Page 1



Jane Gormley, Editor in Chief

While I think getting to work with Twombley everyday is enough of a reason to take journalism, I’d like to use this space to shamelessly promote this amazing class. Most people on staff, myself included, wish they’d signed up earlier. You learn to write good emails, express your ideas concisely, and find the story in almost anything. The life lessons and people skills you learn from the class are invaluable. Journalism attracts big personalities and learning to deal with those has been one of the most important skills I’ve gained in high school. Being the interviewer is great practice for being the interviewee and the freedom you get to pursue your interests help you find out what they actually are. Plus, you get to write the April Fools Issue. But I think most importantly, when you join journalism, you become a part of a family. It’s the most random groups of people I’ve ever been a part of, but seeing friendships form between grades, personalities, and instagram aesthetics this year and knowing that journalism is what made them happen, makes me so proud of what this class has become. Knowing that I’ve helped create a space that freshman me would be comfortable to be herself in is one of my proudest accomplishments in high school. If after all this, journalism still doesn’t sound like your thing, I’m only a little hurt. I just leave you with two pieces of advice: Find the activity that makes you into the kind of senior your freshman self would look up to and visit for new articles every Tuesday and Thursday.

Georgia Mattox, Front/Online Editor

Ever since freshman year we have counted down the days until this moment. Excited students plan their future, calculate their career paths, and await the day that they will accept their diplomas and enter the next phase of their lives. But what I have come to realize, after four years at this amazing school, is that all that waiting does not amount to much, because now we are here, days before the coveted graduation day, and many of us are more sentimental than excited. We will miss the inspiring teachers that have shaped our academic and personal lives, the friends we have made and the sports teams and clubs we have joined. We will even come to miss the daily schedules we have all grown accustomed to as we are thrown into the whirlwind that is our lives beyond high school - a life of unknowns and uncertainties. So my biggest piece of advice to all of you is to take advantage of it. So many of us get caught up in all that we must do to prepare for college and beyond - the test scores, the grades, the extracurriculars - that we often fail to truly appreciate all that is in store for us in the moment. Yes, the future is exciting, but so is the present, so do not allow the anticipation for some future life to blind you from all that is happening now.

Hanna Puetz, Features Editor

Reflecting on the last four years of my high school experience, I remind myself how much I have grown since first stepping foot in the halls of MIHS. As a freshman coming from a private school background, I felt daunted by the idea of high school, an ephemeral feeling that soon gave way to excitement, stress, and routine as I adapted to the public-school environment. I first want to underscore how fortunate I am to have attended Mercer Island High School. The opportunities here are unbelievable, the variety of classes, clubs, activities, and resources at our fingertips are seemingly unlimited. Yet, more importantly, are the teachers who have stood in front of me for four years, whose humility, expertise, and love for teaching have helped to guide and empower me. Without them, I would not be leaving this school district the person I am today. Ultimately, journalism has imparted an appreciation for the power of words and their ability to inspire action. With these words, I inform and persuade. I describe and express my ideas. I effect change. For this, I thank Twombley and the journalism class. And lastly, for my fellow seniors: as you depart from this school district, realize the power of your own words and use them for good.

Emma Gottlieb, Staff Writer

As my four years as a student here at MIHS come to a close, I have noticed that I feel a lot more hesitant to graduate than I expected. While I can say for sure that I took all the required classes, returned all my books to the library, and said all my goodbyes to the drill team, I still do not think I can call my high school experience complete. This is not something over which I am too terribly sad, however it is not a feeling I would recommend, and for this reason I would like to leave a piece of advice: fellow students, I encourage you all to follow your hearts. I missed many opportunities to explore potential passions during my four years due to fear of judgement, both by peers and college admission teams. If I could, I would tell freshman year Emma to stay true to herself, to start that club or join that sport, to reach out to new people in the community before moving so far away. You are in control of your high school experience, so do not be afraid to call the shots. If you fall down, pick yourself up and give it another try. You will quickly find lots of happiness if you take just a second to listen to your heart. I hope to tailor my college experience according to my heart, and I hope that all of the peers I leave behind at MIHS will strive to do the same with the years they have left here.

Christine Lee, Spread Editor

Transferring to MIHS my junior year, I had no idea what to expect and was genuinely terrified I would hate it here. I am pleased to say that the mentors and friends that I have accumulated at MIHS have become a huge part of my life and have shaped me to be the person I am today. Thank you to Ms. Stafford for your unwavering compassion toward every student you meet. Ms. Sutherin, thank you for bringing a little taste of aloha to MI and for supporting me through junior year. Thank you to Mr. Weed for being my buddy and eating my brownies! Lastly, Mr. Twombley, thank you for your daily wisdom and kindness. May there be an abundance of kombucha in your future! Some advice to you Islanders. Don’t be afraid to try new things and get involved in your community! Join clubs (or start your own!), eat the lunch specials, and talk to people outside your normal circle of friends. One of my biggest fears as an underclassman was fear of what others think of me, but I have learned that those who are their true selves are not only the happiest, but the people I most admire. See you later MI, and follow @chocolatebark!

