With four years of both water polo and baseball at PHS, senior Austin Stump can seem like a typical athlete.
But what sets Stump apart from other athletes may be what others consider atypical
“I have always been a person that has to be involved in something. I feel like if I would have gone throughout high school without having those connections to building those relationships with people it would of been a much tougher process and much more lonely had I not been involved in the activities, sports and classes that I have been in. I have built a lot of friendships in those,” Stump said.
With many strong and dedicated friends, Stump explains that navigating the social scene in high school can prove to be quite simple.
“Going into high school I thought there would be more pressure from my friends to do things that I do not really want to do. It turns out everybody just kind of minds their own business especially if you mind yours,” Stump said.
Stump also has found it to be evident that surrounding oneself around others with similar goals in high school can be the key to extending those relationships outside of school.
“Everybody always says surround yourself with good people or people who aspire the same things to you. But that is more important than a lot of people realize. My friends have similar goals to me. They all want to see themselves succeed in life and having a support group like that is more important than staying on top of your work. If you mess up then they are always there for you,” Stump said.
Through involvement in AP Physics, Stump has come to find that his passions for the subjects he studies in high school can lead him to ventures outside of the class room.
“Mr. Segers has been influential with helping me decide what I want to do after school because digging into Segers knowledge helped me understand how easy Physics comes to me and that is not just a skill. That is a talent that most kids are not born with so I want to use that later on in life. I am going to be going to the University of Washington and studying engineering,” Stump said.
With the studies and experiences Stump acquires, he hopes to not only have an impact on his own life, but on others in the world as well.
“I want to get my degree at UW in engineering. I want to see myself making an impact in the world. I do not want to drift through life and just exist. I want to impact someone, something, greater than myself,” Stump said.
Senior Amy Krantz has always looked ahead.
From her involvement in Key Club as the activities coordinator, a three-year member of Viking Ladies, a band member since fifth grade, as well as taking on many AP classes, Krantz continuously has moved herself forward through her high school career.
Krantz says that her participation in many diverse organizations has given her the ability to have many different experiences as a high school student.
Through her involvement in band, Krantz feels that has been one of the most special parts of her high school career.
“I have done band for such a long time. I am the drum major for it so I got to experience a different side to playing but also conducting. Band is just unique because we create things that the student section enjoys [at games]. We have all the different songs that everyone knows. Band is my favorite part about high school,” Krantz said.
From her consistent dedication and participation in band, Krantz feels that her relationship with band director Eric Ryan has offered support for her in the times she really needed it.
“[I have had Mr. Ryan] for all three years and he has always been an encouraging person because he understands when people take on a lot of activities it is hard to balance them. He would be a constant help for [me],” Krantz said.
Reflecting onto her experiences, Krantz feels that her time in high school has made her aware of what life will be like post high school.
“Going in to high school I was excited about the whole new environment but I never had to take any consideration into the adult aspects of it at all. But leaving high school and going into college you are going to be by yourself and have to take care of your money and you have to know how adult life works,” Krantz said.
While attending the University of Washington in Seattle this fall, Krantz explains that her experiences in high school will stick with her in her quest to make new friendships and be involved on her campus.
“Participating has allowed me to meet so many more people and has allowed me to interact with them better. Now if I go out to college I can pretty much start a conversation with anyone because I am so used to being around with different people of different backgrounds in clubs,” Krantz said.
For senior Kelty Pierce, all activities – from Daffodil Princess, leadership, ASB involvement and multiple AP classes – all stemmed from her desire to be a leader.
“Leadership and ASB really have been the quintessential parts of my [high school career]. I loved [being] able to serve my school and my community. I think that the recognition piece of Renaissance that it is serving to create a culture and an environment that is welcoming to everyone, that recognizes everyone and to make school a really safe place. I really love and I love the work that we get to do,” Pierce said.
Pierce explains that her choice to lead and be involved in her school really contributed to her experiences in high school.
“It makes me sad when I hear people say that they hate Puyallup or they hate PHS or hate high school [in general]. High school is really what you make out of it. I really am a firm believer in that,” Pierce said.
Through her involvement in leadership and working with the people around her, Pierce reflects on how those experiences have led her to realizing what she hopes for her future.
“Getting [to be] able to work with so many different people, getting to experience so many different groups throughout high school has really helped me develop my future career goals. I know that I want to serve on a global scale. I am not done serving people. I love people and I am not done with that,” Pierce said.
Pierce has not picked only one organization to be involved in and because of that she feels that involvement in many areas has contributed to her high school experience greatly.
“I think something that has really surprised me about high school is that you do not have to pick just one thing. You can be involved in so many different clubs and activities. You can have friendships of all types of different people. It is not the mean girl stereotype where this is the plastics table, this is the band nerds table. You can be friends with everyone and that surprised me and has been something I have really enjoyed,” Pierce said.
