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North Star School’s Haiden Garrett a ‘true Renaissance woman’

Haiden Garrett is the 2021 notable senior for North Star School.  (Courtesy )
Haiden Garrett is the 2021 notable senior for North Star School. (Courtesy )
By Riley Farmer For The Spokesman-Review

Whether it’s rock climbing, remodeling her family home or learning the piano, North Star School senior Haiden Garrett can do it all.

The lifelong homeschooler has developed a smorgasbord of talents and interests throughout her years of study at the North Star School home school program.

“She is a true Renaissance woman,” North Star School Director Ginny Cronin said. “She is such a vibrant, effervescent, enthusiastic learner.”

Garrett, who has been homeschooled in the Mead School District since fourth grade, is a perfect representative of the kind of lifelong learner the program hopes to nurture. Under the supervision of Cronin, whom she meets with once a week, Garrett has studied a college-level literary course that includes classics such as ancient Greek philosopher Plutarch.

Her unique schooling experience has given her the opportunity to examine and learn subjects on a deeper level than her peers, Cronin said. Garrett has gotten the chance to explore a huge number of different interests outside of the normal classes offered at public schools, including Chinese summer classes at Gonzaga and private piano lessons. She has also been an outstanding student outside of North Star, and is working on her associate’s degree from the Spokane Falls Community College, where she will graduate with honors this June.

Garrett has taken piano lessons since the third grade, though she has had to give it up since she started her classes at SFCC. One of the benefits of her program is it let her dive deeper into the classics, where she learned Latin. In more recent years, she and her sister have expanded their repertoire of languages when they took a Chinese summer class at Gonzaga University.

Besides the chance to dive deeper into languages and the classics, Garrett has also learned more technical skills. Last semester, she took an introductory course on computer coding through North Star, adding to her already long list of accomplishments. For Garrett, learning is a lifelong process.

Once she started homeschooling in the fourth grade, Garrett knew there was no going back. Homeschooling has given her so many different options to find her path that Garrett said she couldn’t imagine not being homeschooled.

“I feel like you get a lot more in homeschooling because you’re constantly in school,” Garrett said.

Even when she is outside the classroom, Garrett epitomizes the idea of being a lifelong learner. When Garrett’s family moved to the Mead School District, Cronin remembered the whole family worked together to renovate their house.

“They bought a house that was a shell, and the family came together to finish it,” Cronin said.

Practical life skills have always been a part of Garrett’s life, and she has also repaired her family’s car and motorcycle. But Garrett said the technical skills she learned could be applied to the rest of her life.

“It’s more just if there’s a problem, you’re going to learn to fix it,” Garret said. “It wasn’t necessarily a hobby, it was just at the time something needed to be fixed.”

Garrett will move from fixing cars to fixing people when she finishes her associate degree and moves on to the University of Western States in Portland. Garrett plans to finish school there and become a chiropractor. Garrett said she decided to be chiropractor because it was a great job, but also because it can let her live a life outside of work.

“I look at what is important in my life, and, yes, school’s important, but it’s also spending time with my family, it’s hiking, it’s enjoying the Inland Northwest,” Garrett said. “I enjoy things outside of school, and I don’t want everything to be about that.”

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