Jessica Walker, 17, senior, Cascade High School

Michael V. Martina / The Herald

Jessica Walker, 17, a student at Cascade High School, is taking veterinary science classes at Sno Isle Skill Center. She says she hopes to get a degree in animal science and would like to be a dog handler. She is raising her 4-month-old dog Gabriel to be a show dog.

Going to the dogs: Got into animals through 4-H, of which she’s now club president. “It clicked.” Has four dogs at home, including Gabriel, a 4-month-old tri-belton (multicolored) English setter that she is training for show. Bought him from a breeder she works for on Whidbey Island for $1,500. Took four months to pay off.

New tricks: Training the puppy in obedience skills, such as walking on a leash at the same pace as her and sitting down when she stops, as well as showmanship skills, like walking at a certain speed and posing for the judges. “He’s really fun.”

Doggone good: An American Kennel Club novice competitor the past three years. Showed Gabriel at a junior showmanship competition in Portland, Ore., this past weekend. It was her third win, meaning she can now compete in the open class, the next step up from novice.

Pre-vet student: In her second year in Sno-Isle Skills Center’s pre-veterinary program. Though a one-year program, she was accepted again to continue pursuing career options. “It’s a fun program.” Balances with independent studies at home through Cascade High School.

Maybe not: Wanted to be a veterinarian, but first year at Sno-Isle led her to switch dreams. “There’s a lot of schooling,” (nine years beyond high school) “and I don’t like school. So it saved me a lot of money.”

Get thee a husbandry: Thinking now about being a professional dog handler and getting a degree in animal husbandry. May attend Pierce Community College’s veterinary technology program next year.

Puppy dog eyes: School leases cats and dogs from a kennel, which then offers them for adoption. Jessica adopted Max, a lab mix, after convincing mom. “The thought of him having to live with someone else just broke my heart. He’s my baby.”

Hen-pecked: Along with four dogs, family has three chickens. “They beat up on Gabriel all the time. They’d wait for him … and then jump him and bite him.”

Found her path: Sno-Isle gave her motivation. “I’ve never been big on going to school. I didn’t like sitting in a classroom.” Once at Sno-Isle, only had three absences – for a dog show. “It gave me the courage to set my own education path.”

Know a super kid? Contact us as 425-339-3036 or e-mail schoolfyi@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Waiting lists and growing demand for low-income preschools

There will be 1,000 more spots opening in the state next school year — far fewer than needed.

Snohomish County PUD general manager and CEO to retire

Craig Collar, 54, who will return to Montana, joined the utility as a senior manager in 2006.

Jensen Webster sorts through food stuffs at the Sultan High School in Sultan on March 14, 2018. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Sultan school children take charge to help their peers

The Sky Valley Youth Coalition has installed pantries at schools so kids can take food home.

Cougs beat Dawgs — and the Hawks

WSU boasts the No. 1 specialty license plate, and the money that comes with it.

Police seek female suspect in north Everett burglaries

She’s suspected of being an accomplice to a man who has committed five other burglaries.

North Machias Road bridge down to one lane until fixes made

A bridge south of Lake Stevens remains at one lane of travel… Continue reading

Everett woman found dead identified as 21-year-old

There were no obvious signs of trauma on the body of Brianna Leigh Nyer.

Ivar’s in Mukilteo closes for disinfection after illnesses

The Snohomish Health District said it’s not certain what caused some patrons to get sick.

Herald photos of the week

The latest collection of top images by Herald photographers.

Most Read