Nathan Benson, Sports Editor

To everyone that has helped me along the way to this point so close to graduation, thank you. Current students, you probably hear this enough, but slow down and look around once in a while. High school will fly by and as easy as it is to hate on school, the memories made here with friends and classmates will be memories you cherish forever. Take advantage of the opportunities available to you, and there are many. Even if at first you do it for the application as I myself am guilty of, you may soon find yourself finding a new passion, a great new group of people, or something to pursue beyond your time here. Join a sport (I recommend Cross Country and Track), join a club, run for a leadership position. Through successes and failures, you will learn more about yourself and shape the experiences that you will come to know as your high school career. Appreciate all of it, even the L you took on that test, or the disappointing end to your sports season. Class of 2017, there is nothing we can’t do as we go out into the world. You are an incredible group of people and thank you for making my MIHS experience full of great memories I won’t forget.

Aina Swartz, Opinions Editor

Though I only spent a little over half of my high school career at MIHS, this school has played a large role in shaping who I am. As I prepare to graduate, I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t aching to (in the words of George Bailey) “shake the dust of this crummy little town off my feet and see the world.” Even in my junior year, I absolutely couldn’t wait to finish high school and embark on my next big adventure: university. However, despite my excitement to cross the Atlantic and start my new life in London, I think that my hastiness has caused me to overlook some of the opportunities that high school could have offered me. The most valuable piece of advice I can give to you now is to not make the same mistake I did. Stop wishing you were somewhere else and make the most of what’s in front of you, no matter the circumstances. Living in the future is just as bad as living in the past - the only way to live life to its fullest is to take everything as it comes and to live everyday as if it were your last. Oh, and STUDY ABROAD!

Hanna Norén, Online Editor

With a mere number of days before graduation, I’ve begun to reflect on and realize what I wish I would’ve done in high school: joined band, disregarded others’ opinions, read more books, enjoyed my sports more, focused on the good in life rather than dwelling over the bad, ignored the concept of “résumé fluffing,” enjoyed being a child more, been more loving towards my parents, run cross country, participated in activities that I was passionate about rather than ones that were expected of me, thanked my teachers for their dedication and passion, lived more in the moment. To the remaining high schoolers, I hope you learn from my mistakes.

Zoe Levin, A&E Editor

I need to thank all of my wonderful teachers, counselors, and friends for my high school experience. Mercer Island High School felt massive and alien to me when I entered, but the people I met made mundane moments enjoyable. Thank you Mr. Puchalla for meeting with me a whole hour before school to discuss our upcoming DBQ. Thank you Ms. Sutherin for our numerous meetings. Thank you Ms. Schwartzberg for helping me regain my confidence in math. Thank you to every study buddy I’ve worked with and to every friend I have made. You have made MIHS a home.

June 2, 2017 I, Lukaku Meek, of indefatigable mind and groovy body, do hereby bequeath the following: to Hunter Bauman my headband collection; to Maeve Akins my dog Fritz, and to Macy Mounger my cruiser bike. I, Thomas Mehdi, of stressed mind and body bequeath the following: My legendary basketball skills to Scotty Rowe. My knowledge from Coach Burns about surpassing physical human limits and doing the impossible on the football field to Rafael Tucker and Jack Salisbury. As well as my endurance to Tynan Drayton. I, Kate Miller, of meme-filled mind and tan body, do hereby bequeath the following: To Greg Fuchs, the word “harsh” because “brutal” is overused. To Cole Miller and Nicole Mandt, the Parkwood craze. To Gretchen Blohm, biggest flirt. To Scotty Rowe, my eternal love and rush chair duties. To Tynan, a tootsie roll for the slay dragon. And to Rainer, my salty pasta recipe that you wanted so badly. I, Maile Moll, of vivacious mind and maroon and white body do hereby bequeath the following: To Maren and Hayden Moll, my beloved Debra treat her with the love and respect she deserves. To Ellie Nomicos I give my everlasting love. To the hottest team on Mercer Island, keep up glaxing and our percentage;)... especially Maeve Akins. To my Dearest mini I give you my overalls ... maroon, white, and sparkles are your new favorite colors. Live it up and make me proud! I, Maeve Murdoch, of sparkly mind and aqueous body, do hereby bequeath the following: To Paul Murdoch, the car, please keep it clean and fully fueled for when I come back to visit. To Ellie Williams and Chloe Mark, the sacred lane 2, go live it up next year; swive forever. To Maeve Akins, my rave kandi , keep rave Maeve alive. To my Awesome mini, my sparkly spirit gear, next year make sure to dance like no one is watching, be yourself, but most importantly let your maroon and white blood shine through! I, Natalie Newcomb, of a crazy mind and short body hereby bequeath to 88.9 The Bridge, KMIH, the following: Sorry, it’s just all my love and some advice. Keep turning on the microphones, check your levels! Emily, keep being you! You are one of my favorite talents on the dial. To the KMIH family, keep making great radio, win state and bring home more national awards! If you have the love and passion for it, radio will take you great places. Remember we are a big crazy family; take care of each other and Joe! Keep building The Bridge!

