Auburn Riverside's Brock, Lee make the most of high school experience | Class of '13

Auburn Riverside’s Elizabeth Lee and Sumner Brock excelled in and out of the classroom. - Mark Klaas/Auburn Reporter
Auburn Riverside’s Elizabeth Lee and Sumner Brock excelled in and out of the classroom.
— image credit: Mark Klaas/Auburn Reporter

Editor's note: The Auburn Reporter salutes some of the best graduating seniors from each of the Auburn School District’s four high schools.


Well rounded, intelligent, ambitious, appreciative.

Sumner Brock and Elizabeth Lee are many things, thanks to the full Auburn Riverside High School experience.

Classmates since they were sixth-graders at Mt. Baker Middle School, the duo has blossomed in the arts, sciences and other high school programs to become leaders representing the very best of the graduating class of 2013.

Now these gifted seniors are ready take on the next challenge.

"The best thing in the world to me is to be able to use the gifts that you have to serve and make a difference," Brock said with a smile.

For Brock, 18, moving on means pursuing big things from a hamlet, Oklahoma Christian University, where he plans to study graphic design. One day he hopes to work in the marketing and branding field, his dad Stephen's career choice.

For Lee, 18, the next step is the University of Washington, where she will study mechanical engineering and follow in the footsteps of her father, Mel, a civil engineer.

Both are 4.0 honor students. Both stand tall on the strong foundation of influential family, friends and teachers. At home, both learned well from busy, compassionate mothers. Kristen Brock and Christi Lee are friends who work with elementary kids as paraeducators in the Auburn School District.

Well-crafted designs move Brock. Complex math and science spur Lee. Music and art inspire both.

"It doesn't really seem like work to me at all ... it's more of a hobby, and it really brings me joy," said Sumner Brock, who has enjoyed the wonders of art since he was a child. "The idea to do it as a career is really exciting to me."

Brock excelled in band – he plays the baritone sax – and competed in cross country. He displayed his talents as art director for Smudges, the school's literary and art magazine.

Brock enjoys the outdoors and staying involved with his youth group at Grace Community Church. Faith is the root of what he does.

"I thoroughly enjoyed it," he said of his years at Auburn Riverside. "Having a choice between Running Start and AP (advanced placement) classes, I was all for AP classes because I really like high school. It's way better. I really felt comfortable here. The people are real friendly and genuine, and the teachers are fantastic."

Lee also flourished at Auburn Riverside.

"I just love this school. I wouldn't want to go anywhere else," she said. "The students and teachers are wonderful, the AP classes are amazing."

Lee was involved in at least eight clubs, including American Sign Language, student council and Raven Crew, a freshman orientation program.

She played the string bass in the jazz band. A dancer for 14 years, she performs for the Allegro Performing Arts Academy and intends to master more moves in the years to come.

Lee is passionate about the arts and education. She may eventually teach high-level science or math in a high school or college classroom.

During her time at Auburn Riverside, Lee tutored others, guiding younger students through difficult lessons and tough times.

"I've always been a leader, but these last two years I've realized just how important it is to help either younger kids or help other students who are going through the same things that I've gone through," Lee said. "It is so important to be able to help them ... to put their minds at ease."

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