I’m really excited to see where God leads me. I’m also interested in getting a master’s degree somewhere else, like Hawaii — somewhere near the ocean.
Q: You have curiosity. What sparks that?
A: My parents have raised me to know a little about everything. … My whole family loves history. That’s another one of the things I’m thinking about. Last year here I got the Historian of the Year. I love to watch documentaries. Right now I’m interested in ocean documentaries. We’re doing a project in English called “the passion project.” … I picked the ocean.
Q: What’s something you’ve learned that surprised you?
A: I didn’t know there was sound pollution. Animals like whales and dolphins communicate with sound, and the sounds from the big ships disrupt it. I also didn’t know that because their ears are so sensitive and sound travels so far underwater that their eardrums can burst. But there are ways to fix that.
Q: You’re involved with your church?
A: I’m an intern there now (at Calvary Chapel Lake Stevens). We’ll be helping with projects around church.
Q: Do you have any hobbies?
A: I love taking pictures. I like making videos, and being creative like that. I love music. There’s always music going on (in our home). I’m really into the ’70s and ’80s; my parents have rubbed off on me there.
Q: Do you have a favorite band?
A: Right now the Eagles.
Q: How many students are in your graduating class?
A: I believe 19, including me. I’ve grown up with a lot of them. It’s fun.
Q: What’s it like to be at this stage?
A: I’m going to be 18 soon. I wonder if that’s going to be way different. It’s weird to think about, especially for me because I’m going to a completely new environment. Going from a small private school to a big college campus is exciting. And maybe a little scary. But I’m excited.
Melissa Slager: firstname.lastname@example.org, 425-339-3432.