Those who lead don’t always shout the loudest or swagger aggressively through life. Sometimes they lead by showing up, being a good example and caring about those around them.
Tyson Ell’s teachers at Dishman Hills say he exemplifies those quieter qualities of leadership.
“He was shy, but has blossomed into a student leader,” said teacher Gabe Rose. “He has an openness to jump into any situation he’s presented with.”
Ell was homeschooled prior to coming to Dishman Hills High School. He said the small class size of the school attracted him.
The flexibility of a smaller school meant he could continue his involvement with his church and pursue his singing while keeping on top of his grades.
“He’s got a great singing voice. He’s very talented,” said teacher Jake Fincher.
Ell sings with Autopilot Worship and the small band’s first single, “Amazed,” was recently released on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music and YouTube.
“Singing is very important to me,” Ell said. “I started taking vocal lessons at 12. I’ve always enjoyed it.”
But don’t look for him on “American Idol” or “The Voice” anytime soon.
“People tell me I should audition for ‘American Idol,’ but I just do this for fun,” he said. “And it would take too much time away from my church.”
Ell attends Cornerstone Church in Liberty Lake and is involved in just about every aspect of the church.
“I’m on the praise team, in the choir, I lead services, I’m a Sunday School teacher,” he said. “It’s my second home, my second family.”
Despite his extensive church involvement, he’s remained focused on his academics.
“I really like science and math,” he said.
And his unassuming leadership at the school has made him someone teachers can count on.
“When we do tours or new student orientation, Tyson is the first student who comes to mind,” Rose said.
It wasn’t something Ell was comfortable with at first.
“I was nervous,” Ell said. “But I got the hang of it. To me leadership is just being a good example.”
Leadership also takes initiative and when the school opened a coffee shop, the Griffin Café, Ell was on the ground floor.
“He helped get it going,” Rose said.
That kind of initiative will serve him well with his plans.
“I’m going to SCC and then transfer to WSU for nursing school,” Ell said. “I want to be a nurse practitioner. It’s a lot of schooling, but I’m committed to it.”
His teachers at Dishman Hills have no doubt he’ll accomplish his goals.
“I think he’ll end up in the medical field and pursue singing,” Rose said. “He hasn’t let go of his academic passion or his personal passion.”
“Tyson’s very charismatic and has a good head on his shoulders,” he said. “It will take him where he wants to go.”
Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter
Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter.