‘Bish the Swish’ has big plans after high school

Kamiak grad Andrew Bishop looks forward to getting job training and an apartment with his friends.

Kamiak senior Andrew Bishop (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Kamiak senior Andrew Bishop (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

This is one of a series of profiles of exceptional high school graduates from Snohomish County. They are among the thousands of students graduating this spring, each with their own story of academic achievement, creativity, leadership and determination.

MUKILTEO — On the basketball court, he’s “Bish the Swish.”

That’s what it says on Andrew Bishop’s jersey.

“I’m a sports guy,” Andrew said. “My favorite sport is basketball and I’m really good at it sometimes.”

The 2019 Kamiak High School graduate likes to go for the three-point shots.

He’s never let a challenge get in his way.

“I was born with club feet,” Andrew said. He underwent numerous procedures in infancy to fix his feet.

After graduation, Andrew will attend the school district’s Community Based Transition Center vocational and independent living skills program for ages 18 to 21.

He wants to work at Dick’s Sporting Goods or Buffalo Wild Wings.

“I’d like to get an apartment with friends,” he said.

Andrew is up every day at 6 a.m. to catch an early ferry from Whidbey Island with his parents, Rebecca and David, who both work for the Mukilteo School District. The family lives in Freeland. He is the youngest of three children.

David Bishop is known as “Andrew’s dad” at Kamiak where he teaches English.

“When Andrew graduates nobody is going to talk to me. I’m riding his coattail,” he said. “He’s funnier than I am.”

When Andrew passes his dad in the hall, he puts his hand over the side of his face in a pretend hide.

They are pals. The two have breakfast together.

Andrew is in the Functional Life Academics program at Kamiak.

“I play on the unified team for Kamiak. I also do track and bowling. I also like dancing. Breakdancing and regular dancing,” he said.

He is on the school’s leadership team.

He took a date to senior prom. His sings in his church choir. He cooks. Baked ham topped with pineapple is one of his specialties.

“People will say, ‘Does he have a little bit of Down syndrome?’” his dad said. “Actually he has a lot of Down syndrome.”

Andrew understands.

“My sister and brother, they have tattoos that say ‘21 chromosomes,’” he said.

The tattoos have become a popular symbol nationwide for family members to support those with Down syndrome. An extra copy of the 21st chromosome causes the developmental and physical features of the genetic condition.

“He’s a hard-worker and downright good guy,” said his mom, a paraeducator at Fairmont Elementary School.

“We expect the best and celebrate every accomplishment. He just blows past the boundaries and does more than we expect.”

Andrea Brown: abrown@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.

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