Two Sehome students earn national honors

Two Sehome High School students are ending the 2016-17 year on a high note. Junior Drake Kirby and senior Jenn Frye both received prestigious national honors.


Drake Kirby

Kirby was one of 24 students nationwide to receive the Junior Travel Award, part of the National Spanish Exam program administered by The American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.

Kirby will visit Peru July 20-28 with the other recipients. The students are already getting to know each other online as they prepare for the trip.

“It’s starting to become real very quickly, which is really exciting,” Kirby said.

Kirby flexed his Spanish-language skills on the National Exam as a freshman and sophomore. He scored in the 86th percentile as a freshman, earning him a “silver” award, and he was in the 96th percentile his sophomore year, good for a “gold.”

Sehome has strong participation in the National Spanish Exam. At a party held in Sehome Spanish teacher Ashleigh Bobovski’s class on June 8, five students were honored for earning gold (95th percentile or above) on this year’s exam. Honors also were handed out to 17 Sehome students who took silver (85th-94th percentile), and 13 who earned bronze (75th-84th percentile). Thirty-four students received honorable mention for scoring at least in the 50th percentile.

For his Junior Travel Award application, Kirby wrote an essay in Spanish and conducted a video interview with Bobovski. The five-minute interview, entirely in Spanish, is on YouTube.

Kirby has one more year before graduation but says he plans to attend college, perhaps to study environmental science or botany.

Then again, he may go into language studies.

“I find it extremely fun,” Kirby said. He would have taken French and Mandarin in addition to Spanish at Sehome but didn’t have the time, he said.


Jenn Frye

We noted back in December that Frye was named a National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalist. Well, she’s taken two steps forward since then. Not only is she a finalist, but she was among those finalists who received scholarships. Frye was awarded $2,500 toward college tuition.

She won’t be using the scholarship money right away. An accomplished cellist, Frye was invited to participate July 18-30 in the InterHarmony International Music Festival in Italy. Next, she will spend the 2017-18 academic year in Ecuador through the AMIGOS gap year program. She received a fellowship from Tufts University to cover her costs, and she will enroll as a freshman at the Medford, Mass. school in fall 2018.

Photos: (1): Drake Kirby (2) Jenn Frye

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