SUPER KID: Ryan Shay, 18, Marysville Arts & Technology High School senior

Feeling at home: Was homeschooled since second grade until his freshman year of high school. His mom, Mary, has a bachelor’s degree in education. “It was very rigorous. My mom is a very tough but very loving teacher.”

Small is good: Likes Marysville A&T, a small option high school in the Marysville School District. “I haven’t ever felt like I have been lost in a mass. I call A&T the perfect fit for me.”

Different strokes: Swims for Marysville-Pilchuck High School, where he is one of four co-captains. Didn’t even think about turning out at M-P until he was called and encouraged to give it a try in sophomore year. Has qualified for district meet in the 100-yard freestyle and hopes to also qualify in the 200 yards. “I’m kind of a sprinter guy. I like to get in and get out as fast as I can.”

Martial arts: Earned his black belt in karate at age 13.

Next year: Has applied to the University of Washington, where he is looking to major in international studies. Would love a profession that allows him to explore different parts of the world.

Good start: Has traveled to several countries in Europe. Favorite so far is France. “I love the French culture, their history, their architecture.”

Senior project: Was not looking forward to one more graduation requirement but is now glad he had to do a senior project. Interviewed 11 elderly members of his church and found fascinating stories ranging from a Latvian immigrant who was forced to dig mass graves during World War II to the harrowing adventures of a Korean War veteran. Project helped him realize “we have these heroes right next door. I wanted to preserve as many life stories as I could.”

Good times: Driving around town with his friends and watching Marysville grow. Hopes to take road trips with friends this summer.

Favorite subject: History. “I love history. I love learning history, studying history and I love making history.”

Shutter-bug: Has found a creative way to pursue a favorite hobby and make money at the same time. Loves photography and has made two calendars that explore nature and architecture on his travels. Shots include the Volga River in Russia and other spots in Europe, Lake Michigan, Baker Lake and Grand Canyon. Invests $500 on 50 calendars, costing him $10 each, and sells them for $20 for a $500 profit. Latest calendar will help pay for college.

Favorite book: The Bible.

Favorite movie: “The Shawshank Redemption.”

Thankful: “I’ve been blessed by a God who loves me in so many ways. I’m just so overwhelmingly grateful.”

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