May 26, 2011 in Washington Voices

West Valley student likes to keep herself busy

Steve Christilaw
J. Bart Rayniak photoBuy this photo

West Valley High School outstanding student Jaymee Vaughn presented her senior project to the West Valley School Board on April 27. She’s a student representative to the board, and her message was, “The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers, but above all, the world needs dreamers that do.”
(Full-size photo)

Jayme Vaughn sums up her high school career with a simple sentence.

“I’m the kid who always uses the student planner they give you,” the West Valley senior said.

In fact, Vaughn uses three day planners and a fleet of sticky notes to map her day. It’s the only way she can navigate a jam-packed schedule that includes three sports (soccer, basketball and tennis), the presidency of the WV chapter of the National Honor Society, DECA, student government and student representative to the West Valley School Board – as well as packing seven classes into a school day that allows for just six. Among those classes she’s had four years of French and now studies advanced placement English and calculus.

Oh, and that seventh class?

“I take a zero-hour P.E. class,” she explains. “You can’t take a credit class, so I take P.E. before school so I can use that extra period to take one more class. That means I leave the house at 6:30 every morning. With sports after school, I don’t usually get home until about 5.”

“Jayme is the hardest-working student I have ever seen,” counselor Drew Wendle acknowledged. “She has a work ethic that would drive anyone else into the ground.”

Vaughn admits her schedule gets overbooked. But she would change very little.

“I love high school,” she said. “I absolutely love high school. If I could, I would come back and do it all over again three more times.”

Well, maybe not everything.

“Oh, I would change a few things if I could do things over,” she admits. “For one thing, I would start playing tennis a lot sooner. I didn’t add tennis until this year and it is the most fun thing I’ve done here. I would go back and start playing right from the start. And I would get involved in DECA a lot sooner than I did, too. I really enjoyed it and wish I had gotten involved there sooner, too.”

Vaughn says she’s always been like this. She doesn’t just dip a toe into the stream of life. She dives in, head first.

“I like to stay busy,” she said. “I write everything down and every day I go to school with a list of things that I have to get done that day. If I have a few minutes, I work on something that I need to get done.”

West Valley offers a class in leadership. Most students take it as seniors, but Vaughn wanted an early start on it, so she jumped into it a year early. It’s helped.

“One of the things we talk about in leadership class is learning how to delegate and I think that’s really helped Jayme,” Wendle said.

Vaughn agrees.

“It’s not something I really got right away and it’s been a challenge for me, but it really has helped,” she said. “I have a group of really good friends who help me. My friend Torrey (Finn) is always coming up to me and asking me what she can do to help. She’ll say ‘I am yours – what can I do to help you check something off that list?’ ”

You see, in addition to everything else she does – and as if it wasn’t enough to leave the average person exhausted – Vaughn has a penchant for planning big events. Events like the National Honor Society blood drive. Or chairing the annual prom committee. Or spearheading a staff dinner as part of Teacher Appreciation Night.

“I like to do big events,” she laughs.

When the West Valley School Board decided it wanted to add a student adviser, it prepared an application and distributed it throughout the district.

“The teachers explained the position and explained the process,” Vaughn said. “When class was over, I went up to the teachers and I asked if I could have an application. They laughed and said ‘We were expecting you to apply.’ ”

The school board experience has been rewarding, she said.

“I am now on a first-name basis with all of the board members and I liked working with them,” she said. “I would love to come back and run for a seat on the school board someday. I love the West Valley School District and I would love to be able to give back to it someday by being on the board.”

Meanwhile, it’s no surprise that Vaughn has her future planned.

“I’ve been accepted with Advanced Placement at Gonzaga University,” she said. “And I am going to study civil engineering. It’s nice because my father studied electrical engineering at Gonzaga and I am sort of following in his footsteps.”

There is still one big hurdle for Vaughn to conquer before she heads off to college.

“It occurred to me that all of this is going to come to a screeching halt,” she laughed. “I’m not going to know what to do with myself.”

The night after the staff dinner, she managed to work in an hour’s nap – a treat she enjoyed. And she’s already lined up an on-campus job, but that doesn’t start until July.

“I’m already looking for a second job,” she said. “It will help with the cost of college.”

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