ARLINGTON — Although a couple of their presenters and one of their guests of honor were unable to attend, the members of Arlington Lodge 129 of Free and Accepted Masons nonetheless celebrated the Arlington and Darrington high school students who had earned this year’s Junior Achievement Awards.
Darrington High School juniors Jordan Rumsey and sisters Allison and Amanda Kitz were honored alongside Arlington High School juniors Sierra DeCosta, Marissa Swegle, Lynsey Amundson, Lindsay Brown, Jollee Pullig, Allie Jones, Kendra Ferrier, Shelby Carr, and brothers Collier and Brendon Brereton.
All the AHS students and the Kitz sisters from Darrington seem to be on track for a four-year college or university, with DeCosta, Swegle, Brown, Ferrier and Carr inclined toward the medical field, and DeCosta and Swegle both considering physical therapy as a career. At the same time, Ferrier is also considering engineering, much like the Brereton brothers, both of whom expressed an interest in attending Western Washington University. Of the other Arlington juniors, Amundson is aiming for prelaw, Pullig is looking into journalism and Jones is weighing her options between graphic design and marketing.
Of the DHS students, the Kitz sisters are more interested in the arts, with Allison aspiring to perform and teach music while Amanda plans to double-major in fine arts and journalism. As for Rumsey, she’s already interning at the Darrington town clinic and hopes to become an EMT or a flight nurse.
DeCosta and Collier Brereton received the Junior Achievement Scholarships for Arlington, while Rumsey earned it for Darrington, based on a combination of academic performance and community service.
While the Darrington High School staff could not attend, Arlington High School Principal Brian Beckley echoed guest speaker state Rep. Dan Kristiansen’s praise not only for the students themselves, but also for their families and educators for helping them get this far.
“Don’t be afraid to grow,” Kristiansen said. “You are the leaders of the future. Your teachers have trained you and your parents have supported you, but you’re the ones who need to look outside the box for different ways of doing things.”
Kristiansen and Beckley cited AHS robotics, mathematics and video game programming teacher Jim Bassett as an example of a teacher who uses hands-on, real-world applications of classroom lessons to help make subjects come alive for their students. Bassett was selected for this year’s Outstanding Educator Award, but was under the weather and unable to attend.
“Just about everybody knows Jim, because he’s all over both the Arlington and Weston high schools,” Beckley said. “He is kind, understanding, knowledgeable and a real gem of the Arlington Public Schools.”