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Reaching far and wide at Auburn Mountainview | Class of '14

Emma Koehler and Matt Lipinski flourished in and out of the classroom.  - Mark Klaas/Auburn Reporter
Emma Koehler and Matt Lipinski flourished in and out of the classroom.
— image credit: Mark Klaas/Auburn Reporter

They have done remarkable things inside and outside the classroom.

They are leaders by example, ambitious teenagers driven to succeed, undaunted by the most difficult challenges.

Emma Koehler and Matt Lipinski are many things to many people, but most of all, they are genuine voices, committed to others in shaping a better world.

They represent the very best in the graduating class of 350 at Auburn Mountainview High School.

Having left their mark at school and in community volunteer work, both seniors are ready to take the next step.

For Koehler, a 4.0 student with honors, that means Seattle University and the chance to study criminal justice.

"I'm ready for new things," said Koehler, who excelled in advanced leadership class, mentoring and engaging students to work with staff in a variety of endeavors. "I've been given so many great opportunities. That's something I will build upon at Seattle U, but something I will miss here, that connection."

As for Lipinski, a 3.9 student with honors, the next step takes him to the University of Washington, where he will join the heralded and ultra-competitive computer science program. Only 5 percent of freshman are accepted into the program. Lipinski's instructor, Kirsten Gravning, highly recommended him.

"I always like to challenge myself and do more difficult things," said Lipinski, who aspires to be a computer software engineer. "I really like math, and that's a real mathematical process.

"It also pays pretty well," he said with a grin.

Koehler and Lipinski are following their father's footsteps. Koehler's dad is a corrections officer, Lipinski's a Boeing software engineer.

"Originally it was my love for NCIS, CSI," said Koehler, the daughter of Chris and Bill Koehler.

Koehler hopes one day to be an investigator, perhaps for the FBI.

"I know that I alone cannot reform the system, but the opportunity to get myself out there and to make a difference in somebody's life is important to me," she said.

Koehler shone through her work with the Lions Crew, a leadership/mentorship program. She combined student and staff efforts as the school unification commissioner, organizing and orchestrating many activities, including a donation drive for the Auburn Food Bank. She was a member of the National Honor Society for three years.

She is thankful for the support and direction of Jana Thomas, her leadership and activities advisor.

Lipinski, son of Phil and Debbie Lipinski, was a member of the calculus club and played a role in the school's FIRST robotics club that advanced to the world championship semifinals in St. Louis, Mo. He also was a four-year letter winner in swimming and diving and played for two seasons on the water polo team.

"I really enjoyed all my classes. My teachers were great," he said. "It was hectic at times, but I've enjoyed my time here."

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