Super Kid’s next step is nursing school

Q: So you graduated this month from Stanwood High School and Skagit Valley College?

A: Yes, Running Start was great. All my classes this year were at the community college, but I played my senior season of tennis at Stanwood.

Q: We hear you are one of fewer than 100 students accepted into the top-rated University of Washington School of Nursing for the fall. You’ll be one of the youngest incoming students in that program, right?

A: Yes. I think other 17-year-olds have been accepted at the school, but I am in the minority for sure. I am used to be the youngest at school, so it’s OK.

Q: Are you excited? And how long is the program at the nursing school?

A: Yes, the UW is my dream school. Nursing is a two-year program with a lot of clinical work.

Q: Will you live in a dorm on campus?

A: Yes, at least for the first year. That’s good. That way, I can get to know other people my age.

Q: What area of nursing do you hope to pursue?

A: At first I thought I wanted to be a labor and delivery nurse, but now I want to be a flight nurse with an outfit such as Airlift Northwest.

Q: What does that involve?

A: I will have emergency room and trauma training and flight training. Flight nurses keep people alive while the team flies the patient to an emergency room.

Q: Sounds stressful.

A: But also exciting and unpredictable. My dad is an Everett fireman and I have ridden along with him. I also volunteered at Cascade Valley Hospital and did a job shadow with a nurse practitioner at Swedish Hospital in Seattle. There’s a lot of satisfaction that comes with helping people.

Q: Why did you chose Running Start?

A: I know what I want to do and I just don’t want to waste any time or have other people wasting my time. Skagit Valley College was a perfect fit for me. I have no regrets.

Q: What did you study at the college?

A: Lots of science. I had four biology classes, two chemistry classes and others. Prerequisites.

Q: Who are some of the teachers at Stanwood who you will remember?

A: George Colby, who was my FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) adviser, and Kathy Redfern, who I had for AP calculus in my sophomore year.

Q: Advanced placement calculus when you were just a sophomore?

A: Yeah, I took a bunch of algebra and geometry at Port Susan Middle School.

Q: You played tennis all four years at Stanwood?

A: Yes, and I lettered when I was a freshman. This year my doubles partner and I got to state. I really appreciated my coaches, the late Ron Shanander, Trudy Abrams and Liz Currey.

Q: I understand you also have a job at Warm Beach Senior Community?

A: I had to get 100 hours of health care experience. Warm Beach is just a few minutes from my parents’ house. After awhile, they offered me an assistant job and I worked 15 hours a week. Lately, it’s been just on Sundays.

Q: Are the folks at the center going to miss you?

A: Well, I know they are excited for me.

Q: I bet your parents and siblings are excited for you, too.

A: I appreciate all of the opportunities that my mom and dad have given me. If not for the two of them, I would be nowhere near where I am today and I owe a lot to them.

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427;

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