Super Kid: Tayler Hoftell, Darrington High School senior

DARRINGTON — Tayler Hoftell, 17, is a senior at Darrington High School. She likes to stay busy, cramming her days with volleyball practice, a part-time job and volunteer work while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. She plans to study engineering in college.

Question: Tell me a little bit about some of the activities you do at school?

Answer: So, I’m pretty much involved in a lot. I’m a varsity volleyball player — that’s my favorite thing to do — and I’m also our ASB (Associated Student Body) Sergeant of Arms. I’m in National Honor Society and I’m the president of our FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) Club.

Q: How did you end up getting involved in so many different things?

A: Volleyball I’ve been playing my entire life and I can’t not play. I also like making a big difference in the school around here and I want to do all I can, so I decided that I would join as many clubs as I could fit onto my schedule.

Q: How do you fit all that into your schedule?

A: It’s hard. Little sleep, but that’s OK. And I also think that I have the hours in the day to do as many things as I can, so I like filling it up.

Q: You’ve been playing volleyball all four years of high school?

A: Yeah. I started on varsity as a freshman and I’m this year’s captain. That’s something in high school I don’t think I could trade for anything is all the memories and the effort and hard work and the sweat and everything. I just think it’s irreplaceable.

Q: Do you plan to keep playing in college?

A: I’ve had an offer to play at a community college, and I have my sights set on a university. If I had an offer, I would definitely take it, but I think I’m more focused on schooling in college rather than the volleyball aspect. But I’d love to play at a university.

Q: You’re also involved in a lot of community service. What kind of projects have you worked on?

A: So, for my leadership class last year, I had a project where I gathered a bunch of hygiene projects for the Cocoon House, which is a homeless shelter for teenagers in Everett. I spent a few months gathering items and I got money donated to me and I went out and bought a bunch of items with that. And then in March I went and took it down. I also do other community activities around here, like I set up for funeral dinners a lot. But that’s part of being in Honor Society. I get a lot of community service that way, too. And then when the mudslide hit, I had like 120 hours of community. I was there all day long just helping out where I could.

Q: What were some of the things you did during the mudslide?

A: We had a bunch of donations coming in. It was the end of the school day and I went into the donation center and they had piles of stuff everywhere and it was such a mess, so I was like, “OK, we’re going to organize this.” So a few of my friends got together and we started putting them in piles by likeness. I was supposed to take inventory of it, so I had my laptop there and I opened up my spreadsheet and inventoried every single item we got in there. Then we moved our location to another place and I became kind of in charge of the inventory and what people were doing. It turned into a bigger effort. A lot of my friends and classmates were there and we really worked together to do that.

Q: Did you grow up here in Darrington?

A: No, I didn’t.

Q: Where are you from originally?

A: I was born in Arlington and I lived there for maybe a year or two, and all my early years and my first few years of elementary, I went to Marysville.

Q: Outside of school and athletics, what kind of hobbies do you have? What do you like to do with your down time?

A: Well, I work, so that takes up most of my downtime. Other than that, I love reading. And I love shopping, which is a bad habit, but I’m still here.

Q: Where do you work?

A: I work at Cold Stone Creamery in Smokey Point. It’s a long drive, but it’s worth it.

Q: How long have you been working there?

A: About a year and a half.

Q: What are your plans moving forward? What do you hope to do after high school?

A: I’ll be going to college in the fall and I plan to go there for engineering. I really want to go into biomedical engineering, but it’s not widely offered in colleges. If the one I have my heart set on doesn’t have biomedical, then I’ll go into civil engineering.

Q: Which college is your school of choice?

A: I have a bunch that I like. But the ones I really love are UW, I love Arizona State and recently I started looking more into Sacramento State, and it’s a really nice college. I don’t have my heart set on just one. I’m waiting to see if there are any offers.

Q: So why engineering?

A: I love math and I love science. Those are my favorite things to do in school. I’m also really good at problem solving and that requires all three of those things, and I just thought I’d be a good fit for it.

Q: Do you have any other engineers in your family?

A: No. I’ll be the first one in my family to go to college, or at least to a university.

Q: What advice would you give to other students, now that you’re finishing up high school?

A: I’d just tell them to give it your all and don’t worry about what other kids have to say to you. I know that I had troubles. I am a 4.0 student. I didn’t want anything less than an “A.” And I’d have kids all the time be like, “You can have an A-minus. You can get that. It’ll be OK.” And I was like, “I don’t want that. I want an A.” I feel like they need to be ambitious and really go for their dreams and have a good work ethic.

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; kbray@heraldnet.com.

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