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  • Gig Harbor Living Local

Students of the Month

By Colin Anderson

Cameron Gabe, Senior

Gig Harbor High School

Photo Courtesy of Chance Busey

Gig Harbor High School senior Cameron Gabe certainly keeps himself busy. He’s involved in athletics, music and Advanced Placement classes, and is just about ready to publish an academic research study on coping with stress as part of one of his favorite classes—AP research. “It is a course that guides us through a year-long process of designing and performing our own research experiment to produce a thesis-type research paper,” explained Cameron. “I thought this class was really cool because, in my eyes, it was an hour out of my day that I got to learn whatever I wanted to learn about.”

The course has helped inspire Cameron on some future goals, including the study of psychology or neuroscience, once he decides on what college or university he would like to attend. “I would like to be able to do my own research and make my career into learning about things that I’m interested in that may be able to help people,” he said.

Cameron is also very passionate about music. He plays the alto saxophone, is the section leader of the wind symphony and jazz 1, and has been since his sophomore year. His band has traveled as far as Chicago for competitions. He also plays in community jazz bands in the area, and you’ll often see him at local swing dances.

Athletically, Cameron grew up playing soccer. He decided to step away before high school because he felt like the coaches he had at the time were only interested in winning. He decided to go out for track and found success and motivation from his coach, Mr. Eager. “Coach Eager could not have been more the opposite; he is the most caring coach I have ever had. He helped me shift my priorities and realize that appreciating and enjoying the sport is the most important thing.”

Mr. Eager’s style definitely had an impact. Cameron’s relay team took first his freshman year and a close second his sophomore year. Junior year was canceled due to COVID. He placed in the top three for time at several distances as a freshman and has the seventh fastest 400m time for a sophomore in school history.

Cameron carries a GPA just a tick under 4.0, impressive considering the amount of Advanced Placement and UW in high school courses he takes. He is undecided on a school for his future but wants to stay on the West Coast and continue all the things he enjoys in life. “I am interested in smaller out-of-state schools where I can have close instruction from professors like I have received at Gig Harbor. I would like to be part of an involved music department and participate in sports,” he said.

Mia Anderson, Senior

Peninsula High School

Peninsula High School senior Mia Anderson, like her peers, is hoping that 2021 will bring some renewed hope and a bit more normalcy to life. “I am most proud of being a PHS varsity cheerleader for the 2020/2021 school year, and I really hope we get a chance to cheer at some games!” she said.

Mia continues to be active at her school despite distance learning. Outside of cheerleading she is also part of the school’s Community Inclusion Program (CIP). CIP is a club that assists with planning activities for youth of all abilities along with fun friendship events. Students serve as mentors as they build relationships, appreciate everyone's gifts, support one another, receive leadership training and learn to be self-advocates.

Mia also really enjoys singing and is participating in the school’s concert choir, marking her fourth year in a row. “Mrs. Ellis has made it a safe place to be, and we are all like a family,” she said of the class. Mia also enjoys art and other creative opportunities the school provides. “My other favorite class that I have taken at PHS is batik with Mr. Hall. I took that class twice because it was so fun making colorful art for our house,” she said.

Mia is also part of the district’s Community Transition Program (CTP). CTP supports young adults as they transition to life after high school in achieving the greatest degree of independence and quality of life. The program takes into account student needs, strengths, preferences, interests, work experience and desired post-school outcomes. For Mia that means likely taking some college courses and potentially working with youth in the future. “I hope to get a job someday working with children; maybe an assistant at a daycare,” she said.

Mia is excited for what’s to come and also thankful to those who’ve been there for her over the years. “My ET&T teacher, Wendy, has really helped me as I’ve become an adult. She is patient and is super funny. It will be hard not to see her every day when I go to CTP,” she said.

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