Kerbs, Wuerch make it all possible at Auburn Riverside | Class of ’15

Robotics brings bright young minds together to learn, promote teamwork and answer the call for better technology for tomorrow.

Leaders and learners: Kyle Wuerch and Claire Kerbs challenged and got the best out of themselves at Auburn Riverside. ‘I enjoyed the culture of the school

Robotics brings bright young minds together to learn, promote teamwork and answer the call for better technology for tomorrow.

Claire Kerbs and Kyle Wuerch know as much.

The Auburn Riverside High School students are aspiring engineers.

Kerbs and Wuerch, two of the top seniors in the Ravens’ class of 2015, discovered the risks and rewards of working with robotics – in the classroom and on the competitive stage.

Such an exercise brought out the best in them. It accelerated learning beyond the syllabus.

“It’s hands-on work, not just from a book, and it is problem solving with others,” said Kerbs, who plans to study mechanical engineering and minor in music at Washington State University in the fall. “You’re rebuilding a lot. … You’re running into unexpected problems.”

Nothing they can’t solve.

Wuerch, for one, wants to learn more. Like Kerbs, he is taking his act to college, where he plans to study computer engineering at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, in the fall. He can’t wait to get started.

“What I like is you’re accepted automatically into the program,” said Wuerch, who wants to establish his own business some day.

Wuerch, son of Jayne and Wes Wuerch, blossomed at Auburn Riverside. A 4.0 student, he excelled in math and science. He participated in computer science club and SkillsUSA, a program that helps students become world-class workers, leaders and responsible citizens.

On the tennis court, Wuerch was part of the No. 1 doubles team and helped manage the girls program.

The sport rewarded him in many ways.

“Getting into the tennis program was a good start for me,” Wuerch said. “It helped me get acclimated to high school. … It really teaches you respect with others and to have integrity. … Good people play tennis. They’ve been role models who have helped me develop here.

“Everything seemed to work out for me,” he said of his experience at Auburn Riverside. “I enjoyed the culture of the school … and the opportunity to do a lot of things.”

Kerbs made the most of her time at the school.

She participated in mechanics and music, and shone in both. She also participated in cross country, where she was a senior co-captain last fall, and ran track.

Kerbs, daughter of Chris and Rex Kerbs, is a 4.0 student and a gifted musician.

A classically-trained violinist who has played since she was 8, Kerbs was an all-state and all-Northwest honors orchestra performer.

“I like to play romantic things. It’s really soulful when you play into the string and get a rich tone sound,” she said.

Music and mechanics do mesh.

“Music is an artistic outlet for me, but I really like to work with numbers,” Kerbs said. “I guess there is some overlay in the brain for that.”

WSU encouraged Kerbs to continue feeding her passion for music.

“The violin professor there was the tipping point for me,” Kerbs said of her decision to go to Pullman to further her education.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Auburn School District sets June 13 as graduation day

Each high school will feature in-person commencements with social distancing

Robert Whale / Auburn Reporter
                                Protesters confront Auburn police Tuesday evening in downtown Auburn.
Hundreds gather at Auburn City Hall to protest death of George Floyd

On Tuesday evening, hundreds of people gathered on the Auburn City Hall… Continue reading

Courtesy photo 
                                In this image from the 2019 Auburn Farmers Market, Ballesteros Produce displays its goods.
Auburn Farmers Market opens June 7

In early May, the city of Auburn announced it had received approval… Continue reading

King County could be in Phase 2 in two weeks

The county is also hoping the state lets them reopen several businesses by Friday.

File photo
Misbehaving woman banned from Auburn gas station | Police blotter

Following is a sample from the Auburn police log.

Screenshot from a YouTube video posted Monday by the City of Auburn with a message from Mayor Nancy Backus and other city officials.
Looting hits Auburn mall and nearby stores; mayor imposes 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew

Auburn is among the King County cities seeing protests over the death… Continue reading

Screenshot of the city’s Facebook page.
Auburn enacts curfew in response to protests and looting

Mayor Nancy Backus declared a state of emergency for the city of… Continue reading

Looters break into 26 Tukwila businesses Sunday night; 9 arrests made

‘What happened in Tukwila was not a protest, it was coordinated looting,’ police say

South King County area police respond to Seattle protests

The responding officers are members of the multi-agency Valley Civil Disturbance Unit, officials say.

Most Read