Class of 2018 Spotlights
Class of 2018 Spotlights
Posted on 06/27/2018

We are so proud of our Class of 2018! As our former students begin their journey into the future, we wanted to pause to reflect on the time they spent here at Olympic High school, and share a few of their stories with you. Share your stories on social media with #ohsgrads.

Dejah Coleman   |   Lauren Peck   |   Kaitlin Perez   |   Isabelle Vialpando-Hutton

Dejah Coleman

Dejah

In her freshman year, Dejah Coleman wasn’t sure she’d make it to graduation. It was a rough year. But with a lot of encouragement from her mother and help from teachers, she got through it. In fact, she’s earned a College Bound Scholarship to attend Washington State University.

Q: Was there a time you didn’t think you’d graduate?

A:  My freshman year, I was new to everything and I just kind of wanted to keep to myself. We had the very big car crash [three OHS students died]. And my god sister died the year before. It was a rough year. The change?  I had my mom in my ear a lot. She said this is what (my god sister) would have wanted, and she would want to see you graduate if she couldn’t do it. And I always had help from my teachers. They would help me if I was getting down on my grades. They’d say you need to get this done. I just kept going, and eventually I got through it.

Q: Do you have a favorite memory from Olympic High?

A:  I think it was when I first stepped on to a football practice. I was a sophomore, that’s when you start sports medicine. I was in the training room, and it was super chaotic. Everyone was running around, and I just hear one of the sports med girls look at me and go, “Dejah, come on, it’s football time.” So we ran up on the field, and all the players were nice. They treated everyone like a family.

Q: What are your post-graduation plans?

A: I’m going to WSU in Pullman. I want to study to become an athletic trainer. My ultimate goal is to be in the NFL. I have ambitions!

Kaitlin Perez

Kaitlin

Kaitlin Perez didn’t think she’d be going to her dream college, Western Washington University, this fall. She wasn’t sure she was headed to a university. As the first person in her family to go to college, she was afraid of the cost, sad about the idea of being far from siblings and a mother she is very close to.

Q: When did you learn that you qualified for a 4-year college?

A:  At the beginning of the year, in my head, I was still going to a community college. The counselor called me in. I told her I was going to community college to save money. And she goes, “I’m going to stop you right there.” And she tells me a story about her son and how he’s also at Western right now, and how we can get past the money barrier. And she encouraged me to apply.

I didn’t think I was going to get accepted to Western. I also applied to Washington State University, and that acceptance letter came first. A couple days after that, I was looking in the mail after I got off the school bus and there was a big package, a big envelope that said WWU Bound. I almost dropped it on the street, I was so excited.

I called everybody back home [in Guam], my grandma, my dad, my aunts, my uncles. It was an exciting moment.

Q: Has anyone at Olympic High School made an impact on you?

A:  Definitely. My ASL (American Sign Language), Ms. (Rebecca) Matz. She reminds me of my sixth grade teacher [who inspired her to become a teacher]. She was involved in my life and she cares. She gave me really, really good advice about what I should do with college and leaving my house and all of that big stuff. When I was applying for college, I was super worried about the money. She told me a story about her daughter and how she was having the same fears, and now she’s at her dream school and she’s doing great. She put faith in me about it. 

Lauren Peck

Lauren

Valedictorian Lauren Peck’s ties to CK Schools are strong. Not only has she attended both CK Schools, both of her parents teach in them. Although she always knew she would go to college, she wasn’t quite sure what career path she would take. Until last year.

Q: Did you know early what you were going to major in in college?

A:  My counselor helped me narrow my path on what I wanted to do after high school, because I really had no idea. I didn’t really figure out what I wanted to do until last year. I want to become a teacher, like my parents, but I want to teach high school math. I really enjoy math. So I’m going to go to Washington State, and they have a really good education program.

In high school, I’ve had some really great teachers that have made a difference in my life, which made me realize I can make a difference in my students’ lives too if I became a teacher.

Q: What kind of activities have you been involved in?

A: I’ve played three sports for all four years. I started with soccer, basketball and track. Then in my junior year, I started with cross country, basketball and track. I’m also in ASB. I’ve been in ASB since sophomore year. I’ve done LINK Crew [a transition program to help freshmen] the past two years and honor society.

I also teen mentor. I go to my mom’s school [Silver Ridge] once a week and mentor one of her first graders. It’s really fun. I really enjoy it. It’s just really cool to see how she’s changed in a short amount of time.

Q: What’s your advice for next year’s freshmen?

A: Take it seriously and know that your future will be impacted by what you do in high school. And ask questions. 

Isabelle Vialpando-Hutton

Isabelle

A future in politics wasn’t quite what Isabelle Vialpando-Hutton has in mind when she started high school. But along the way, a friend pushed her out of her comfort zone, share and examine her opinions. Life brought her a desire to help children at a system level. And she expects she’ll continue to change as an adult.

Q: What is some of the best advice you’ve gotten from school staff?

A:  If something has already happened, don’t freak out over it because you can’t change it. In first semester (of junior year), when I didn’t turn a lot of stuff in. They said, “what’s done is done and all you can do is work on second semester.” And I thought, “that’s true.”

Q: Is there a particular staff member who’s made an impact on you?

A:  Ms. (Heather) Maas, counselor. She perseveres and she’s really kind, really, really kind. But she’s also honest, and I value honesty big time. I went through a lot of family stuff, and she’s been there and just helped me. I needed to be able to talk to someone and breathe and be able to focus on my (school) work. Once a week, I would have an appointment with her and talk with her, and she could build me back up to where I was before.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A:  I’m going to the University of Idaho to study political science. For the longest time, I wanted to do social work. But I realized that there’s a lot that social workers need fixed. So I want to go more of the law route to fix that than being told what I can or can’t do as a social worker.  [She added that she wants to help expand protections for children on a national level. To help states consistently address emotional abuse and improve access to mental health care for children.]

My life goal is to run for President at least once. That’s kind of a pipe dream, but we’ll see.