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Record South Whidbey

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12, 2013 | Vol. 89, No. 47 | | 75¢

INSIDE: South Whidbey High School graduates ... A13-A16

Top learners

Many sources pollute watershed By Celeste Erickson Staff reporter

Placement biology, contemporary world problems and English was just part of his academic trajectory. Enrolling in challenging classes just made sense to him. “I’ve tried to take all the challenging classes I can and save one class for something easier,” McCauley said. “The biggest thing I sacrificed was sleep, especially after soccer, knowing I had to write a one-page paper.” Writing essays and other papers for his social studies and English classes was the most challenging part of school for McCauley. Checking algorithms, angles and arithmetic was a natural talent. Espousing on post-traumatic stress disorder in the military and military families presented a radical task for the Washington State See McCAULEY, A13

See Watershed, A6

Ben Watanabe / The Record

Ben Watanabe / The Record

Kellen Field visits the shop at South Whidbey High School. The Cal Poly-bound valedictorian and self-professed car guy plans to pursue a mechanical engineering career.

Testing for the Maxwelton watershed Water Quality Improvement Project reached the midway point last month with results thus far well below state standards. Representatives from Island County Public Health, Island County Department of Natural Resources, Whidbey Watershed Stewards and Whidbey Island Conservation District presented their findings and gave information on water quality June 3 at the Outdoor Classroom. Researchers have been analyzing the 10-square-mile area since May 2012 following state findings of high levels of fecal bacteria, and have found many things are contributing to water contamination. Research will continue through June 2014. “It’s a classic non-point pollution case,” said Karen DuBose, a water quality specialist for Island County Public Health. “We aren’t going to find a single source.” DuBose said this is because of the size of the area, which constitutes the largest watershed in Island County and has a commensurate share of animal waste and failing septic systems. The state standards require that the geometric mean, which is the average used for bacteria testing, be less than 50 colony forming units per 100 milliliters. Each bacteria has the ability to form a colony. The state also requires no more than 10 percent of samples exceeding 100 colonies per 100 milliliters. Maxwelton beach exceeds both parts of the state standards, averaging 59 colony

Connor McCauley takes a quick tour of his favorite teacher’s room. The senior excelled in math, taking an independent study Advanced Placement calculus course.

Meet the next gear Math whiz ready guy, a mech master for next equation By BEN WATANABE Staff reporter A hard day’s work is something Kellen Field knows well. One of South Whidbey High School’s two valedictorians in the class of 2013, the 18-year-old labored in school and in his garage. Field is a 4.0 grade point average student and a car-enthusiast who plans to swap in a Mazda Protege engine for his 1991 Ford Festivo, a little hatchback coupe that’s older than he is. “I’m big into cars … from little Hot Wheels to now,” Field said. “Having a practical and a technical background going into an engineering field is really useful.” The California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo-bound student plans to major in mechanical engineering. What he’d like to build someday, Field could not imagine. The automobile industry

would not be a terrible career, though. “The automotive stuff is changing really quickly right now,” he said. Leaving Washington for his higher learning was nothing new. Neither of his parents received their undergraduate degrees in the Evergreen State (his dad graduated from Cornell University in New York and his mom from Valparaiso in Indiana). The engineering program at the California university lured Field, and the idyllic campus had its appeal, too. “They have a lot more hands-on and technical stuff that’s better for getting into the career field,” he said. Field is all about fieldwork, whether it’s working on his car in Chad Felgar’s shop classes at the high school, at his job at Useless See Field, A13

By BEN WATANABE Staff reporter Succeeding in school was a simple equation for Connor McCauley. Do what the teacher asks and give up that eighth or seventh hour of sleep. That’s sound advice even if it means sacrificing some snooze time, given that it comes from one of South Whidbey High School’s class of 2013 valedictorians. “All the assignments you have to do and keep track of, it’s difficult but it’s doable,” said McCauley, 18. And his wisdom doesn’t come from a place of having nothing else to do. McCauley was plenty busy over the past four years as a student, soccer player, soccer coach, volunteer and landscaper. Studying calculus, Advanced

South Whidbey Record, June 12, 2013  

June 12, 2013 edition of the South Whidbey Record

South Whidbey Record, June 12, 2013  

June 12, 2013 edition of the South Whidbey Record