Super Kid: Melissa Appel, 18, Everett Homeschool Alternative graduate

Self-starter: After moving out of her home her sophomore year, spent a little over a year at Cocoon House for homeless teens and has since directed her own schooling with the help of teachers at the home school center.

Life lesson: The time taught her “what it is like to fend for yourself” and made her more confident about going to college this fall. “It’ll really help me in the long run.”

Back in step: Reunited with her parents earlier this year and is enjoying being back near her four younger siblings.

Long road: Started struggling during her ninth-grade year at Archbishop Thomas J. Murphy High School. Didn’t take well to the switch from a 16-student, eighth-grade class at a small Adventist school to the larger private school. “It’s like being woken up at 8 a.m., thrown in a pool and (told to) sink or swim.”

Likes home school: Finds her new setup more flexible and enjoys the return to a smaller setting. Came into the center behind on credits and was caught up and ahead by the end of her first year there. “The best part of home school is I don’t have to worry about the high school drama.”

Quote: “Doing the work is not hard. It’s really having the drive to get up when there are days you just want to stay in bed.”

Future: Plans to study journalism at Skagit Valley College, a two-year community college in Mount Vernon that gives her a four-year college feel with on-campus residences. Wants to be a freelance writer and travel. “I can bring something to the world that I want to do.”

Book worm: Enjoys reading. “When I was younger my parents tell me I would read the TV Guide. My mom would yell at me because I’d get to the newspaper before she did and leave it all over the place.”

Watch out: Holds a second-degree black belt. Likes serving as a volunteer tae kwon do instructor in Lynnwood. Between that and her new job up north in Burlington, she spends a lot of time on buses.

Admires: “Besides my parents for dealing with me the past 14 some-odd years,” counts tae kwon do instructor Jack Pierce as a mentor. “He got me started on getting that drive … even when I’m at the top, to see how much farther I can get.”

Ready to move on: “As a teenager you think you know everything. … I’m ready to get out there and learn.”

Know a super kid? Contact us as 425-339-3036 or e-mail schoolfyi@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Mountlake Terrace council taps planning commissioner for open seat

With five votes, Rory Paine-Donovan was affirmed to join the ranks of the Mountlake Terrace City Council.

CEO Amy King standing outside of a pallet shelter. (Courtesy of Pallet Shelter)
After rapid rise, Everett’s Pallet hits milestone: 100 shelter villages

Temporary home manufacturer Pallet hires locals who have “experienced homelessness, substance abuse or the justice system.”

Locals from the group Safe Lynnwood gather in front of the Ryann Building on 196th Street SW to protest the opening of a methadone clinic in the building on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Despite controversy, Lynnwood opioid treatment center opens its doors

For weeks, protesters have objected to the center opening near Little League fields and a Boys and Girls Club.

A man was injured and a woman found dead Sunday night after an RV fire in Marysville. (Marysville Fire District)
Woman dead, man burned in Marysville RV fire

The Snohomish County Fire Marshal’s Office and Marysville Police Department were investigating the cause of the fire.

Everett Home Depot worker Jeffrey Raven Leonard, 52, holds a certificate that names him a Kentucky Colonel, an honor from the governor of Kentucky. He received the award, given to 4,000 to 5,000 people annually, for getting the word out about a hiring program for veterans at Home Depot. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
This Kentucky Colonel works at Home Depot, not a fried chicken stand

Jeffrey Raven Leonard, 52, of Everett, joins thousands of other colonels honored for good deeds by the governor of Kentucky.

Rep. Lauren Davis, 32nd Legislative District (Washington House of Representatives)
Lawmaker aims to bolster safety net for victims of domestic violence

Rep. Lauren Davis got a no-contact order against an ex-partner. Her new bill provides tools for cops and courts to do more.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Monroe in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Monroe school board member chats on Facebook during closed-door meeting

Molly Barnes allegedly solicited opinions from a group of conservative parents and employees on Facebook. It’s unclear if she broke the law.

Tala Davey-Wraight, 3, is thrown in the air by her dad Oscar Davey-Wraight, one of the Summer Meltdown headliners also known as Opiuo, during Cory Wong’s set on Thursday, July 28, 2022 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
After Monroe debut, no Summer Meltdown music fest in 2023

Organizers announced Wednesday they would “take the year off in order to figure out the best path forward for Summer Meltdown in 2024.”

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
A tax credit for working families and a tax break for newspapers

And a new roadblock emerges to vehicle pursuit reforms. Here’s what’s happening on Day 24 of the legislative session

Most Read