SENIOR WILLS I, Justin Myers, hereby pass down my Islanders helmet to Jack Shanafelt. May it keep you safe in times of need...

I, DB Nguyen, of my own mind and some Asian kid’s body, do hereby bequeath the following: To Julia Graham, the crunchiest cookie from Great Harvest Bread Co. To Noonie McCann, Room 301 and my power as the real ASB President over the school. To Aidan Dobson, my most precious canoe. Take good care of it for me. And to Sophia Stribling, the VP Banana, passed down from many generations of VPs. I, Cole Nielsen, of B+ mind and D- body, do hereby bequeath my Mariners fandom to absolutely nobody because no one deserves that level of torture. I, Hanna Norén, of social mind and olive hued body, do hereby bequeath the following: to Nolwenn, borrowing Bentley for walks, so Kalico doesn’t get too lonely. To Caroline Faucher, advice: enjoy the time you have left before you know it you’ll be on the other side of the border ;) To Ava Blanchette, the freedom to do exactly what you want your senior year. To Karro, the result of Nepotism (wear it well), the aux cord to use at your own discretion (country it up), and FaceTime (for weekly use) <3 I, Nalani Ogawa, of savage mind and snazzy body bequeath to Nikhil Nayar my temper, my sense of humor, and my blinding dance moves to make you less you To Jackie and Jessie Stenberg, I bequeath to you much patience and the infamous girls soccer chant powered by your sister bond (feel free to change it). Lastly I bequeath to Mr. Willecke a pair of cargo shorts, just kidding, he has 500. I, Hanna Puetz, of clear mind and shorterthan-average body, do hereby bequeath the following: to Isabel Funk, the glorious title of features page editor. To Phoebe Larson, my body weight in Tree Top orange fruit snacks as well as a box of matches for when you’re finished with my old test prep books. And to Mr. Randolph, a Costco pack of Airborne because even though you told me it’s a placebo, it still works. I swear. I, Erik Raisys, of rockin dad bod, give to Carson Coe, Sammy Vacca, and Daniel Kavesh the water polo team, in hopes that you boys bring back the dynasty. To Liucija Raisys I leave all of my Mercer Island gear and the beloved suburban.

I, Rajan Parikh, of absent mind and Ultimate Body, do hereby bequeath the following: To Aidan Dobson and Lycia Tran, I leave the ruthless dictatorship that is TRIBE Presidency. To Hayden Moll, the TRIBE Bandana to wear with pride and carry on its legacy. To God Squad, bottle openers so you can always pop off. To Truman Keith, a Connor McDavid jersey to support your favorite team. To Nicole Chen and Natalie Jewett, the gorgeous Clarinet Section and large amounts of patience to help you tame them. Finally, to Miti Parikh, I leave the Parikh legacy in all its glory, good luck on your own next year. I, Samuel Ricky Rosenstein, of elevated mind and scrumptious body, do hereby bequeath the following: To Robert Weaver and Reis Kissel I leave great hair flow, use it wisely. To Emil and Hunter I leave the wisdom of Gandalf the Grey. I, Carmen Schafer, of concussed mind and hunched body, do hereby bequeath the following: To Estey Chen, my senior babes sweatshirt, and by default, the title of Chairman. To Mary Rose Vu, my blessing to pursue our shared parental guardian. To the D.C. Gals, my arsenal of spicy political memes, and my best wishes to you all one day scoring some Miami sunshine. To Rachel Tang, a bottle of sparkling cider to celebrate Jonah’s departure. Share it with Vi Le, to whom I leave behind a bottle opener, as well as a large sum of gas money to compensate your future chauffeurs. To Dana Berejka and Zack Gottesman, the philosophical wisdom to prevail over senior year and come up with better puns. To Jon Ho, a lamp and extension cord: lighten up. I, Shain Scott, man of headband wearing swag and lulu lemon bag rocking abilities, hereby declare the keys of Mercer Island to Griffin Emanuels, the super sick Spaulding basketball to William Bill Lee, and the weight room to Joseph Gormley. Use ‘em wisely boys!


I, Peyton Skall, of indecisive mind and trendy body, do hereby bequeath the following: to Caroline Faucher and Nolwenn Dumont keep being your lil French selves. Je vous aime toujours. To Anna Moscovici, my school spirit - get funky with it! I, Sarah Smith, of amazingly good looks and sarcastic humor, do hereby bequeath the following: the throne of the memes shall go to my good friend, Lisa Roche, as she begins her final year of high school, carrying out my legacy of memes. May this school strive not only for wealth and education, but for memes! Let the power of the memes into everyone’s hearts and fill the eyes of the youth with the happiness memes can give a child. FOR THE MEMES! FOR AMERICA! FOR MI!

