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  • Writer's pictureGig Harbor Living Local

Students of the Month

By Colin Anderson

Saige Paulo, Senior

Peninsula High School

Like her peers, Peninsula High School senior Saige Paulo was excited to get back in the classroom, if only for a few weeks, before her high school experience comes to an end. Remote learning was a challenge for the 17-year-old, but even so, she tried to make the best of it and find the little positives. “I like to look on the brighter side; I got to sleep in, save money on gas and do less laundry,” she laughed.

Saige is an active member of student government at Peninsula. She’s participated since her sophomore year and serves as vice president in her final semester. She’s also a competitor on the track-and-field team, specializing in the throwing events.

Not one afraid of getting her hands a little dirty, Saige’s favorite classes involved hands-on learning in a setting in which others might be more squeamish. “I have two favorite subjects: human body systems and history. Human body systems was my favorite because we got to dissect a pig’s heart, cow eyes and sheep brain; history because I find it interesting to learn both the good and bad from the past,” she said.

The uniqueness of hands-on learning might have helped guide Saige into her future profession. Upon graduation, she plans on heading across the state to Washington State University to complete her bachelor’s in nursing. “I’ve always been interested in the medical field, specifically a nurse since I was younger because I love helping people, talking to people and listening to others.”

From the classroom, to making big decisions for her peers, to competing in athletics, Saige will look back at her senior year fondly while she prepares for the next chapter in her life. She will also remember the many teachers who left a lasting impact on her. “A teacher who had an impact on my life was Mrs. DaVinky, also known as Mona Lisa. She always said, ‘It’s not the smartest person who gets the job. It’s the kind, empathic and hardworking person who gets the job.’”

Maddy Hale, Senior

Gig Harbor High School

Gig Harbor High School senior Maddy Hale is not just a student but also an employee of the school district. Maddy is one of the school’s marketing interns and has been since November of her freshman year. In her role, the 18-year-old conducts numerous video and print interviews, handles design and graphic work for social media, designs and edits print material such as the district’s newsletter, The Compass, and various other projects. “I’m also the president of GHHS STEAM Club, where we compete with other schools in events like promotional design, video game design, biotechnology, coding and more,” said Maddy.

Having her hand in story writing and development, as well as visual and graphic design, is something Maddy will look to pursue as a career. She’s wanted to be a game designer since a very young age and would like to use what she’s learned in school to develop games that have intricate play-throughs and are different each time. “I love video games that allow me to uncover a story in many different ways, and I love games that are open world. My biggest dream is to create games that help people learn about the world around them in a fantastical way,” she said.

Maddy’s favorite teacher at Gig Harbor High School is Mr. Joe Marten. He is a CTE teacher and also one of the STEAM Club advisors. She shares that he is very kind and cares a lot about his students. “I took his video projects class during the first all-online semester of remote learning, and he worked hard to make sure every student had what they needed to succeed.”

When choosing a college, many kids tend to stay in the Northwest, with a few entering different time zones. Maddy will be venturing out a little further, all the way to Dublin, Ireland, where she will enroll in Trinity College and pursue an economics degree. “After working in marketing for most of my high school years, I decided that I really wanted to learn what makes markets work and how they are influenced by a number of factors. I’m very interested in statistics and data, and so after getting an economics degree I’m planning on working in the field for a few years and then possibly going back to school for a data science master’s degree,” she said.

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