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Top Auburn High grads ready to take on new challenges | Class of '14

Kim Anderson and Derek Dragseth excelled in many ways at Auburn High School.  - Robert Whale, Auburn Reporter
Kim Anderson and Derek Dragseth excelled in many ways at Auburn High School.
— image credit: Robert Whale, Auburn Reporter

Derek Dragseth carries a 3.99 GPA, is president of Auburn High School's Honor Society, vice president of the robotics team and president of the math club,

Next fall he's headed for the University of Washington to study materials science,

His favorite books? Alexander Dumas' "The Count of Monte Cristo," and the Harry Potter series.

No doubt about it — this Auburn native is one brainy kid.

And with his ready smile, and constant stream of interesting facts, an affable one, too.

"I would describe myself as a really talkative people person. When I meet people, I can talk forever, and I don't really stop talking," Dragseth said.

Yet, there are the occasional twists and windings to his young soul.

For just when you have pronounced the phrase "math nerd," he parries with the revelation that in addition to computer systems engineering, his favorite class is — percussion.

And that even if he dug math and science when he was a little kid — he did — you learn that materials science was not first choice for a career.

So, what was it?

"When I came to high school, I really wanted to do funeral home directing," Dragseth said.

A moment's respectful silence.

Funeral home directing?

"Yeah, people laughed at that, which at time I didn't understand, but now I look back and laugh at it," Dragseth said with a chuckle. "But once I joined the robotics team and saw how my math and science skills could come in handy, I made the switch to being a math and science major."

And what does he do with his free time?

"A lot of homework. I don't really have a lot of free time. Robotics is pretty demanding in the season. There were nights during the season when we were here until 9:30, and then I had to go home and study for a test the next day. There were Saturdays when we were here until midnight."

Dragseth said someday that he'd like to research and development of materials for Boeing or NASA.

His parents are Paul and Paula Dragseth.

Kim Anderson

Kim Anderson's a busy young woman, carrying a class load freighted with a lot of science-based classes, all of them tough, gnarled and stubborn as old tree roots.

And where she's headed, this Auburn High graduate will need every bit of that heady stuff.

"I hope to become a doctor someday," Anderson said.

Not just any doctor, it turns out, but a neurologist. You know, the brainy folks who study the human brain?

"I have had a lot of really great science classes here at Auburn High School, and I have always known I wanted to do something science related, whether that be as a teacher, or as a researcher," Anderson said.

It was older sister Kelsie, a 2010 AHS graduate, who helped point her in the final direction she wants to go.

"I knew I really wanted to do research like for some of the special-needs kids I have worked with. Kelsie is a little special needs. She's an epileptic, so experiencing her seizures and stuff, and how that's affected her life has really made me want to learn more about neurology."

Anderson is involved as well with the math club, the Honor Society, robotics, band council and is a member of Troy Crew.

Somewhere in there, this 4.00 GPS student found time to be co-captain of her cross country team.

"I am involved a lot around school, and sometimes I forget how much I'm involved in," Anderson said.

Her parents are Julie and Jim Anderson.

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