I, Claire Stein of mushy mind and cookie-dough filled body, do hereby bequeath the following: To Brandon (Bill) Hill I relinquish command of the Trombus and trombone ownership of DQ. To Jack Price, $a$$y Bra$$y. To Kate Panza, title of section leader of the Eunited Euphoniums. I, Ben Stoops, of distracted mind and spindly body, do hereby bequeath the following: to Katie Stoops, my last shred of motivation for all things mathematical; to Jon Na, my limited understanding of social cues (God help you); to KB, my lyrical finesse and street fighting expertise; and to Baby Benson, the secrets of Clise, along with my extensive knowledge of women (but of course you don’t need it).

I, Nate Sigmon, of affectionate mind and lean body, do hereby bequeath to Justin Wampold the entire religion of Judaism.

I, Jonah Tang of salty mind and apparently midway-swole body do hereby bequeath the following: To Garrett Leung I give some water, to quench your thirst and dilute your salt. To Joelle I give a thank you, because I never say thanks ever so here it is. To Vi Le: a lucky charm from Lucky Charms cereal because I think you need some more luck in your life. To many juniors: Second semester senior is not as great as you think it is. It’s better than junior year, but it’s not that great.

I, Eden Singh, of caffeinated mind and tan body, do hereby bequeath the following: to Stirling Yeadon and Quinn Casey, the legacy of keeping up mine and Natalie Robinson’s funky vlogs. To Grady Short, my coffee supply and two more years of Spanish classes filled with jajajajas. And to Jack Singh, the slightly dented jetta. May you take better care of it than I did.

I, Kaes Vanderspek, of entropic mind and capricious body, do hereby bequeath the following: To Drew Mocke, the drama game cube, that you may one day bring back smash bros. To Jack Schwartz, my undying love and admiration. And to the undying masses, I bequeath the fire of revolution.


We, Riley Thompson and Lizzy Sagerson, of lit minds and stretchy b o d i e s , do hereby bequeath the following: To Olivia Harrington, our co-dance team captain title, the title of “sassiest” and a free cone. To Talia Morris, the spaghetti that fell out of our pockets, the title of “mom” and the favorite son award. To the rest of the Green Wall dance team, our endless snack bags, good advice, and lace cheetah underwear. To Maeve Akins, we leave you our weird dance moves and plenty of AMFs. To Carter Melick, we leave you the freedom to date other girls, now that we are leaving. I, Max Waller, of melodious mind and tired body, do hereby bequeath to Tynan McGee, a middle row seat with a music stand blocking his face and funny hat Fridays. I, Rose Weiker, of impatient mind and chiseled body, do hereby bequeath the following: To Carmen Wright, my beloved contrabassplay it loud and play it proud. To Henry, my bb Steven the Subaru and Chewy the cat. To my cross country ladies, so much spirit gear. And to the MIHS band, I leave my heart and soul <3.


I, Kayla Varney, of sparkly mind and spirited body, do hereby bequeath the following: To Lukas, I pass on the honor of driving Mandy. Do her proud. Love you forever raptor. To Ellie Nomicos, I pass on the title of swive mom and my endless love. Keep doin’ you girl!! To Kate Fisher, I pass on the walking stick. Be sure to keep the tobster in line for me. And finally, to MIHS Softball, I pass on Cupcake’s Cupcake. Don’t forget to keep fighting, & never let anyone tell you that your sport isn’t cool or good enough, because they truly don’t know what they’re missing out on. Jaeger bands forever. To my lil one, I pass on the love of maroon and white spirit. Remember, you can never wear enough maroon and white, no matter the day of the week. Stay humble and do me proud <3 Blue fire hands and blue fire hair to Joe Gormley. Because I’m graduating. - Jared Ong

I, Aina Swartz, of scattered mind and tired body, do hereby bequeath the following: to Grady Short, the glamorous title of Opinions Editor, and to Jack Swartz, the m e m o r i e s of the countless sandwiches I’ve made you as consolation for your inevitable starvation.

I, Boo Williams, of food-loving mind and awkward body, do hereby bequeath the following: to Ali Dickstein and Noonie McCann, I leave you my college books and boba punch card. To Claire Mansfield, I leave you with all my love. And to Macy Mounger, I leave you half my closet and my parents (take care of both please).

I, Natalie Robinson, of mathematically challenged mind and mildly athletic body, do hereby bequeath the following: to Tess Hendelman, the light of my life, I give you ice cream, to get you through the tears and celebration that senior year brings, and to Tessa Fisk, I give you the aux chord, in hopes that you always play Starboy.

I, Sophia Evelyn Rose Zink, hereby bequeath the amazing gift of procrastination to my kin, Anna Zink. I also will my copious amount of APUSH and Comp Gov notes to those who are subjected to the horrors of the College Board monopoly.

