Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Deer Park Home Link senior took unusual route to Running Start

By Nina Culver For The Spokesman-Review

Like many high school graduates, Miguel Robles has a good GPA and has taken some Running Start classes, but he got there in a more unusual way. Robles was home-schooled from first grade.

At the beginning he used curriculum that featured videos of teachers delivering his lessons. That changed over the years as online classes improved, and by high school he was enrolled in Deer Park Home Link, a partnership between home schooling and the Deer Park School District that provides some classes in a classroom setting.

His journey started because his parents didn’t want him in public school, Robles said. “They thought I could learn better at home,” he said. “I like it.”

The early video lessons not only taught him spelling, they helped teach him English. Robles, who comes from a Spanish-speaking family, thinks he started learning English around age 3.

“I learned most of it through those videos,” he said.

Through the years he made friends with other home-schooled students and has an active social life. He’s been playing sports on Deer Park High School teams. He was on the soccer team for three years, advancing to a starting position. He also did cross country his senior year.

“I wasn’t really good at it, but I did it,” he said.

Two years ago he began taking Running Start classes through Eastern Washington University, just like his older sister had. “I could get college credit for free,” he said. “Why not?”

Robles has always appreciated math and the satisfaction that comes from solving a difficult problem. Perhaps that’s why he recently decided he wants to study computer programming at EWU in the fall. A recent Python programming class introduced him to the field.

“I liked it,” he said. “It was difficult to solve, but after you figure it out you feel like you accomplished something.”

He hopes to use those computer skills somewhere in the health care industry. He said he’s interested in helping people stay healthy. “I don’t know exactly what my plan is,” he said.

Principal Molly Murphy said Robles is a humble and conscientious student. “He works so darn hard,” she said. “He’s just a gentleman, such a kind, good, quiet kid.”

Murphy said she’s sure Robles will excel at whatever he chooses to do. “He has a natural ability to rise to the top,” she said. “He’s got really good drive.”

Robles said he’s not sure why he was selected by his principal as a standout student. “They like me for some reason,” he said. “They think I’m smart.”

Robles, however, isn’t so sure and thinks he has a lot to learn. “Some people, they know a lot of stuff,” he said. “I probably know about half of what a smart person knows.”