Senior Nancy Enick, 18, at Heritage High School in Tulalip on Tuesday</span>. Enick plans to attend Everett Community College in the fall and someday become a teacher. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Senior Nancy Enick, 18, at Heritage High School in Tulalip on Tuesday. Enick plans to attend Everett Community College in the fall and someday become a teacher. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Changing schools, Tulalip teen found motivation to graduate

Nancy Enick, 18, started at Heritage High School this school year. She’s since gotten straight As.

TULALIP — Nancy Enick put in hard work to graduate next month.

Enick, 18, went to Everett High School until she was a junior. She moved to Heritage High School as a senior at the beginning of this school year. She’s a member of the Tulalip Tribes.

Enick plans to attend Everett Community College, although she has been accepted to Western Washington University. She hopes to transfer after earning an associate degree, with plans to become a teacher.

Q: What has it been like to move to Heritage High School?

A: I like it a lot here. I have more interaction with students because it’s really small. (There are about a dozen seniors.)

I feel like I’m a lot more outgoing — well, I’m related to a lot of people here, so it’s kind of just family.

Q: Where do you live?

A: I live in Tulalip. I lived in Everett for the majority of my life.

Q: What are your favorite classes?

A: I would say honors English and math. I like honors English because it’s a challenge for me, and the teacher is really passionate.

Q: You want to be a teacher?

A: I kind of want to go into early learning or elementary. When I was younger I would pretend to play school with my (six) siblings.

Q: What’s your plan after graduation?

A: I’ll be attending EvCC in the fall.

Q: Your principal, Kelli Miller, said you got into Western Washington University?

A: I did. I want to stay close for now until I figure everything out, and eventually I’ll transfer.

Q: What do you do outside of school?

A: I play volleyball. I started in the sixth grade. … I also babysit a lot. I used to watch my siblings a lot, too. It’s kind of all I’ve known.

Q: Have any teachers inspired you?

A: Kelli and Bruce Campbell. He’s my honors English teacher. They are both really passionate, and I guess that’s kind of how I am as a person. Really passionate. And I care a lot, and they both really care a lot. They have pretty high standards of me, so it pushes me.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to carry on from them as a teacher?

A: Bruce has a lot of knowledge, and he always makes sure he cares about his students before he starts the lesson. Say we come back from the weekend, he’s always like, “How was your weekend? What did you do?” And if you don’t want to answer him, he’ll wait for you.

Q: You have classes here to learn about your culture. What’s that like?

A: It’s helped me … It’s not just regularly what everybody else learns. It’s my heritage, it’s where I come from. It makes it fun to learn.

Q: What’s something you’re proud of?

A: It sounds weird, but just graduating. My junior year I pretty much never went to school. I was pretty much failing all of my classes, so it took me a while to catch back up. I didn’t expect to be graduating this year.

Q: How did you do it?

A: I had to do summer school. I think I did two credit retrieval classes. It was online, but it lasted forever. I was doing it for like 10 hours a day, then I’d go eat, and then I’d come back and do it again. I finished in two weeks. I was also working.

Q: Are you getting A’s now?

A: Yeah, this entire year it’s been that way. … It’s hard to keep your grades at A’s, but I like the challenge. Because I know I’m capable.

Q: Have there been challenges during high school?

A: I would say that death out here is pretty high. So I mean, I missed a lot of school. It was pretty hard to miss a lot of school then go back.

I guess I kind of felt left out for a while. So, um, here I feel like a lot of people understand. It’s easier to be here and pick myself back up.

Q: You mentioned the death rate is high?

A: For my family, it’s pretty common for at least four people to pass away each year.

Q: Has that kept you from school?

A: Yeah. I was just not really motivated and I was pretty depressed.

Q: How big is your family?

A: I probably can’t even count. Especially out here, it’s like, you know everybody, you are related to everybody.

Q: What have you learned about yourself the past few years?

A: I guess just never settle for less. I feel like coming here opened up my mind in a way.

When I was at Everett High I used to get C’s, and I was mad about it, but I feel like I wasn’t pushed enough. I didn’t have that motivation. Here a lot of people push me and I know that I’m worth more than I think I am.

Q: What advice would you give to your younger self?

A: Never give up. People go through struggles. You kind of think in that moment that that is the end. But it’s really not. Just don’t give up.

Stephanie Davey: 425-339-3192; sdavey@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @stephrdavey.

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