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Arenth rises to the top of the class
SNOQUALMIE _ For Mount Si High senior Malia Arenth
being named valedictorian was not on her Things to do While in High School
list. In reality, Arenth's focus steadily remained on her need to excel in
the activities she was involved in and the successful report cards were just
part of the package.
"It's not that big of a deal _ I wasn't trying to be the best or get the
good grades," she said. "It is an honor,
but I'm a perfectionist by nature so getting good grades kind of goes
"I'm happy for her, it's a recognition saying that this girl has
excelled," said Arenth's father Rob. "This is
a payoff for her work."
Arenth's achievements stretched far beyond just making the grade.
She received about a dozen awards and scholarships at the recent
senior awards ceremony. But Arenth said the accomplishment that she treasures
the most is the Meadowbrook Way Literary Award, which recognized her
contributions to the school's literary magazine.
"I love writing; it's my thing," she said, recalling that poetry has been
her passion since she was a little girl. Arenth said she composed her
first poem at the age of 4 based on a time when she couldn't find her
mother. That was the first of many poems that she would write throughout her
"Since elementary she'd come home and walk through the house
and she'd say, `No, don't talk to me' and she'd go upstairs and start typing
it out," recalled mother Debbie Arenth of her daughter's love for writing.
Arenth plans to continue using her creative talents as she pursues a
degree in English at Colorado College. However, the college-bound
student realizes that she probably can't keep up her hectic lifestyle. During
high school, Arenth was involved with the school newspaper, Amnesty
International, the Key Club, Days of Respect, the Honor Society, she was an
ASB representative and she dedicated many hours to her dance team.
"I don't want to give up writing, I want to dance and I want to play
soccer; but I need to narrow my focus," she admitted. "I will force myself
to give something up."
"I'm a pack rat with stuff and activities," Arenth added.
Even though she is anxiously waiting to begin her new life in
Colorado and all that college has to offer, Arenth said she is sad that her best
friend Emily Verbon won't be in Colorado to share her new experience.
"Until a week ago I was ready to get out of high school; I had
senioritis for four years," she said. "But it
hit me last week that after graduation that's it for this part of my life."
"And Emily won't be there during my first day at college. She had
been at my `firsts' for a long time _ the first day of school, the first death _ it's
a little scary."
And as Mount Si seniors prepare to share their last hurrah
together, Arenth will share a part of her soul and express her wishes for her
classmates through a poem titled "Rain"
at the graduation on Friday.
"I always thought I wouldn't be upset at graduation, but I think I
will cry," she said.
But despite the Class of 2000's tears of happiness and sorrow,
they know the best is yet to come.