Glacier Peak High School senior Shelby Northen is in the National Honor Society at school and plans to attend college somewhere in Washington next year. (Ian Terry / The Herald)

Glacier Peak High School senior Shelby Northen is in the National Honor Society at school and plans to attend college somewhere in Washington next year. (Ian Terry / The Herald)

Glacier Peak senior prepares to leave the high school stage

Shelby Northen is also a musician and a Seattle Aquarium volunteer.

SNOHOMISH — Glacier Peak High School senior Shelby Northen, 17, is a thoughtful young woman who has made the most of her high school adventure.

Question: What middle school and elementary school did you go to?

Answer: I actually moved here the summer before my seventh grade year. So I went to Valley View Middle School, but I went to Bonsack Elementary in Roanoke, Virginia. I was actually born here in Washington, in Port Orchard, and I lived here until I was 6. Then we moved to the East Coast.

My dad was in the Navy for 20 years. He retired and went to school in North Carolina, and then got a job in Virginia, and then his job moved him back here. My mom’s whole family is here. Washington has always been home.

Q: What classes are you taking?

A: As a senior, I am taking both of my English electives this semester. So I’m in myth and Brit lit, and those are two of my favorite classes. … They’re both college prep classes. I’m also in (college-level Advanced Placement) statistics, which has proved to be probably my hardest class. It’s probably my favorite type of math so far. So it’s helped with the difficulty of the class. Then I’m in Spanish. Wind ensemble — I play flute. And I have government.

Q: How long have you played flute?

A: Since sixth grade. I picked up piccolo my sophomore year, and that was a lot of fun. I also play guitar and a little bit of ukulele … This year I decided to join the jazz choir and try that out for a little bit. So I sing a little bit. November 1st is our first choir concert.

Q: You’ve also sung in theater performances.

A: I’ve been a part of every theater production since my freshman year in some way. I’ve been behind the scenes and on the stage. Right now, I’m set lead for our upcoming musical, “Tarzan,” so I’m really excited about that. It’s been a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun. We’re here every day after school. We’re making rocks, and trees, and vines. It’s going to be an awesome show. That opens Veteran’s Day weekend.

Q: What other activities are you involved in?

A: I’m in National Honor Society here at school. This is my first year with Link Crew, and it’s been a lot of fun. I have a group of 12 freshmen.

I also volunteer at the Seattle Aquarium on the weekends and during the summer. It’s a lot of fun. I’m a youth ocean advocate. I basically go around in the exhibits and talk about fish, and ocean conservation, and all the kinds of things that are in our area that are concerning, or just fun facts. I talk to kids. I sometimes face paint. During the summer we do stuff out in the field as well… My dad is one of the (volunteer) divers there. I’ve kind of grown up around the Aquarium.

Q: Does that point to a long-term interest for you?

A: I thought about it when I first started, about going into marine biology. But I’ve kind of figured out over time that what I love about it is the talking to people … and the community that’s there. In the future, I’ll probably pursue something more along the lines of humanities, social work.

Q: What colleges are you looking at?

A: I’m applying in-state to Western, Wazzu and U-Dub.

Q: What is it like to look ahead toward the future?

A: It’s scary. There’s a lot of things I just haven’t figured out. I don’t know what I’m going to eventually end up doing. All I know is that I want to do something that helps people and I want to someday support a family. Just how to get there is going to be an adventure. But I’m excited to see where it takes me.

Q: Do you have other hobbies or interests or things you like to do to relax or have fun?

Sleep (laughs). I spend a lot of time doing homework. But besides that I spend time with my friends. I go to as many of the sporting events here at school as I can.

I’m one of the school’s drum majors, so I conduct our marching band.

Going into it, I was very nervous. We had a week in the summer where we did band camp. Mr. (David) Weed was our teacher … and he was so helpful. I learned so much from him about being a drum major, but also how to approach life in general. He gave us three rules, and it was to take a deep breath and relax; have fun; and take it slow. “Be cool,” were his words.

Those were very helpful (to remember) when you’re standing in front of a 200-person group and you’re moving your arms around and they’re trying to follow you and — whoo! — it’s a lot.

The energy that you feel from your team and the stands and the band — it’s very rewarding. It’s one of my highlights from high school, for sure.

Q: Do you have anybody you look up to as an inspiration or a mentor?

A: Mr. Weed is definitely on that list. Also, my parents (Maxine and Ford) are definitely on that list. We’ve always had a very tight family connection. I think it’s something that’s very important, for me. They’ve always supported me, and encouraged me to do my best, and to reach for the stars, and all that cheesy kind of stuff that parents say, but it really does make a difference.

Melissa Slager:, 425-339-3432.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Marysville firefighters respond to a 12-year-old boy who fell down a well Tuesday May 30, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Photo provided by Marysville Fire District)
Marysville firefighters save boy who fell 20 feet into well

The 12-year-old child held himself up by grabbing on to a plastic pipe while firefighters worked to save him.

Highway 9 is set to be closed in both directions for a week as construction crews build a roundabout at the intersection with Vernon Road. (Washington State Department of Transportation)
Weeklong closure coming to Highway 9 section in Lake Stevens

Travelers should expect delays or find another way from Friday to Thursday between Highway 204 and Lundeen Parkway.

Students arriving off the bus get in line to score some waffles during a free pancake and waffle breakfast at Lowell Elementary School on Friday, May 26, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
800 free pancakes at Everett’s Lowell Elementary feed the masses

The annual breakfast was started to connect the community and the school, as well as to get people to interact.

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring speaks at the groundbreaking event for the I-5/SR 529 Interchange project on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$123M project starting on Highway 529 interchange, I-5 HOV lane

A reader wondered why the highway had a lane closure despite not seeing work done. Crews were waiting on the weather.

Justin Bell was convicted earlier this month of first-degree assault for a December 2017 shooting outside a Value Village in Everett. (Caleb Hutton / Herald file)
Court: Snohomish County jurors’ opaque masks didn’t taint verdict

During the pandemic, Justin Bell, 32, went on trial for a shooting. Bell claims his right to an impartial jury was violated.

Gary Fontes uprights a tree that fell over in front of The Fontes Manor — a miniature handmade bed and breakfast — on Friday, May 12, 2023, at his home near Silver Lake in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Everett’s mini-Frank Lloyd Wright builds neighborhood of extra tiny homes

A tiny lighthouse, a spooky mansion and more: Gary Fontes’ miniature world of architectural wonders is one-twelfth the size of real life.

Will Steffener
Inslee appoints Steffener as Superior Court judge

Attorney Will Steffener will replace Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Janice Ellis, who is retiring in June.

Panelists from different areas of mental health care speak at the Herald Forum about mental health care on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
At panel, mental health experts brainstorm answers to staff shortages

Workforce shortages, insurance coverage and crisis response were in focus at the Snohomish forum hosted by The Daily Herald.

Police: Marysville man fist-bumped cop, exposing tattoos of wanted robber

The suspect told police he robbed three stores to pay off a drug debt. He’d just been released from federal prison for another armed robbery.

Most Read