EVERETT — Dennis Mach finished his junior year at Mariner High School in June. Next year he will be a student representative on the Mukilteo School Board.
Question: You had a full plate of classes, including getting up early for leadership.
Answer: I was waking up at like 5 a.m. every morning.
Q: Are you a morning person?
A: I’m more of a night person. I can’t stay up all night. My friends tell me how they do all-nighters. I can’t do that. I fall asleep around midnight or 11.
Q: You took orchestra? What do you play?
A: I play the violin. I started out freshman year.
Q: Had others in the orchestra been playing for a number of years?
A: Yeah they had been playing since elementary or middle school so I had to learn quickly.
Q: Why on earth did you say, “I’m going to start playing the violin” as a freshman in high school?
A: I heard in middle school everyone loved orchestra and my eighth grade summer year I took piano lessons… I realized I just loved the sound of the violin so I decided to take orchestra. As soon as I took the class, I loved it.
Q: Do you remember that first week or two? What was that like? I think I might have said, “I don’t belong here.”
A: Honestly, the first semester I wanted to quit because everyone was so good. I was not getting on their level. This is really hard for me, but I decided to stay with it. I started to be more determined and dedicated.
Q: Tell me about leadership class, getting up at 5 and being here at 6. You must be pretty motivated.
A: It’s a lot of self-motivation. I just love going to leadership every morning because I feel I know I’m making a difference and I’m contributing a lot to making good programs here. I think it’s really important to make sure they are very well promoted. I know that clubs rely on ASB for materials and stuff so sometimes I make Key Club posters for our school and for tolo and other events like Stinky Shoe.
Q: Stinky shoe? We’ll get back to that in a moment. Was this your first year in leadership?
A: Second year.
Q: Now you have to tell me about Stinky Shoe.
A: Oh, you don’t know what Stinky Shoe is? Stinky Shoe is a competition between Mariner and Kamiak and it’s a basketball game and this year it was based more on participation than the final score. Admin wanted to focus on school spirit rather than just winning the game.
Q: What were some of the things you worked on with Key Club this year?
A: I was elected as Key Club president. This year was a really successful year. We got more people involved within our division level, which is like Mariner, Jackson, Kamiak, multiple schools. Our club grew from 62 members to 124 members. We had a lot of service projects. We strengthened connections with our Kiwanis sponsoring club… We were able to bring 11 people to the district convention in Portland, Oregon.
Q: Why do you think so many people joined?
A: I’m not saying I’m popular but a lot of people knew me and I’d talk to them. I persuaded my friends to join Key Club. I said, “Hey this is a really great organization. You get to help other people. You really get out there.” I felt like I wanted more people to be part of something I loved.
Q: So you are going to be a student representative on the Mukilteo School Board?
A: I think it’s a really valuable experience. It’s really important to have the perspective of a student on the school board. It’s really important to know how a student feels because you are making decisions for the students. I thought that this was really important for Mariner High School and I knew a lot of the staff and students and I could address some of their concerns to the Mukilteo School Board.
Q: Do you have any pet issue you want to bring to the board?
A: I was talking to a teacher about applying for the position. He wanted to address the issue about how some students need more psychological help (to succeed) with their academics… Although there are resources out there, not all students are getting those resources and it’s reflecting on their academic life.
Q: Do you have any idea what it will be like to be on the board?
A: Some. My brother was on the Mukilteo School Board. So, the school board, they know me as the brother of Kevin Mach.
Q: What are your summer plans?
A: I just got back from camp through church. That’s why I have so many mosquito bites everywhere. I plan on going to leadership camp. I might be going to California to visit. And I plan on studying really hard for the SATs.
Q: What are your college plans?
A: I think UW Seattle is a great school. My number one school would be Stanford University… I’d also like to go to Berkeley. The school I’m probably going to go to is UW Seattle. My mom would prefer me going there and it saves a lot more money.
Q: Do you have any idea what you want to study some day?
A: I want to go to law school.
Q: Do you have any other after-school interests?
A: I’m on the tennis team. I am in the Mukilteo Area High School Democrats and I’m involved in a couple of other things.