I, Alle Dunbar, of attentive mind and veteran body, hereby bequeath the following: to Tessa Guerra with 4 years worth of MI apparel in hopes that you will live on the legacy of “!!!!”. I leave my brother, Ben Dunbar, my strength and determination, to outsmart every last video camera the parents try to throw at us. We also leave you the ladder, do with it as you wish.

I, Michele Zhang, of vacant mind and dad body, do hereby bequeath the following: my abilities of pissing off Jiggly Bun Bun to Lisa Roche. Use it well. I, Tina Zhang, of spirited mind and smooth body, do hereby bequeath the following: my duties in the Training Room and as football team manager to Leah Burrell. The role of basketball manager to Peter Empey. And Tynan a streak on Snapchat for life.


Nikita Marcou All in all, prioritize yourself over your grades and college admissions. Those things are important, but not if it means sacrificing your happiness. I wish I had spent my time in high school more focused on my own wellbeing. I regret the times that I skipped things I wanted to do just to get homework done. In a few years, your grades won’t matter anymore, but you still will, so make yourself your priority.

DB Nguyen

Don’t be afraid to talk to other people and make new friends! You never know when or where you’ll meet your new best friend, so put yourself out there and don’t be afraid to be yourself.

I, Nate Benson, of innocent mind and swift body, do hereby bequeath the following: to Marco Rivamonte, Alex Benson the powers of Clise. Remember to please Clise and Clise will provide you with speed. To Reid, I give the position of Sports Editor. To Tess I give my incredible note taking skills, use them wisely. To Jaden Krauser my Tiger Mountain shirts from the past four years. To Jon Na I give the spirit baby carriage, may it help you on your journey as spirit commissioner.

Try your hardest. Not someone else’s hardest, but your hardest. School is a place for growth and stretching yourself too far academically will lead to an imbalance in other aspects of your life. In the end, getting As is a fleeting gratification, but the memories shared with those who matter are forever.

Stella Hermelee

I think coming from such a competitive community, a lot of us tend to see each other as enemies. I did this a lot my first few years of high school. Once I stopped focusing on the competition, I became a lot happier. For future students, always support one another. You will be so much happier when you stop comparing yourself to others and you will form stronger relationships if you praise each other

Katherine Williams



June 2, 2017

Maddie Coles

Be brave and get out of your comfort zone by trying something new, or work hard to pursue your own passions, but regardless of whatever path you choose, you control your own destiny. So do not idle around and expect life to give you every opportunity, but seek them out of your own accord.

Be yourself. You’re never going to get anywhere if you’re constantly trying to impress those around you. The only person you need to impress is yourself because in the end, those who truly admire who you are as a person are the ones who will be with you through it all. Love yourself and love who you are. Embrace your weirdness and live boldly.

Kristin Jradi

Heather Robinson

Don’t procrastinate. Understand that your goals will change. Appreciate your friends and don’t fight over the petty stuff.

Thank your teachers. Grading papers, planning their curriculum, and dealing with students, they put a lot of work in their job and deserve appreciation! High school is what you make it, so have a good time and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.

Ne ver take AP Calculus.

Chris Shin

Riley Thompson My number one piece of advice would be to immediately stop comparing yourself to your peers. Whether it’s your best friend, the person sitting next to you in a class, or anyone at all, just stop. Mercer Island is a wonderful place full of intelligent people, but often I feel as though intelligence and worth is defined by a grade in a computer system rather than the actual effort or strength or charisma of an individual. It shouldn’t be.

Don’t take high school too seriously. Of course, your education is incredibly important, but give yourself time to have fun. Don’t get too caught up in the future and learn to live in the present.

Kayla Tsang

Rajan Parikh

On Pasta Mondays, it’s crucial to get the perfect mixture of red and white sauce. If you want the best pasta of your life, get two scoops white sauce and 3/4 scoops of red sauce. And always get two breadsticks.

Euan Dumont

My best advice I can give to any current or future MIHS student is to be yourself and be weird. Do not worry about what other people think about you: have fun with yourself. Your life will be so much more enjoyable if you live it the way you want to live it, not your friends.

Andy Bliss Big groups of friends seem glamorous, everyone strives to be constantly surrounded by tons of friends. After four years of high school I can attest that it’s better to have fewer close, real and loyal friends. Not people to keep you company, but friends who will be there to support you through the stressful weekdays and have fun during the weekends.

Bea Fiorentini

Go to EVERYTHING. Never use an excuse like “I have homework” or “I don’t have anyone to go with.” Do your homework earlier and meet new friends at the game!

