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Senior Spotlight: Senior is grateful for inspiring teachers, family
Coupeville High School senior Kelsey Pape, 18, has attended Coupeville schools since she was in second grade though she lives with her family in Oak Harbor.
“My parents thought I’d do better in a smaller school and they were right,” said Pape.
Kelsey’s parents are Carolyn and Billy Pape and she has a younger sister Jillian, 13.
Her mom works in for the Everett Health District in human resources, and her dad is facilities manager at Hedgebrook writers’ retreat in Langley.
“I’m so lucky to have had such a close family,” said Pape. “Family time is really important to us. My parents have given me so much.”
Pape has been accepted at three Washington state colleges for next year, Pacific Lutheran University, Seattle University and Western Washington University.
Her first choice school is the University of Washington, which she has applied for but hadn’t heard from at press time.
She hopes to pursue a degree in business with a focus on human resources. Her mom’s work in HR has been a good influence on her.
“I like working with people and I think there’ll be a lot of opportunities for me in human resources,” said Pape.
At Coupeville High School, Pape has been a member of the National Honor Society and the yearbook staff as well as taking Advanced Placement classes and working as a teacher’s assistant in a middle school art class.
“Ms. Dix has 28 seventh graders in her art class and she appreciates the help I give her,” said Pape.
Pape also volunteers as a big sister for a 13-year-old girl through Big Brothers, Big Sisters in Coupeville. She’s mentored one girl for the last two years, giving her help with homework and playing games or sports with her once a week.
Pape has also been a member of the CHS girls’ soccer team in her junior and senior years.
Another community service opportunity she enjoys is Teen Ambassadors, a leadership program through 4-H.
Teen Ambassadors took her to Olympia earlier this year for the “Know Your Government” conference where she participated in a mock trial as a juror.
“It was cool to see how the whole judicial process works,” she said of that experience.
She’s had several inspiring teachers at CHS.
“I’ve always developed close relationships with my teachers,” said Pape.
“Ms. Ballard knew I was good at writing so she started setting the bar higher for me and I’ve learned so much from her,” said Pape of her English teacher Barbara Ballard.
She also cited Ryan Grenz, her history and contemporary issue teacher for his teaching skills.
“Mr. Grenz makes it interesting and he has a great way of involving the whole class in discussions by playing devil’s advocate,” she said.
Her calculus teacher Kyle Nelson also has a great teaching style, said Pape.
“Calculus is not easy to learn, but Mr. Nelson makes it easier to understand. If you have a question, he can explain a problem in multiple ways for you,” Pape said.
Pape knows she’ll miss her friends and the teachers at Coupeville High School when she goes off to college next year.
“We’ve been together so long and we’re a close class,” she said. “Next year we’ll be pursuing different paths, but for now we’re all going through this life transition together.”