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The WIAA believes that school activities matter, and here's why...


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Carolynn Torve Williams

Carolynn Torve Williams is a junior Drill Officer at Timberline High School in Lacey, Wash. She led her team to an Excellent rating in the category of hip hop this year at State Dance and Drill and placed first in the prestigious Drill Down category, a chance for all participants to follow military drill commands from a judge until there is only one participant left standing. Williams is the recipient of the April Student Spotlight.

Taking home first in Drill Down at State was one thing, but Williams also took home first in the event at Timberline’s earlier Lakes competition this year, as well as receiving “all American” status at USA dance camps each of the last two years. She has accomplished all of this with only three years of competitive dancing under her belt, starting a freshman.

“The learning curve was really an inspiration,” said Williams. “All of the freshman I entered with, two had danced before and I hadn’t. Having all of these talented gymnasts who have been dancing all their lives was really great to see. To be able to watch them take in the choreography and commands was inspiring.”


Before she had joined dance, Williams didn’t feel she had many people in her life that she could easily connect with. That changed when she joined the team as a freshman.

“With dance and drill, everyone is there for the same reason, it’s easy to connect. It’s nice to feel like a part of something and be able to connect without even talking, dance is so emotional and you’re putting everything out there.”

Without drill in her high school career, Williams doesn’t know what school would have been like.

“I would have gone through the motions of class, homework, sleep and repeat. I don’t know what I would have done with myself,” she said.

Aja Dale, one of Williams’ coaches, has been with her since the beginning.

“Carolynn is not only a star dancer, but a star pupil,” Dale said. “She understands that in order to succeed in dance, she must also succeed in academics. The school-life-dance balance she has created for herself is very admirable.”

Williams has been a member of the National Honors Society since her freshman year and is currently pursuing her AA through Running Start while still taking classes at Timberline. She is hoping to move on to a four year university upon graduation and work towards a degree in social work, helping homeless families and children find housing.

With William Timberline has become a regular sight at the State competition.


“We’re trying to show (students) what we can do and when we perform, we want them to be proud of us and understand how much work goes into it," Williams said. "We surprised them a few months ago with our military (Beyonce) and they were kind of feeling it.”

Described by Dale as “determined, passionate and humble,” Williams has worked hard to get where she is, and will work hard to bring Timberline back to State once again next year. 


WIAA student leadership committee.  Sophomores:  applications accepted in the spring.
$5,000 scholarship opportunity for graduating seniors.  Apply November 1-April 1, 2017.

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T-Strong at Kent Meridian

While sports are a natural arena for rivalries and competition, the Kent Meridian Football and Cheer programs have used this season as a chance to promote unity and sportsmanship throughout the North South Puget Sound League (NSPSL).


The Royals cheer squad and football team brought attention to Childhood Cancer Awareness month this September by implementing a "#TaylorStrong" awareness campaign.

A member of the KM coaching staff has a family friend whose son Taylor was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  The “T-Strong” campaign was started to support his fight. Taylor loves to watch student-athletes in uniform under the Friday Night Lights. These student-athletes have become heroes to Taylor, and the KM Royals have chosen to show Taylor how many “heroes” he has here in Washington State.

Cheer coaches Erica Wolfskill and Gerald Spalti explained the campaign further, “As a way to spread awareness and show this little boy that we have his back, KMHS Cheer and Football teams have been meeting their opponents’ mid-field, prior to kick off, to take one massive photo for Taylor.” 

 Amidst the fiery emotions that come along with competition, Kent Meridian and its opponents have created space for cross-team camaraderie and uniting for an altruistic movement.  
“While yes, we are bringing awareness, we are also showing that all schools in this league can unite for a cause. We are always looking for ways to promote and encourage sportsmanship…what better way to do so than to unite for a cause.”

Throughout the season, visiting coaches and players from schools such as Auburn Riverside, Hazen, Kentlake and Mt. Rainier have participated in the campaign by joining the Royals at the 50-yard line for a pre-game photo.

“This campaign has made so much of an impact that the new slogan for every game is to be “T-Strong," said Wolfskill and Spalti.

The KM Royals hope to use “#Taylorstrong” as a symbol of awareness for all students, regardless of their challenges, and to show that no matter what happens on the field, it's what you do off the field that can really make a difference.

Nathan Adrian
Bremerton HS '06
Nathan Adrian, Olympic Swimmer and Bremerton HS Alum '06

Ten-time Olympic medalist Nathan Adrian, a Bremerton HS alum, is featured in the Olympics edition of the Alumni Spotlight.

Nathan was introduced to swimming at the age of five when his older brother, sister and his friends were all swimming. His love of swimming blossomed from there. Nathan became a two-time WIAA State Champion in the 200-yard Freestyle with a time of 1:37.17 and the 100-yard Freestyle with a time of 44.08 as a senior (2006). His winning time in the 200-yard Freestyle is still a Boys Swimming & Diving State Meet Record. He followed his brother's and sister's footsteps and chose to swim at the Division I collegiate level. He attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he swam for the Bears.


(Video courtesy of Team Speedo YouTube channel
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