Mallica Cary



think the main things that changed for me throughout the CHRIS Iyears were my priorities. Freshman year was pretty typical ESTHER I tried to do exactly what I did in middle school and exSHIN me: LEUNG pect to do well, without caring at all or knowing the expec-

tations of high school work. That didn’t work out so well. Realizing my end goals (of getting into college) and that I only had two and a half years of school left to fix my grades, I switched my priorities and decided I needed to try harder (but not that much harder). In between sophomore and junior year, I decided that I was over younger me and wanted to branch out and party. This was fun for a while, but at the time I realized that I was trying to hard to fit in, and I was hanging out with certain people for the wrong reasons, so I stopped. Then came junior year, the notorious hellscape that consumes every sophomore and spits out jaded seniors. Given the importance of this year, I think I achieved hermit status when I only successfully left the house (for anything other than school and sports) maybe two or three times during the winter. I figured I was too deep into this whole junior year thing and went into full academic mode. While I would never go back to the late nights of reading and the many practice books, I cherish those memories. My priorities focused less on the social aspect of my life and almost solely on my academic aspect (would not recommend doing this for more than a few months at a time). And then senior year, the final stretch (or so I thought). My first few months of senior year revolved around my essays and applications, the amalgamation of my last four years. My one and only goal was to get into the school of my dreams (thankfully I did). Then, my priorities began to shift to beyond high school, and what I should be doing in the little time I have left in high school. Spontaneity became a habit of mine after a certain point. Now, whether it’s an impromptu Dick’s runs, grabbing dim sum at 10 p.m. on a Wednesday, or going bowling for no apparent reason on a weeknight, I’m always down to just go on an adventure. I’m making up for lost time, nights where I could have Cartoon by Teddy Fischer gone out but didn’t because of homework and people I wanted to spend time with but never made the time to actually plan anything. While I encourage everyone to do well in school, always remember to have a good time, too.

My tastes have changed, my goals have changed, my attitudes have changed, and most of all, my mindset has changed. All I was focused on before was “playing the game,” as most of us do. Yes, playing the game can help you “succeed” in school and help you get good grades, but that is actually a very short term goal. I have found that you do things way better if you actually enjoy them. If there is something that I do not want to do, I try to twist it in a way so that it matches what I would like to do while still completing the assignment. Overall, I have definitely seen the bigger picture of not only high school but life in general. If you just do what people want you to do, you will always be stuck in a rut and will probably do worse than if you did something you loved.


Growing up on Mercer Island for most of my life has given me a strong sense of community. At the beginning of my high school career, I usually focused my time and energy spending time with students at my high school. I never went off island. I joined many clubs, and attended as many social events as I could. This allowed me to make new relationships and become more comfortable around my peers. However, as I progressed through my years at MIHS, I became dissatisfied with my everyday lifestyle and knew that something was missing. Although it was nice seeing the same people everyday, I yearned to be exposed to the world off my tiny island. I decided to go out of my comfort zone and make an effort to get involved with programs in the Seattle and Bellevue area. Through joining Teen Science Cafe and volunteering at auctions every weekend, I met new people of different races, cultures, and backgrounds. This has given me a much wider perspective on life, and meeting new people has become one of my strongest passions. Rather staying inside my box and hiding from new experiences, I’ve become someone who is excited about the world. This sense of ambition and curiosity will give me an open mind for when I head off to college next year, and I will continue to challenge myself everyday.

We asked seniors what they’ve learned and how they’ve changed throughout high school. Here are some of their responses.

been a whole roller coaster of changes. Things JANET There’s like transitioning from a shy-type to an extrovert (an and having to find a new friend group (a down). I’ve DIEP up) learned to expect something more from myself and to

expect less of other people, in a good way. Like I don’t expect everyone to understand me, especially if I don’t talk about things, and I don’t expect everyone to have the same goals, motivations, or interests I do. I found myself wanting to find friends who already had common interests, similarities, over trying to force friendships that I know won’t last.


Coming into 9th grade, life felt way different than it had ever been for me. In middle school, I was reserved, antisocial, and extremely introverted, to the point where I had almost no friend group. Freshman year seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to break out of that bubble and flip it around. So I tried, but I became so enveloped in studying and adjusting to the new environment that I remained that same person. So my 4 years of high school not only became the time for me to learn new material and develop my academic interest, but for me to shed my shell and become the outgoing person that I wanted to be. Now, as I sit a couple weeks away from graduation, I can safely say that I succeeded in that endeavor. I am still shy to an extent, but unlike middle school, I managed to get to know the people around me and start new relationships. I’m sad it took me until my last year at MIHS to be able to achieve this, but this newfound skill is the high school’s legacy on me, and I will forever be grateful for my friends and the teachers who allowed me to pursue that goal at my own pace and on my own terms.

most definitely changed as a person. I will PEYTON Itryhave to categorize each year with a few describing Freshman year, Doc Martens, black, and SKALL words. awkward freshman braces. I had the same friends

as eighth grade and hadn’t really branched out at all. Sophomore year it was not understanding grades are important if you want to get into college, a sense of immaturity, and many friends in all grades. Junior year: testing, APUSH, stress, college advice, APUSH and maybe making time for friends in between ACT prep and babysitting. I feel like now I have taken all of these different “Peytons” from each year and molded it into senior year me. A strong, confident person who isn’t afraid to have fun and has managed to fit the fashion, the learning, and the drive to succeed in my future.


