|1/3/2013 2:07:00 PM|
Life after high school: Entiat makes sure grads can get into college
|Mirror photo by Vince Lovato|
Monika Rock, left, takes video of tape rolling off a lab table in Dan Derr’s physics class. The juniors were trying to determine if the angle of the board had an affect on the speed the tape rolled.
When Gates Memorial Scholarship winner Evelyn Quezada was a sophomore at Entiat High School she, like many students, hadn't thought much about her life after high school.
But the summer before her junior year, Principal Miles Caples called her into his office.
"I talked with (the) principal and got a recommendation for the scholarship and I was able to get it," said Quezada, a 21-year-old WSU student. "So I gave myself plenty of time and I got along with my (teacher Tammy O'Brian). She was one of primary individuals and she was key to me pursuing a higher education."
Quezada said that along with O'Brian, teacher T.J. Wolsborn was instrumental in inspiring her, and helping her, go to college..
"So I owe him a big thank you, as well."
Entiat doesn't have Advanced Placement classes but the staff members coordinate with Wenatchee Valley College to get students college credits in the Running Start program.
Recently, education leaders emphasized college
preparation and tracking post-high school achievements.
Though Entiat School District doesn't have a formal way of keeping track with students, staff members certainly know what there alumni are up to.
"That's the nice thing about a small school," said Wolsborn, "The kids come back and visit and it's nice to know they're doing well."
Quezada, whose father Alberto serves on the Entiat School Board, is majoring in Professional Rhetoric and Professional Writing with a minor in digital technology and cultural communications and Spanish.
"I always tell everybody if it wasn't for Entiat High School I wouldn't be where I'm at its time," she said. "It's a small school and I took advantage of that because teachers can really pay attention to you and they all knew me really well and they could really speak to all my goals and accomplishments."
Quezada said that while she was still in high school, O'Brian volunteered to teach during her free class time.
"The teachers are really committed to what they are doing and when they see that you are motivated they really push you to reach your goals," Quezada said. "If I would have gone to a bigger school, I would have been one of hundreds. But at Entiat, I got what I needed and more."
Quezada is not the first to attend college. Her older sister, Andreina Quezada, 23, is a 2007 EHS grad, and is attending UW studying to be a nurse.
Entiat High School juniors Julianna Edwardson and Monika Rock were performing an experiment in Dan Derr's Physics class.
The tall, athletic Edwardson's goal is to attend Stanford University.
Edwardson's dad, Bill, is a teacher and basketball coach and Edwardson is confident she can reach her goal with all the support.
"Stanford is in California and we have lots of family in California," she said. "I noticed it because of watching basketball and my family is into basketball, But when I went to (Stanford's) website, I learned that they have amazing programs."
A year ago, Entiat school officials added a Dean of Students position filled by teacher Darby Hammond. She said students use a computer program called NAV10k that provides information about college, scholarships and other things. The program starts in seventh grade
"It forces kids to think about setting personal and professional goals.," Hammond said. "It pushes the college-bound students to seek scholarship programs especially for kids with lower income. If they stay out of legal trouble, maintain a 2.0 GPA, and have a low family income, scholarships can pay tuition and some book fees."
WSU representatives visit the EHS campus every year and the eight graders take a trip to UW and Olympia on a two-day trip every spring, Hammond said.
"We're getting better at (tracking alumni in college), mostly through word of mouth," she said. "In small communities, these kids don't fall through the cracks because everyone knows them."
During school family nights, school officials have every student fill out federal scholarship forms.
"They like the help and it's a relief when we tell them what's out there," Hammond said.
The school touts many first-generation college students.
"Our senior teachers are good at keeping the kids informed," she said. "And what I've noticed about our kids is they are comfortable around adults. Our teachers really know every kid, every personality."
When he was a high school junior, Luke Mallon was required to do an internship. His family knew a game warden and he worked beside a biologist working with Big Horn sheep. Later, he did a job shadow and did a ride along with a game warden.
"Those were two things that got me started thinking about my future and where I wanted to go," he said. "It's a very diverse job. As a park ranger, you wear multiple hats: Law enforcement, EMT fire service, search and rescue, and you have to operate with helicopter crew. We get 3 million visitors a year in Yellowstone so we have to pool a lot of services. It keeps me busy."
Article Comment Submission Form