Someone at PHS that has greatly influenced and helped Pierce throughout her time in leadership has been leadership and AP Junior English teacher Jamie Mooring.
“Mrs. Mooring has really had the greatest impact on my high school career and has really enabled me to take everything and run with it. She has always been someone where I am come to her with crazy ideas sometimes and she will sit down with me and say ‘okay sounds great. How do we make this happen?’ So she has really pushed me to be the best that I can,” Pierce said.
Not only has Mooring helped and encouraged Pierce to execute her ideas and goals, she has helped Pierce learn lessons about how to lead.
“She has helped me learn how to say no and has helped me really build the confidence in myself. She has also shown me that it is okay to be a woman leader and to be a woman boss. That is rockin’ and that is awesome,” Pierce said.
The relationships and interactions Pierce has today in leading or in friendships have a lasting impression on her even when she is leaving high school.
“The relationships I have had the opportunity to build are amazing. Whether that is with staff members or my peers. I think that as cheesy as it sounds these are the days and stories that I will be telling my kids and my grandkids. High school really was all about building relationships. For me, it is a time where I also fell in love with leadership and service,” Pierce said.
Pierce admits, amidst the hustle and bustle of multiple activities and AP classes can prove to be a heavy task at times. However, on the other side of the mountain of struggle Pierce has realized the greater things that have come from her involvement.
“High school, as stressful and overwhelming as it can be sometimes, is [a time] where you learn who you are. I obviously cannot speak to what college will do to me yet but I can only hope that I can get to build relationships as strong and as great as I have in college. That I can continue to find who I am in college just as much as I did in high school,” Pierce said.
Now that Pierce has successfully completed high school and has created a powerful legacy she will leave behind, she is now off to new ventures and horizons.
“This fall I will be attending the University of Washington. I will be moving up to Seattle this September. I will be rushing and joining a sorority; I am super excited about that. I will be doing the prerequisites of course but then I will be working on getting an international business degree. I will be studying abroad sometime, hopefully more than once,” Pierce said.
For her future career plans, those are still works in process, however Pierce knows that she wants to continue a life of leadership and service.
“I love to travel and I love people and to serve people and so if could find a job where I could do both of those things at once, I would be living life,” Pierce said.
Senior Sara Son discovered a passion for helping others, leading her to make the decision to combine this service to the community to her career through her involvement in being the Vice President of Key Club, a member of Viking Ladies and serving as this year’s HOSA president.
“[During my time at] PHS a big [influence] has been HOSA. That is [focused] on the medical field and it is with students doing community service but more towards the medical field. Being a part of this club and being able to go to Good Samaritan and seeing the environment of the work place that I want to be in was really helpful for me with my career decision,” Son said.
Throughout her involvement in HOSA, Son says she has even made a great and lasting connection with her adviser, who has proven to be a strong support throughout Sara’s high school career.
“Ms. Reichel, my HOSA adviser has really been supportive of everything that I have done. She is one of those teachers that is more of a friend. Someone who is really there for you in school,” Son said.
In addition to Son’s involvement in HOSA says she has also gained many memorable experiences and relationships through that service organization as well.
“Through Key Club, community service has always been a big part of my life but through Key Club and high school in general, working with others students like my officers in Key Club has really been a big part of my life. I get to see them and how hard they work and I get to put that into my own life as well,” Son said.
Son explains that high school has been the catalyst for leading her into a life dedicated to serving others.
“I feel like in junior high you are kind of just limited to maybe your school and the students in it. In high school it is more about community and school rather than yourself,” Son said.
Son has realized her future aspirations of continuing to serve others through a higher education that will lead her to new fronts of serving others.
“I am going to Washington State University and I plan on majoring in pre-optometry because I want to be an optometrist and after that going to Oregon or somewhere in Washington state for medical school or Optometry school training,” Son said.
Son explains how her higher education and career aspirations fall in line with her continuation of service before self.
“Being an optometrist I have to work with people. Anywhere in the medical field you have to work with people. Being able to work well with others and communicate and being a leader will be very beneficial to me in the future,” Son said.
Taking new risks and aiming to live up to one’s full potential in high school is the philosophy that lead Son to her leadership positions she has today.
“Being active in your school. Make sure you try out for positions that you may feel uncomfortable. Going out of your comfort zone and letting yourself be who you truly are. Do not sit around and wait for things to happen, do it yourself,” Son said.
Moving on into her future, Son explains that she will most likely never end her contributions to others and herself.
“I still really value the meaning of service over self. When I do become an optometrist I would still want to serve others even if that means doing more for my community like community service of maybe moving on to not just an optometrist but an ophthalmologist, which is an eye surgeon. To be able to keep learning throughout my years and not just stop once I have achieved a goal,” Son said.