Frances Scott-Weis is a Running Start student at Everett Community College as well as a senior at Sky Valley Education Center in Monroe. She hopes to attend the University of Washington in the fall to study applied mathematics. (Ian Terry / The Herald)

Frances Scott-Weis is a Running Start student at Everett Community College as well as a senior at Sky Valley Education Center in Monroe. She hopes to attend the University of Washington in the fall to study applied mathematics. (Ian Terry / The Herald)

Hard work in math is adding up for Sky Valley senior

Frances Scott-Weis is a Running Start student at EvCC who loves solving problems and traveling.

MONROE — Frances Scott-Weis, 17, attends Everett Community College through the Running Start program and also continues to take some classes at Sky Valley Education Center. The math whiz gets great grades and hopes to get into the University of Washington’s applied math program.

Question: You’ll be graduating in June with your direct transfer degree and high school diploma. And I understand both your parents will be graduating at the same time?

Answer: Yeah. So both of my parents went back to school. One of them (Jasper) will be graduating from Western with a teaching degree. The other one (Marci) is graduating from Seattle University with a degree in seminary. We have a house full of students. The end of that finals week that we all have at the same time — it’s crazy.

Q: What classes are you taking?

A: I really like taking the classes there (at EvCC) — just more opportunities. It’s definitely more rigorous. I just finished fall quarter and took calculus 3, intro to computer science and a “Global Issues through Film” class. … Next quarter I’m taking differential equations. I’m actually really excited for that one. I’m also taking intro to Java, and I’m taking nutrition as a science.

(At Sky Valley) I take a choir class. I’m in the show choir and the Sky Valley Singers here. I’m a soprano, and soprano dance captain for the show choir.

Q: What do you hope to do after graduation?

A: I’m really hoping to go into the applied math department at the University of Washington. So all of my additional electives are going toward taking the pre-req’s.

Q: Career-wise, what are you looking at?

A: I know I want to go into applied math, but then that’s a lot of options. Right now I’m interested in operations research, or possibly going into numerical analysis and scientific computing and that sort of thing. I’d really like to tie in computer science as well.

Q: So you like math.

A: I love math! It’s always my favorite class every quarter.

Q: Has that always been the case?

A: It’s always been something I’ve really enjoyed. When I got to the college, I took trig and it went really well and I thought, well, I guess I’ll go into calculus. Then I got to calc 2 and I was like, well, I guess I’ll just keep going. And then I was like maybe I should actually consider this as a career.

Q: What is it about math?

A: There’s always a way to solve the problem. There’s always an answer that you can get to. I just love the feeling when it takes multiple pages of work to get to an answer and then it’s right.

Q: Switching gears, you just returned from a trip?

A: My mom was on a trip to Alaska for business and I had never been. I’m really into traveling. I have the travel bug. So I went with her.

Q: Have you traveled a lot?

A: Yeah, a fair amount. I went to Panama with the Model United Nations team (from Sky Valley) my first year of high school. Then I went to Italy two years back, and Paris and Belgium this past September. The past two trips have been family trips. My parents are very into traveling and seeing the world.

Q: What other kind of travel do you want to do?

A: I’d love to do study abroad. I just want to travel. I’d love to take a year off after I get my undergraduate degree. … The next place I’d really love to go is Spain. I’ve taken Spanish. I took Spanish 4 last year, and I’m now just continuing doing immersion and watching TV shows, listening to music and things like that. I would have loved to take a class but I just couldn’t fit it in this quarter. I would love to be fluent. That’s definitely a goal for the future.

Q: You play piano?

A: I’ve been doing that for, gosh, 12 years. Just this past year I stopped officially taking lessons and have been doing my own thing. I’m at the point where I can learn all of the music that I want to learn, which is nice because with school it’s good to practice less some weeks and more other weeks. … I love learning anything Romantic style, and anything from that period, especially Chopin — that’s my favorite to play. And also I’m totally a music nerd. I have so many songbooks that have all those songs from musicals in the piano format, and I love to play those as well. When I’m stressed out, it’s nice to have a good outlet.

Q: What else do you do in your spare time?

A: I’m also in Girl Scouts. I really enjoy that and do a lot of service through that, like working as a camp counselor … I normally work with the first-graders and it’s a really great time being with them.

I also do math tutoring at the college and that takes up quite a bit of my time. I do embedded tutoring, so I’m in the classroom. This past quarter I was in a trig class. I also hold group studies outside of class for the students.

Q: What is it like to be at this stage in life?

A: It’s a little stressful, just because there’s so many things going on — preparing for the future and also focusing on getting everything done right now. Especially things like balancing homework and college applications — they’re both necessary.

Melissa Slager: mslager@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3432.

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