EDMONDS — After failing most of his classes the second half of his freshman year, Dakota Brown faced some tough questions. He chose to switch to the smaller classes at Scriber Lake High School, where he has excelled. The 17-year-old is now pursuing a career in welding.
Question: How long have you been at Scriber?
Answer: I started the very beginning of my sophomore year. I switched from Edmonds-Woodway. It was mainly my grades. Freshman year first semester I did pretty good because of sports, mainly because I had to. I did football mainly, and wrestling. I had, like, two credits my second semester. My dad wasn’t really too happy about it (decision to transfer schools). Now he said it’s one of the smartest decisions I ever made.
Q: What’s made the difference?
A: I think it’s mainly the teachers and small classes. They can focus on your specific problems and help you. They know everyone. I only failed one class here — twice. Health. That class, I don’t know, has been super hard for me. But other than that, it’s been all A’s and B’s.
Q: So what classes are you taking?
A: At Scriber, I’m only taking one class, financial algebra. I also go to Sno-Isle (Tech Skills Center) for welding.
Q: Do you have a favorite class?
A: Probably history. I like the past. It’s cool. It’s weird how we repeat ourselves, like wars. You’d think we’d learn by now.
Q: What drew you to welding?
A: At first it was the sparks and fire. But now you can make pretty cool art stuff, too. I made a Seahawks emblem for my dad for his birthday.
Q: What’s after high school?
A: Since I’m not 18, I can’t get a job as a welder. I turn 18 in August. I work at Panera Bread, so I’ll keep doing that, and then two weeks before my birthday I’ll start applying for jobs. I’m also starting the welding program at Everett Community College in the fall.
Q: What’s a good high school memory for you?
A: Last year it was a weird field day, but it was fun. We had big tug-of-war matches. We have a class called “Family” — it’s the first 15 minutes of every day. We do announcements and talk about our day. We just went straight from that to (field day).
Q: What advice would you give a teen starting high school?
A: It depends. If you’re starting here, it’s show up and get your work done. At Woodway — it’s a lot of homework. In middle school, I didn’t care too much because it didn’t really count. I didn’t realize how much it actually helps (developing work ethic).
Q: Has there been anyone who’s inspired or mentored you?
A: Probably my dad. … He knows how to get me motivated. “Would my dad be proud?” Especially at school, I don’t want to give up because I don’t want to let him down.
Q: What’s it like to be at this stage?
A: Scary. It’s scary, honestly. I’m afraid to be an adult. But other than that, it’s exciting too. I don’t know where I want to live, in state or out of state. Cost of living here is so high.
Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of work and study?
A: During the winter I go snowboarding almost every week. During the summer I like to go fishing and spend time on the lake. Lake Ballinger — there’s not a lot of fish. But there are small ones you can find and just toss back. I’ll spend like eight hours out there.
Melissa Slager: email@example.com; 425-339-3432.