MUKILTEO — Jade Steigerwald, 16, hopes to become either a doctor or lawyer, but first needs to finish high school.
She’s going into her senior year at Mariner High School and is spending the summer as an intern at the Boeing Co. She’s going to be a student director on the Mukilteo School Board next year, and hopes to someday go to the University of Washington.
Question: What are some of your favorite classes?
Answer: Band, obviously. Then math hasn’t been my favorite class for a long time, but I have an amazing math teacher this year and he makes me look forward to math. I would say the same with English, but those are because they are three fantastic teachers, like the best teachers I’ve ever had.
Q: How long have you been in band?
A: For school since fifth grade, but I first picked up my instrument in fourth grade. I play the saxophone.
Q: How did you start?
A: When I was 4 I heard my grandpa play at my aunt’s wedding, and I was enthralled. I could not get it out of my head, and so I was telling my dad, “I love it, I love it,” and it turns out my dad played the saxophone in high school, which I didn’t even know. So I would beg him all the time to play saxophone for me, and he would every so often dust it off and play.
When I was in fourth grade and I knew band was coming up in fifth grade, I just went to my grandpa and I was like, “Hey, I really want to play,” and he gave me a saxophone and I took off, done it ever since.
Q: What bands do you play in?
A: We have a field show band, a pep band and a marching band. (She’s in all three.) Basically, everyone is in all of them though, it’s not some special thing.
I’m in the highest band, which is wind ensemble, and I used to be in the jazz band, but along with having to drop swim this year I also had to drop jazz band. I’ve actually been working on my jazz technique and hopefully will be in again next year, because my class load is a little bit easier.
Q: What are you looking forward to senior year?
A: I’m really looking forward to being a senior in band, because we get celebrated a lot and you get flowers at the end of the football games — seems cute, I’m excited.
I feel like other than that it’s not much different, still just trying to get A’s and finish high school and do good. I guess it’ll be nice to be the big man on campus.
Q: How did you get involved with the school board?
A: When I was in ninth grade my mom was awarded the Lighthouse Award (as staff of the Mukilteo School District), which is a pretty generously big award I would say. So I went to the school board meeting, and there were these kids … and I remember watching and I thought it was so cool, and I told my mom, “Mom, this is so cool I want to do this,” and she said, “Well you can in two years, sweetie,” and I just never forgot that.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish on the board?
A: I’ve always been told I have a powerful voice and I’m very good at conveying my thoughts, and I think Mariner is sometimes an overlooked school. I really want to be in a position where I can take my voice and my thoughts and do something good. And I really thought the board of directors was a good place to start.
It doesn’t really stop at the board of directors for me. I don’t want to be a politician or anything, but I want to do good for the community.
Q: What do you hope to do after high school?
A: I have two very different career paths. The first is a pediatric oncologist. … My other idea is (an environmental) lawyer.
Q: Where do you want to go to school?
Q: Anywhere else?
A: My dream, dream, dream school is (New York University).
A: In ninth grade I was researching a bunch of schools. Back then I was dead-set on being a computer engineer. And NYU has an amazing program, so I was like, I want to go there, New York sounds fun. And I changed to being an environmental engineer, and I kind of looked around and like, NYU has a great program, I still want to go there. … (Every major I was interested in) was there. I’ve looked at (photos of) the campus. It’s beautiful. It’s just a really prestigious school and in such a cool place.
Q: Can you talk about your Boeing internship?
A: It’s an eight-week internship, my entire summer. I’m so excited.
My best friend did it last year and he talked so highly of it, I couldn’t get him to stop. He loved it, loved it, and actually works at Boeing now, he just got a job there.
Q: What accomplishments are you proud of?
A: Everything I’ve ever done, even the things I’m like, “Why did you do that, Jade?” I’m proud of accomplishing. Of course there are these big-ticket items … but even the little things get me one step closer to my overall goal.