Mention their high school, and Jaron Marks and Elizabeth Enz immediately light up with effusive praise.
Auburn Mountainview means that much to the departing seniors who flourished for four years at the school, their second home, and became two of the best students to come out of the class of ’19.
“This school is very special to me,” said Marks, bound for George Fox University in Newberg, Ore., in the fall to study physical education and play football for the Bruins. “I don’t want to leave it right now. I am going to miss so many people I have grown up with here. … It’s going to be tough, but I’m ready for the next chapter in my life.”
So, too, is Enz, an outgoing senior class leader who blossomed under the guidance of many teachers, including her dad, a DECA and marketing instructor.
“I love the staff and students here,” said the energetic Enz, the daughter of Derek and Kim Enz, who is off to the University of Idaho to study marketing come fall. “The staff here is so unbelievable. They’re all so helpful … they really want us to succeed, especially with students who struggle.”
Marks toiled as a freshman. Unable to grasp a concept in Kimberly Stenson’s classroom, the teacher made sure that he did.
“She stayed after school with me for two hours so that I would get it … studying, helping me prepare for a test,” Marks said. “Teachers here help us to succeed. They care about what we do.”
Marks balanced books and athletics to earn a scholarship to George Fox. Marks, the son of Eva and Kiven Marks, was an all-league force as a two-way lineman and the Lions’ dependable long snapper in football. The 6-foot-1, 240-pound Marks was a team captain in football and track and field, where he delivered personal-best throws in the shot put (school-record 49 feet, 10 inches), in which he competed at state, and the discus (144 feet).
During the spring of his junior year, Marks discovered a career path by observing Kent Rodseth, a longtime teacher and coach in the school’s health/physical education department.
“I saw what he was doing and started asking him questions: what his schedule was like, how his day was going,” Marks said. “I saw that lifestyle and the lifestyle he lived, and it’s fun.
“Teaching in my eyes is helping people get to where they want to be,” Marks said. “And for me, I want to be a teacher. I want to help build people up to what they want to be physically and what they aspire to be.”
Enz also enjoys teaching, communicating with people.
At Auburn Mountainview, the outgoing DECA leader organized and conducted a financial literacy project in marketing that reached about 3,000 people in three years. She twice competed in the DECA nationals, finishing fourth in marketing.
Enz found time to serve as executive vice president in student body government and was president of the history club.
A performer for 11 years with the Auburn Dance Academy, Enz was a member of the state champion cheerleading squad that finished second nationally at Orlando, Fla., last season.
In 2017, she was crowned Miss Auburn’s Outstanding Teen.
Enz enjoys marketing and sales, and the leadership aspects that come with it.
“I’ve known I wanted to be in sales since I was 5. I loved going out and knocking on people’s doors, just to sell cookies,” she said.
Enz might one day own a business.
“I don’t know for sure yet. I know I don’t want to be stuck at an office my whole life. I want to be out talking to people. … I love talking to people.”
Auburn Memorial Stadium, 801 Fourth St. NE
Saturday, June 15
• 11 a.m. – Auburn Mountainview High School
• 4 p.m. – Auburn Riverside High School
Performing Arts Center, 702 Fourth St. NE
• 1:30 p.m. – West Auburn High School
Sunday, June 16
Auburn Memorial Stadium
• 4 p.m. – Auburn High School