James Castle attended Lighthouse Christian School in Gig Harbor then Covenant High School, where he says he primarily built relationships with teachers and deepened his relationship with Christ.
James has several fond memories of his time at CHS: the eye-opening and somewhat startling experience of his first round of high school finals, burning salts with a blow torch in chemistry, going on runs through Point Defiance for P.E., the special bond created while taking the most difficult of AP classes, and of course, traditions like Christmas Banquet and Senior Skip Day. Essentially, “all the times I’ve been able to bond with the senior class as we’re on our way out and growing up so fast and dealing with all this change,” James said.
“As Mr. Hannula walks up the stairs, I’m just reminded of all the life lessons he tried to pack into the classes he taught us,” James said, reflecting on Covenant’s math and history faculty member. “I’m grateful for all of my teachers because they put so much work into helping us grow into mature adults.”
Throughout the past four years, James said the biggest change he has undergone is in his perspective: in the way he views himself, the world, and God. “I would say I’ve lost a lot of youthful frivolity,” James said. “Not to say I don’t have fun, but there’s also a wisdom that is associated with surviving high school.”
Outside of CHS, James is a martial artist, obtaining his black belt in 2016. He has also been a Boy Scout, Eagle Scout, and enjoys reading and trail running.
Next year, James plans to attend the University of Washington’s College of Engineering to study chemical engineering. He is ultimately interested in nanotech, clean energy, or synthetics. While James originally wanted to pursue architecture, an art class quickly ruled that out for him. A year later in a career-focused class he was looking at the Bureau of Labor Statistics and saw that chemical engineering was the highest paid career for undergrads, which initially piqued his interest. With more research, he became curious about all that the field entails.
“Money is not the motivation,” James confirmed. “The motivation really comes down to my core purpose which is the fact that God has given me so many gifts and talents so it is my duty to Him and all the people that aren’t necessarily as gifted and talented in the ways that I am to be able to use those gifts and talents to be able to help anyone I possibly can. I don’t think it’s worth anything if I can have a nice, big retirement account and live comfortably for the rest of my days if I can’t point to one group or individual and say that I helped them out,” James said. “And it’s really not me,” he added. “It’s God.”