As a person I have changed both physically and mentally, but mainly mentally. I feel like every year I have had a different mindset, and each mindset has changed my perspective on my own life and school in general. Each year allowed me to do different things with my school experience and learn more about who I wanted to be in the future. For example freshman year I was really focused on talking and making friends with new people that I didn’t really develop a connection with during middle school. Having only moved to Mercer Island in 7th grade, I still felt very separate and disconnected to the Mercer Island culture and environment. The upperclassmen showed me the spirit of our school and people, but I still didn’t feel deeply connected. Whenever I saw or heard my name on a list I felt like I didn’t belong for some reason, and that feeling kind of disconnected me further. However I’ve only come to realize this about myself very recently and it’s made me wish I’d tried harder to be an actual part of the school and participate in more things, not just someone who shows up.


June 2, 2017

EMILY GOLDBLATT I have learned to love myself over the past four years.


I’ve learned who I am, and who I am not, and I’m at peace with it.

I remember being worried as I walked through the main doors that during high school, I would become something I'm not. Four years later, I am basically the same person. There are some things that have changed. I admit that at the start of high school, I was not a good student. I'm still not, but I at least try to do the assignments which is sadly a huge improvement from before. Then, I tried one of the school's burgers for the first time. I decided that I would never hurt my taste buds again and eat whole wheat buns. I also became more talkative in class because I realized that you can ask teachers an infinite amount of questions and it's their job to answer you. They might hate you by the end of the year, but some of the conversations were pretty fantastic. In all seriousness, there were times when I thought I had to change. For example, when I looked around the lunchroom, I firmly believed that I had to like things I had no interest in to make friends or to sit at a table. It took one day for me to realize that was false. I'm still a goofball, an awkward guy, and I'm still a doofus. But, the maturity I gained realizing that I didn't have to change to be content, have fun, or have friends was the biggest change I had during high school.




I have changed immensely since freshman year. I began pursuing things that I was passionate about because I wanted to, not because it was what everyone else was doing. I progressively became more and more confident in who I am, and now completely embrace it.


One of the most rewarding moments for me was finishing the world history final project for my sophomore year block. I was in a group with Nicki MacDiarmid, Kayla Tsang, Kelsey Scanlan, and Sophie Snow and we wrote a play about Nelson Mandela’s life. We would spend 2-14 hours a day for two months on our project. It taught me so much about teamwork and time management. I remember the day before our presentation, we did a run through with all our props and costumes and it was a complete disaster. We were all distraught and near tears. We sat in a circle on the floor of Mr. Peters classroom and problem solved. We changed parts of our script that were working, we figured out ways to help each other with costume changes, and we played with the order of the script. Our next run through was slightly better. We kept making changes and went home and worked throughout the night. We worked until it was perfect. We went to class the next day and our presentation was a success. It was such a great moment for us that all of those hours of hard work and stress were worth it.


During the spring of my senior year in our 5/6 Block class Dino and Twomb took our whole class outside for some unknown reason. We all quickly realized that this little “field trip” wasn’t going to be some random tangent. Dino and Twomb explained to us the importance of the trees planted in the courtyard and how they signify those who have recently passed away. Despite this conversation being somewhat out of the blue I think it was very necessary that we learned about an important part of our school’s history. I am extremely grateful that I have such amazing teachers who know how to connect to us students so well.


My most influential high school experience would be when my dog, Mika but I call her Pootie, ran away and ended up at the high school. I got a text from my mom during math class telling me to “Go to room 311 and get the dog.” I was flustered to say the least but I excused myself from class and made my way to room 311. I opened the door to see Pootie rolling around on the floor, surrounded by her new “groupies.” The teacher who found Pootie handed me a lanyard to use as a leash and I headed back to math class. I saw Jonah Chenoweth wandering the halls near my class and casually asked him to hold my dog. He too seemed a bit confused but agreed to hold Pootie as I went in to explain my situation to my math teacher. After telling my math teacher what had happened she asked me if I wanted to bring Pootie into class (since there were only about 15 minutes left anyways). No one in the class had any allergies, so Pootie got to do some midterm review with the class that day.



As a freshman I was notorious for being obnoxious, immature, and inattentive. I entered Mr. Radows history class and was shook by his teaching style, thinking he expected too much from the student and was too strict. I struggled in his class mainly due to my unwillingness to do his work and inability to adapt to his teaching style. I hated his class, and at the time him. When I got my sophomore year class schedule I had his class for history again. I was angered and unable to switch out. I started my sophomore year similar to my freshman year lazy and unwilling to do work and settling for bad grades. Though as the year went on Mr. Radow reached out to me, he tried his best to inspire me to do work. I began to do only his work; he made his class interesting. It was almost as if the students taught the class. Radow’s unique teaching style grew on me I learned to adapt to his class. I found myself loving the class and truly becoming interested in the material. Mr. Radow doesn’t teach a simple historical event or the date of presidents’ deaths. Rather he challenges you to find meaning in the events and why we would learn about it. I became friends with Mr. Radow and he truly helped me invest myself in school. I was able to turn my grades around and have maintained good grades ever since. Leaving sophomore year I was beyond thankful to have had Mr. Radow as a teacher and wanted to let him know that. This is the email I sent him at the end of my sophomore year: “Dear Mr. Radow, Thank you so much for a great year of history. To my surprise I truly enjoyed coming to class. Your class was the one class of the day I could attend and enjoy every single day. I am happy that I have changed from my immature freshman self. I can thank you for this. You allowed me to enjoy learning and feel the need or want to do homework and class work. My favorite part about your class is the way you teach and how you had us students transform knowledge, instead of the classic memorizing dates of events and who was involved. This allowed me to be engaged and curious about the events, which led to me learning and doing my work. Thank you for not being a normal teacher but being a teacher who cares about what we learn and how we learn it. I am thankful for having you as my 10th grade history teacher. Have a great summer!” I would again like to thank Mr. Radow for preparing me for the real world and changing my high school experience for the better.

