Graduate Tai Chase at Sno-Isle Technical Skills Center on June 5 in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Graduate Tai Chase at Sno-Isle Technical Skills Center on June 5 in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Sno-Isle senior ready to take off in aerospace industry

While other graduates wonder what is next, Tai Chase awaits a mechanic job with Boeing.

This is one of a series of profiles of exceptional high school graduates from Snohomish County. They are among the thousands of students graduating this spring, each with their own story of academic achievement, creativity, leadership and determination.

LAKE STEVENS — Tai Chase has always loved working with his hands.

That, and a love for math and science, made engineering a logical career path for the Lake Stevens High School and Sno-Isle TECH senior.

However, Chase hadn’t found his niche until the summer of ninth grade when he enrolled in Sno-Isle’s summer aerospace course and was introduced to the world of airplane manufacturing.

Three years later, Chase is on the cusp of a career in the industry.

Ten days after high school graduation, Chase will be on the factory floor at Boeing starting his first day as an aircraft structures mechanic on Boeing’s newest crown jewel, the 777X.

“It’s a blessing,” the senior said.

Chase was working toward learning his trade at an age when most teens are more focused on having fun than thinking about their future.

The graduate-to-be spent a second summer in the aerospace course, before enrolling in Sno-Isle’s aerospace manufacturing and maintenance technology program for the past two years.

Following his junior year, Chase earned an internship at Boeing, gaining valuable experience that will translate to his new job.

“All the practice and all the work I had to do during that internship,” he said. “We went through the same employee training that new hires go through when they first get to Boeing, so I got firsthand experience of what that may be like.”

During a summer of blueprint interpretation, aircraft drawing and job shadowing, Chase impressed his supervisors and received a job offer.

Employment in hand, Chase returned for senior year at Sno-Isle not just as a student but as a resource, assisting daily with the instruction of his peers.

“He is my crew chief here,” said Kareen Morales Vincent, teacher of the aerospace manufacturing class. “I rely on him a lot. He runs the shop and people listen to him, so he has a really good rapport, especially with the younger kids, they look up to him for guidance, which is rare in a teenager.”

Teaching students reaffirmed Chase’s confidence in his own abilities. Vincent predicts that Chase will soon be running things on a larger scale.

“I don’t see him just being a factory worker,” she said. “I see him in charge of people. He just has the mannerisms, the finesse and charisma to be a leader.”

While reveling in the possibilities that await him, Chase is most excited to help those who aided him along the way.

And that starts at home.

“Family is first, I definitely just want to look after them,” Chase said. “I love doing engineering and the fact that I can do it while also supporting my family, it couldn’t get better than that.”

Ian Davis-Leonard: 425-339-3449; idavisleonard@heraldnet.com. Twitter: IanDavisLeonard.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. (Olivia Vanni/The Herald)
Providence nurse’s tearful plea shines light on short-staffed ER

The nurse described an overwhelmed emergency department, as staff have pleaded with the Everett City Council for hazard pay.

FILE - This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. A leading doctor who chairs a World Health Organization expert group described the unprecedented outbreak of the rare disease monkeypox in developed countries as "a random event" that might be explained by risky sexual behavior at two recent mass events in Europe. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP, File)
Snohomish Health District hiring full-time monkeypox task force

The county is gearing up for more cases. The outbreak will be evaluated weekly to decide if a four-person team is merited.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Body found in impounded car in Lake Stevens

In June, Bothell police impounded the vehicle. Last week, a Lake Stevens business found a body inside.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
California woman dies after motorcycle crash west of Lake Stevens

Kimberly Moore was the passenger on a motorcycle Friday morning. She died the next night. She was 53.

Ella Larson, left, and Simon Fuentes sort through blueberries at Hazel Blue Acres on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022 in Arlington, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Fruits, flowers and bees aplenty in Arlington farm fete

First-ever event highlights local growers’ bounty and contributions to local community

A view of the proposed alternative station location to Everett Station located east of the current BNSF rail tracks in downtown. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Could light rail station under Pacific Avenue and over railroad work?

A group representing people around Everett Station wants Sound Transit to study the idea.

State Representative Robert Sutherland, left, gives a thumbs-up to passing drivers as he and a few volunteers wave flags and campaign signs along the side of State Route 9 on July 22, in Lake Stevens. Sam Low, right, talks with seniors on July 20 in Lake Stevens. (Sutherland photo by Ryan Berry / The Herald, Low photo by Kevin Clark / The Herald)
In GOP battle of Sutherland vs. Low, Democrats may tip the scale

The state lawmaker and Snohomish County council member are vying for a House seat. Democrats make up roughly 40% of the vote.

Food forum
Chocolate peanut butter Incredibles

These chocolate peanut butter bars are, as the name suggests, incredible.

SnoTown Brewing’s Frank Sandoval in 2019. (Aaron Swaney)
SnoTown Brewery owner charged with child molestation

Frank Sandoval conceded his conduct with a girl at his brewery was inappropriate, but he denied touching her sexually, charges say.

Most Read