Question: We were told by the principals that you are one of the nicest students in your school. What’s that about?
A: Well, I don’t know if I am, but I do know that it helps others when you have a positive attitude. In general, I am a happy person and I always try to have a smile on my face. If someone who is having a bad time sees me smile, perhaps it will lighten the day. You never know what people might be going through. I also try to be a mentor.
Q: Who are you mentoring?
A: Well, it starts with wanting to be a role model to my three younger cousins who live next door. The oldest is in sixth grade. They are great boys and I want them to know that you can have fun and still work hard in school.
I also help out some freshmen here at school in something we call the Link Crew. I know how nervous I was at the start of my freshman year, so I check in with a group of younger students to make sure they are doing OK. I like to encourage people and always want to see the best in them.
And next semester, I plan to be a peer tutor in math for the counseling office.
Q: What other volunteer work have you done?
A: I help with vacation Bible school at my church and I am helping with a three-on-three basketball tournament.
Q: So, we hear you like sports. Such as?
A: Well, I love the Seahawks, the Sounders and the Mariners. My mom and I got to go to the game this summer when Ken Griffey Jr. was there.
My brother played minor league baseball, my mom was all-state in softball at Marysville-Pilchuck and my dad played soccer. We’re a sports family.
Q: And you play volleyball? How tall are you?
A: Yep. I am 5-foot-9-inches and I’m an outside hitter and co-captain of the varsity team. We have a good coach, Chad Palmiter. It’s his second year as varsity coach, so we are learning with him.
Q: What do you do to prepare for game days?
A: What I can’t do is chew gum or wear my hair in anything but a bun or a ponytail. I like to listen to music and drink green tea to get ready. I visualize the win.
Q: Where would you like to go to college next year?
A: Linfield College in Oregon has a degree in sports management and that’s what I want. However, I may do a year or two at Everett Community College. I am a homebody and would like to stay closer to home for a little bit longer. That way I could also work for my uncle who owns the floral shop in downtown Arlington.
Q: What is sports management?
A: For the degree, you learn about business, ethics and health. The idea is that I would like to manage a team, perhaps a professional team or a college team. I like to be in charge and I like to lead projects.
Q: What is your senior project? Is it sports related?
A: Well I love going fishing with my dad, so I decided I also want to go with him when he goes bow hunting for elk. My project is to learn how to use the compound bow, attend a hunter safety classes and get my license. It’ll be another nice recreational hobby with my dad.
Q: What are your classes this semester?
A: Government, Spanish 3, (advanced placement) calculus, college writing and biotechnology.
I love my school. Arlington is still sort of a small town and so, though we have a wide range of people here, we are like a big family. And the community supports what we do at the high school.
Q: Who’s your favorite teacher and why?
A: History teacher Joe Marsh is great. I am a teacher assistant for him this year. He’s a family friend, he’s funny, he cares about students and he makes history interesting.
Q: When you aren’t busy with school and sports, what do you like to do?
A: I like to hang out with my friends, Chloe Jira, Sophia Hitsky and Marisa Rathert. We like to go out for dinner or a movie or just sit around my family’s fire pit at home.
My favorite day of the week is Sunday. We walk over to my grandma’s house for dinner, watch football on TV and just hang out. I don’t see much of my family during the week, so Sunday is special. It’s a privilege. It’s a family day. Not everybody has close family who live nearby.
Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; firstname.lastname@example.org.