The mockumentary projects in my sophomore year Johnston/Willecke block were the most memorable classroom experience for me. It was definitely a wake-up call, because the nature of the project was fairly difficult for us young sophomores. Our class dynamic that year was very special, though. Many of the kids who were in it still reminisce about inside jokes of that class--I know I do. And the presentation of mockumentaries was a perfect way to end each semester. Seeing what other students came up with was a great bonding experience. I was so blessed to be in a group with Adam, DB, Devon Toribio (RIP) and Cameron Cummings. From burning gasoline in Adam’s driveway to making DB dress up as Gandhi to staying up all night editing, the memories of making the mockumentaries were even more memorable than the mockumentaries themselves--and I think that’s the way it should be. I’ll never forget driving 50 mph up Island Crest to deliver the freshly burned DVD just in time for class after staying up all night to edit the video. We encountered uncooperative group members, struggles with editing software, and time crunches, but all of these problems are things people encounter in the real, professional world. Teams are formed, goals set, and often too little time given to reach that goal--the mockumentary prepared us for that situation which happens all too often in the professional environment, and I’m grateful I was able to work on it with some of my best friends.

College-bound Athletes BASKETBALL VOLLEYBALL

Natalie Robinson University of Washington Years in sport: 7

LACROSSE Alle Dunbar University of Oregon Years in sport: 9

GOLF Abby Zhong Wellesley College Years in sport: 5

SWIM AND DIVE Audrey Hixon Loyola Marymount University Years in sport: 12 Maeve Murdoch University of San Diego Years in sport: 13



Jane Gormley*

Front Editor: Features Editor: Sports Editor: Spread Editor: Opinions Editor: A&E Editor: Back Page Editor: Online Editors:

Georgia Mattox* Hanna Puetz* Nathan Benson* Christine Lee* Aina Swartz* Zoe Levin* Dylan Notturno Hanna Nóren* and Georgia Mattox*

An * indicates a graduating senior

Staff Writers: Jake D’Souza, Teddy Fischer, Isabel Funk, Spencer Klien, Ellie Gottesman, Emma Gottlieb*, Reid Martinez, Liam Mcleod, Sophie Poole, Lucille Shield, Grady Short, Maya Virdell, Natalie Wilson Adviser: Chris Twombley

Anna Luce Dartmouth College Years in sport: 8

TRACK AND FIELD Nate Benson Emory University Years in sport: 6

Kailee Yan Cal Lutheran University Years in sport: 11



Sofia Simontov Northwestern Years in sport: 10

Harris Hardiman-Mostow Tufts University Years in sport: 4


BASEBALL Noah Hsue University of Washington Years in sport: 14

Lucas Meek University of Washington Years in sport: 12

Jack Smith Washington State University Years in sport: 15

Nalani Ogawa New York University Years in sport: 13


Grace Wall Columbia University Years in sport: 15

Jacob Guedel University of Redlands Years in sport: 8

Purpose To provide news to the Mercer Island High School student body and members of the surrounding community in a manner that accurately reflects the readers’ interests. Editorial Policy

The Islander accepts and welcomes feedback from its readers. Anyone wishing to submit to The Islander must e-mail his submission to or deliver it by hand to Chris Twombley. All submissions must be submitted two weeks before the next publication date, which can be found at any of our distribution boxes. All handwritten submissions must be signed to be considered for publication. No submissions will be published anonymously. Submissions are subject to grammar and spelling. All submissions become property of MIHS Islander. Ads To print an ad in a future issue of The Islander, contact Business Manager Dylan Notturno at for rates and information.

Nondiscrimination Notification The Mercer Island School District does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The dle

following people have been designated to haninquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies: Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB) Coordinator: Dr. Gary Plano, Superintendent (206) 236-3300 Title IX Compliance Coordinator: Dean Mack, CFO/COO, (206) 236-4522 Section 504 & ADA Coordinator: Lindsay Myatich, Director, (206) 236-3326 Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator: Simmi Kher, Coordinator, (206) 236-3300

Senior p2  
Senior p2