The dictionary definition of self-effacing is “not claiming attention for oneself.” A significant real-life example of that is Riverside High School senior Parker Carroll.
Twice during a recent interview, Carroll expressed surprise at having been selected as a noteworthy graduate of RHS. “Honestly, I don’t have a clue,” he said.
One Riverside teacher who is not surprised is Mary Ressa, Parker’s Spanish instructor for four years. She spoke to some of the qualities that make him special.
“It is refreshing to have a student who truly has a genuine and sincere passion for learning,” she wrote. “Parker is inquisitive and committed to acquiring and applying knowledge. He has a solid moral conscience and strong values which in combination with his intellect are powerful tools to make a significant impact in our community.”
Carroll’s range of interests seems limitless. He has been a four-year participant in cross-country and track at Riverside, and also a member of the pep and jazz bands. Outside of school, he has been a volunteer with the South Pend Oreille Fire and Rescue team since his sophomore year, and last summer earned the rank of Eagle Scout .
“I’ve tried to participate in a lot of what the school has to offer,” he said, “and I try to be friendly and cooperative both inside and outside of school. I get along with pretty much everybody, but when it’s time to compete, I get serious.”
Along with everything else, Parker has earned a 3.9 GPA, and plans to attend Eastern Washington University this fall on his way to a degree in mechanical engineering, with a minor in either Spanish or Manufacturing Technology.
“I like solving problems,” he said in explaining his future academic endeavors, “and both my father and grandfather are engineers. Eventually, I hope to do some robotic stuff, but I want to get the mechanical side down first.”
Carroll’s involvement with Fire and Rescue also began with his dad, who has had two separate stints as a volunteer himself. He gave it up once to help raise his kids, but when he resumed his service during Parker’s sophomore year, Parker joined him. He drives to the station on emergency calls, does continuing education refresher training, and recently achieved national certification as an EMT.
Although his Scouting days ended when he turned 18, he hopes to return in a leadership capacity, crediting his experience there as a key factor in his development.
Returning to the question of his recognition, Parker guessed, “Maybe it’s because I try to be nice to people. I’m pretty easy-going. The biggest reward for me up until now is how all my opportunities have helped me to develop, and I’m thankful for all of them.”
His biggest spring challenge, he said, was staying motivated: “I thought that I was immune to senioritis, but it got me anyway.”