Three who got there in overtime

  • By Melissa Slager and Eric Stevick / Herald Writers
  • Saturday, June 24, 2006 9:00pm
  • Local NewsLocal news

Thousands of high school graduates in Washington take more than four years to earn a diploma.

Here’s a perspective from three Snohomish County students who went overtime to graduate.

Name: Becca Geahry

Age: 18

School: Lake Stevens High School

Years in high school: 5

Story: Started failing classes her sophomore year after skipping school and ignoring homework. Came close to dropping out, especially after many friends graduated without her in 2005.

Turning point: Credits persistence of mother, Catherine Skelton, for keeping her on track. Started doodling less and concentrating more. Earned her first A during her final semester.

Quote: “I think I finally got fed up with my mom. ‘Becca, you need to graduate.’ So I did it for her, I guess, so she’d get off my back. … That lady scares me.”

Future: Thinking about applying to a video-game animation school, but for now is more focused on moving into her own apartment.

Name: Kari Foudray

Age: 20

School: Aim High School in Snohomish

Years in high school: 6

Story: Transferred to Aim High School to work at her own pace after unexcused absences caught up with her at Snohomish Freshman Campus. “I was being lazy. I didn’t want to get up in the morning. I just didn’t want to go.” Slow and steady approach – six years in all – is unusual, said June Shirey, AIM principal. Most in Foudray’s situation would have dropped out or gone to a community college for an adult diploma instead. Age cutoff to earn a high school diploma is 21, meaning an August deadline was looming for the 20-year-old Snohomish woman.

Turning point: At 17, she “grew up.” Credits close relationships with AIM teachers, including Thom Engel’s Shakespeare class, for turning on the light bulb. “I realized, ‘If I don’t get to work now, I’m never going to get a high school diploma.’ … They motivated me.”

Quote: “It’s a sense of accomplishment. It ends one chapter and opens another.”

Future: Undecided. Interested in forensic science and has thought about the U.S. Air Force. For now, it’s work and “taking a breather.”

Name: Starret Carless

Age: 18

School: Weston High School in Arlington

Years in high school: 5

Story: Fell behind early in high school while living in Bellevue. Said she got lost on a large campus and was “kind of a ghost.” Fought depression, skipped school and just wanted to read and sleep. Ended up in court for truancy.

Turning point: Moved to a small school in Arlington where she earned A’s and B’s and passed the WASL.

Quote: “When I came here, I actually felt bad about missing school. I think I graduated because my teachers pushed me and they helped me.”

Future: Headed to Everett Community College on a scholarship.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Mel Jennings sits in his structure during a point-in-time count of people facing homelessness in Everett, Washington on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023. Mel has had a brain and spinal surgery, and currently has been homeless for a year. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Annual homeless count aims to give snapshot of housing crisis

Volunteers set out into the rain Tuesday to count all the people facing homelessness in central Everett.

Catherine Berwicks loads ballots into a tray after scanning them at the Snohomish County Elections Ballot Processing Center on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020 in Everett, Wa.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Lawmakers push to boost voting in county jails across the state

A House bill envisions an approach similar to what’s been happening in the Snohomish County Jail for several years.

Vandalism at Seaview Park on Jan. 21, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Edmonds Police Department)
Police seek suspects in repeated vandalism at Edmonds parks

Vandals have done over $10,000 of damage to parks across the city, including suspected arson and graffiti with hate speech.

One worker looks up from the cargo area as another works in what will be the passenger compartment on one of the first Boeing 787 jets as it stands near completion at the front of the assembly line, Monday, May 19, 2008, in Everett, Wash. The plane, the first new Boeing jet in 14 years, is targeted for power on in June followed by an anticipated first flight sometime late in 2008.  (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Boeing workers long-exposed to carcinogen far above legal limits

The company confirmed in depositions that parts of its Everett plant still don’t meet 2010 standards.

CarlaRae Arneson, of Lynnwood, grabs a tea press full of fresh tea from Peanut the server robot while dining with her 12-year-old son Levi at Sushi Hana on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, in Lynnwood, Washington. CarlaRae said she and her son used to visit the previous restaurant at Sushi Hana’s location and were excited to try the new business’s food. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Peanut the robot waitress is on a roll at Lynnwood’s Sushi Hana

She’s less RoboCop and more Rosey as she patrols the restaurant, making sure everyone has a drink and good time.

Traffic moves along Highway 526 in front of Boeing’s Everett Production Facility on Nov. 28, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / Sound Publishing)
Boeing settles with Everett security guard claiming chemical exposure

Holly Hawthorne was assigned to Building 45-335 at the south end of Paine Field, while employees used aerosolized chemical sprays nearby.

A section of contaminated Wicks tidelands on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Port acquisition marks next step in toxic cleanup on Everett waterfront

Private owners donated land near the contaminated Wicks Tide Flats to the Port of Everett. Cleanup work could begin within the year.

FILE - In this photo taken Oct. 2, 2018, semi-automatic rifles fill a wall at a gun shop in Lynnwood, Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee is joining state Attorney General Bob Ferguson to propose limits to magazine capacity and a ban on the sale of assault weapons. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Democrats advance assault weapons ban, new rules for gun buyers

The measures passed a House committee without Republican support. They are part of a broader agenda to curb gun violence.

U.S. Attorney Nick Brown and the victim of a brutal attack in 2018 answer questions from reporters on Jan. 27, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Jake Goldstein-Street / The Herald)
White supremacists sentenced for racist beating at Lynnwood bar

A federal judge handed out stiffer sentences than prosecutors had asked for in a series of sentencing hearings Friday.

Most Read