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: mslager@heraldnet.com, 425-339-3432.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Zachary Robbins
Marysville superintendent could start a month early

A June start means Zachary Robbins could weigh in on a $13.5 million budget shortfall and a parental consent policy for clubs.

Arlington
Driver dies after rollover crash at Smokey Point

The deceased man, 25, reportedly sped off from police before crashing into a nearby utility pole. A woman, 19, was injured.

Epic Ford on the corner of 52nd Street and Evergreen Way in Everett is closed. The dealership has been in business for more than 50 years. (Janice Podsada / The Herald)
After 50 years, Everett’s Epic Ford dealership closes shop

It opened in 1971, when gas guzzling muscle cars like the Ford Mustang still ruled the road.

Nuno Taborda
Former Rolls Royce executive to lead Everett aerospace firm

magniX, which builds electric aircraft motors, has hired Nuno Taborda as its next CEO.

Marysville
Smokey Point Boulevard stretch closed for crash investigation

The road was closed between 136th Street NE and 152nd Street NE after a possibly fatal collision.

The Mountain Loop Highway between Darrington and Granite Falls remains closed beyond Barlow Pass. (Snohomish County)
Oops, Mountain Loop Highway only partly open

A miscommunication led Snohomish County to misstate how much of the road is open.

FILE - In this Oct. 24, 2020, file photo, a Washington state Department of Agriculture worker holds two of the dozens of Asian giant hornets vacuumed from a tree in Blaine, Wash. Authorities say they've found the first Asian giant hornet nest of 2021 in a rural area east of Blaine. State entomologists will now develop a plan to eradicate the nest. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Scientists will set 1,000 traps for murder hornets this year

Asian giant hornets, first detected in 2019, are are believed to be confined in Whatcom County.

Janette Burk and Timur Keskinturk are fighting to keep their coffee shop location in Alderwood Mall. Photographed in Seattle, Washington on May 23, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
A Turkish café served coffee next to Starbucks. They were told to move.

After years, Kismet Turkish Cafe Bakery’s owners say they were told to relocate in Alderwood mall due to a nearby Starbucks kiosk.

Monroe High School with (inset) a Facebook video screenshot from Nov. 10, 2021, which showed a white student repeatedly using racial slurs in a confrontation with a Black student.
‘It makes me angry’: Black students in Monroe report persistent racism

“Please help stop this racism,” a first-grade student told the Monroe school board Monday. Other kids reported racist slurs.

Most Read