When Danielle Scanes ran for ASB president at Everett High, her campaign speech centered on making high school affordable.
The 18-year-old senior lost that election. Yet as she looks forward to graduation and college, Scanes hasn’t given up on including all students in the life of Everett High. She hopes everyone will feel part of the school, and has a plan to make it so — starting with a few racks of retro clothes.
In a storage room next to the school cafeteria, Scanes offered a peek at inventory for a shop she plans to open. She’s been collecting used shirts, hats and other gear, all in school colors — blue and gold. There are treasures, including heavy cotton practice jerseys, yellow Nike sneakers with a blue swoosh, and an old-school pleated cheerleader skirt.
“I hope to open a spirit gear thrift store in March called The Vintage Seagull,” Scanes said Wednesday. “It will all be unique and nothing will exceed $5.” Proceeds will be donated to the ASB for student activities.
Scanes said she plans to run the shop on Fridays during lunch in the cafeteria, “then have pop-up shops at school events and games.” To keep it stocked, she’s asking Everett High alumni to bring used blue-and-gold gear to the school’s main office.
As part of a leadership class, Scanes and other students encourage kids to wear blue and gold on Fridays. “She walks the walk,” said Bruce Overstreet, an Everett High social studies teacher and athletic coordinator. On Friday, he saw Scanes sporting a vintage letter jacket.
Earlier this school year, Scanes worked with Everett businesses — Major League Pizza, Ray’s Drive-In, Silver Cup Coffee and Espresso Avenue — to provide discounts for kids with ASB cards. And she contacted the nonprofit Blue & Gold Club, which helps support student activities at Everett High, to seek clothing donations.
“There was a time everyone had a $5 blue or gold shirt with a big E on it,” Overstreet said. “It hasn’t been as prevalent, but lately we’ve had this momentum around here.”
Overstreet said another Everett High teacher, Byron Lewellen, came up with the theme “We Are Everett.” Lewellen, who teaches English and AVID classes, is working to foster school pride beginning in elementary schools, and through the Everett Boys & Girls Club. “It’s really kind of cool,” said Overstreet, who sees athletics as a way to build community.
Fees listed on Everett High’s website show how costs for activities can add up. It’s $40 for an ASB card, $65 for a yearbook, $40 for parking, and $100 for each season to participate in athletics.
Doug Plucker, an Everett High assistant principal, applauds Scanes’ thrift-shop effort. “As our seniors are moving on, they may not carry their spirit gear to college. It’s a good way to hand it back,” he said.
And after a week of tragedy — a gunman’s rampage that claimed 17 lives at a Florida high school, and locally an alleged plot to shoot up ACES High School — Plucker talked about the importance of connection for teens. “We know that relationships are one of the primary ways students are connected to school,” he said. “Some students do feel left out.”
Scanes and other student leaders hope to give all kids opportunities to join in the fun of school. Administrators “want to work toward providing equity and access for everything,” Plucker said. “That can be as simple as what you wear.”
There is help for students who can’t afford activities, he said. The Blue & Gold Club has helped reduce fees for ASB cards, and has made yearbook donations. “We can’t gift public funds,” Plucker said. The school can waive sports participation fees for students receiving free or reduced-price meals.
At Everett High, according to the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, 44.6 percent of students qualified for free or reduced-price meals in May 2018. The year before, that number was nearly 50 percent. Rather than good news, Plucker sees that reduction as “an unfortunate trend.”
Leaders in Everett and at other schools believe they’re seeing fewer kids signed up for meal assistance out of fear. “With the political stress around immigration and DACA, families are concerned,” Plucker said.
With graduation set for June 16, Scanes wants to help at Everett High while she can. She has applied to a half-dozen colleges, and is leaning toward Seattle University.
Last summer, she helped at Everett-based Housing Hope as part of a Bank of America internship program. “She worked with our grants team, helped with events and donor relations, and was often helping at Tomorrow’s Hope Child Development Center,” said Sara Wilson, Housing Hope’s events and marketing manager. “She’s a stellar young woman.”
“I want to be a pediatrician,” Scanes said. A doctor — perhaps with a boutique on the side.
Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to help
Donations of blue-and-gold clothing and other Everett High spirit gear may be dropped off during school hours in the main office, 2416 Colby Ave., Everett.
The Everett High School 2018 Auction, sponsored by the PTA and the Blue & Gold Club, is scheduled for 6-10 p.m. Saturday at Everett Community College’s Walt Price Student Fitness Center, 2206 Tower St. Tickets are $30 per person (21 and over) at: https://everettsd.ejoinme.org/EHSauction2018