Super Kid: Monica Franke, Darrington High senior
Monica Franke, 17, senior at Darrington High School
Answer: It's great. My grandparents' and my mom's class photos are on the walls at school. There's a lot of history here and it's easy to see. In Darrington, everybody knows who you are. That's a good thing. But if it begins to feel claustrophobic, you can always get out of town.
Q: Where are you headed after high school?
A: I am going to Montana State University in Bozeman to study chemical engineering. Maybe I will design better cases for cell phones. Anyway, I like math and science. And I am looking forward to weather that doesn't include rain.
Q: Why are you on crutches?
A: It's an ankle injury I got during volleyball practice. I hope to be back playing by the weekend. I sure want to finish out the post-season games and then get ready for basketball. We are hoping for a good basketball season. The team spent a lot of time together working on our skills over the summer.
Q: What are your other activities at school?
A: The leadership class recently staged our Scare Hunger campaign. Instead of going door-to-door for treats on Halloween, we did a food drive for our local food bank. We collected nearly 3,000 pounds of food. It was really cool. The community responded well. I'm also the student body treasurer and in honor society. During spring quarter, I help tutor other students. The seniors also are serving Thanksgiving lunch to our senior citizens this week.
Q: Who is your favorite teacher?
A: All of our teachers at Darrington are personable. They come to our games and activities. They really know us. That's another thing about Darrington that's good. Of course, I have to say that my dad teaches in the high school and my mom is the elementary school principal. I've really grown up hanging out at school with my parents while they worked at night, on weekends and even in the summer. Some people don't realize how hard teachers work, but my brothers and I know. My family does get the month of July off together, however, and that is good.
Q: What else are you up to?
A: Well, we have five horses and a mule at home. My brothers and I take turns doing the chores. It takes up a lot of time. Checking the fences, cleaning the stalls, feeding them. My family also likes to go crabbing and we have a boat down in La Conner. Here in Darrington, my friends host movie nights at their houses in the winter or we have bonfires in the summer.
Q: What's been your favorite volunteer project?
A: My friend Oliver Rankin and I volunteered this year for the Forest Service documenting the numbers of bats living in the old mule barn at the ranger station. The old barn is the habitat for eight different species of bats, and one of them is rare. We climbed into the hay loft after dark and counted the bats coming and going. We also collected and counted moth wings in the barn. The bats eat the bodies of the moths, but not their wings.
I also have spent time helping to referee junior league volleyball and basketball games, and that was fun.
Q: What will you miss most about Darrington when you move away?
A: My family and my friends. But I won't miss the rain.
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