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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
News >  K-12 education

Genesis Prep Academy’s Ethan James readies for a post-grad life ‘centered around helping people’

June 4, 2022 Updated Tue., June 7, 2022 at 3:24 p.m.

Ethan James of Genesis Prep Academy is the first student at the school to attend all grades from kindergarten through 12th.  (Courtesy)
Ethan James of Genesis Prep Academy is the first student at the school to attend all grades from kindergarten through 12th. (Courtesy)
By Joe Everson For The Spokesman-Review

It took 13 years, but Genesis Preparatory Academy graduate Ethan James set a record at the school that may someday be tied, but can never be broken.

James is the first Genesis Prep student ever to attend the grades K-12 school from grades, well, K-12. And as Ethan has grown up, Genesis has grown as well.

“I think when I was in kindergarten, there were five boys and one girl in my class,” he said. “Now there are 20-something students in my graduating class. During the pandemic, Genesis came back to in-person learning more quickly than many schools, and I think that drew in a lot more students who struggled online.”

Ethan is nervous but excited about the transition he’ll be making to the next step in his life, especially if it includes moving to Arizona to attend Grand Canyon University, one of two options he’s considering for the fall. The other is North Idaho College, but even if he starts at NIC, he intends to land at Grand Canyon.

He plans to major in social work and eventually work as a marriage and family counselor, an occupation that began to interest him during his junior year at Genesis Prep, when he realized how often his friends confided in him during difficult times.

“My personality and my family have given me communication skills to be relational with people,” he said, “and I want to take my experience with me. I want my life to be centered around helping people.”

James relishes his time at Genesis Prep, where he’s had the opportunity to deepen relationships with classmates and teachers in ways that may not have been possible in larger public-school settings.

“I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” he said of his experience at Genesis. “It’s all been wonderful. I’ve seen teachers come and go, but there are some who I’ve known for 13 years. We are centered here on developing goals and how we should work to lead others. I’ve grown in how to be a better person here, to learn and adapt to change.”

Ryan Dutton is the Student Services Coordinator at Genesis, and describes Ethan as the Alpha and Omega at the school, beginning and ending his academic career in the same place.

“Ethan is a very well-rounded kid,” he said. “He’s been raised right, and he is super-focused on his career interests. His family is very involved in the school and in Real Life Ministries, its host church. His mom works in the office at Genesis and his dad is head of security for all Real Life churches. Ethan helps his dad where he can.”

Speaking of family, James says that his mother is “really happy” for him to break new ground in the next stages of his life, and that his father is excited as well, but perhaps a bit more anxious.

They can rest easy, though, knowing that Ethan’s experiences have inspired personal growth and self-confidence in him in ways that have him well-prepared for whatever comes next.

“I’m also ready for new opportunities and new people,” he continued, “and I’m definitely up for the challenge. I’m ready for something new, and I know that my experience here will make my next steps easier.”

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