“I would say the greatest thing that's changed for me is my perception and understanding of others."
Jeremy Douglass was homeschooled, attended Springfield Classical Christian School, then Covenant High School, like his older brother. Since then, “I would say the greatest thing that’s changed for me is my perception and understanding of others,” Jeremy said. In addition to maturing in empathy and awareness, he has fostered a healthy perspective of perfectionism.
As a freshman, Jeremy’s goal was to be Valedictorian, or at least Salutatorian, like his older brother. Many younger siblings can relate in that it can be difficult to follow the footsteps of an older sibling. Jeremy said he quickly realized that achieving a 4.0 GPA would be a challenge. He is transparent about how frustrating it was that despite his hard work and sacrifice, he might not achieve that specific goal he set out to accomplish. But Jeremy is also humble as he acknowledges how he is overcoming the challenge of idolizing perfectionism in his work. At Covenant, Jeremy said he learned how to get through difficult situations like these, regardless of its cause.
For Jeremy, there are three teachers in particular that have left a positive impact: Mr. Hannula, Mr. Friedman, and Mrs. McMillan. “All of them showed great passion and true understanding of the topics they taught, and were always willing to offer help, whether it was review, help with studying for a test, or giving us generous retakes,” Jeremy said. Mr. Hannula, who teaches history, impressed Jeremy with complete knowledge of his curriculum. Despite history not being Jeremy’s best subject, he grew to respect Mr. Hannula and even share in his enjoyment of history. Jeremy said he was fortunate to have Mr. Friedman as his math teacher during his two most difficult math years. Not only was Mr. Friedman able to teach formulas and concepts, but to explain the logic behind them concisely and simply. Finally, Mrs. McMillan, Covenant’s choir director, “was always encouraging her choir members to be the best musicians they could possibly be,” Jeremy said. “She never dismissed students’ ideas, and she used a few arrangements that I created in our concerts, helping me refine them and improve my knowledge of techniques required for composing.”
In addition to these teachers, Jeremy is grateful for specific Covenant offerings as well, some of which being AP classes, Spanish, and choir. Because of Covenant’s AP offerings, Jeremy is able to reduce a five-year dual major to four years, saving him money while allowing him to pursue a dual major at college with no extra time spent past a normal 4-year degree. Spanish ignited a passion for foreign languages and even supplemented his understanding of Latin. Jeremy said this is the class he will probably use the most in his future. Choir remains as one of the classes that shaped him the most. “The love of music it created in me helped me choose where to continue my schooling after I graduate, with one college’s Music Department tipping the scales,” Jeremy said. “It gave me an incentive to take voice lessons, an experience that helped me to better myself musically, and that enabled me to help others who were less experienced.”
Jeremy has much to be proud of over the past four years. Some that stick out to him are awards received for his scores on the National Latin Exam, choir solos he was chosen for, and two speeches he gave in the speech meet his junior year. This was especially important to him, as speech was once one of his hardest classes. In addition to these accomplishments, Jeremy was named a Commended Student in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program in 2022. About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Jeremy placed among the top 50,000 students who entered the 2022 competition by taking the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/MNSQT).
Outside of the classroom, Jeremy has served his student body as an Ambassador, in Honor Society, the Student Store, and participated in the Math Team. His hobbies include piano, computers, video games, technology, cooking, reading, and math, all when he’s not working at a pizza store called Pizza Time. Jeremy has attended Pilgrim Bible Church in Steilacoom for his entire life and served as the senior sound engineer for the past few years.
After Covenant, Jeremy plans to attend The Master’s University in Santa Clarita, California, and study Computer Science with an emphasis in AI and Music Production. He hopes to work a video game design of his own one day or work for a company in need of an AI specialist.
We are excited for Jeremy and to see all that God has in store for him after high school!
“Even though our curriculum can focus on doctrine and the Bible, the teachers and students love God with all their hearts .”
Laurel Oelke grew up in Portland, Oregon and called this city home until she was in seventh grade. Prior to her eighth-grade year, her family moved to Gig Harbor where Laurel began attending Lighthouse Christian School. During the school year, Lighthouse hosted a High School Meet and Greet for their middle school students to be able to engage with faculty from various high schools in the area. It was here that Laurel first heard about Covenant High School. Their interest piqued, Laurel and her mother attended an Open House at Covenant in the fall. There, they met Mrs. Tamminga, Covenant’s English faculty, and her now senior daughter, Lily. Looking back, Laurel said this warm and immediate connection was the primary reason she ended up attending Covenant. Laurel’s mom recalls seeing the look in Laurel’s eyes and knew in that moment, “This is where my student is going to high school.”
Looking back on her freshman year, Laurel remembers feeling very anxious. The impacts of COVID-19 helped Laurel realize the gift of community “It can be scary to ask for help or to look at your homework load…now I have perspective to look back and say, yes, – that’s stressful – but I have so many opportunities to learn and to learn to love others here,” Laurel said. “There’s more outside the world than within Covenant to be anxious about.” Not only has Laurel learned how to manage stress and schoolwork on a day-to-day basis, but she has been able to foster a big-picture mentality in the past four years.
Laurel has also grown spiritually at Covenant. In this season, Laurel had fruitful conversations with her teachers and learned that it is okay to not fully understand how God works and how Christianity works. “First, you need to know and love Jesus,” she said. “Even though our curriculum can focus on doctrine and the Bible, the teachers and students love God with all their hearts.”
“I’ve learned what it takes to succeed in your circumstances and how that changes from area to area,” Laurel said. In the classroom, this has looked like learning to be an adaptable student in order to earn the grade Laurel desired to receive. Using history class as an example, Laurel said she has learned how to take notes, how to study, and has even learned how to adapt her approach in order to succeed. When she saw progress and began succeeding, she gained confidence in her executive skills as a student, which will serve her well long after graduation.
Three teachers in particular have made an impact on Laurel: Mrs. Tamminga, Mrs. Shelden, and Mrs. Wood. Mrs. Tamminga, English faculty, has been a constant source of encouragement and as well as engaging commentary for Laurel. “She’s one of my favorite people to get assignments back from,” Laurel said. On assignments, Mrs. Tamminga would frequently point out something that Laurel was proud of or something she hadn’t even seen yet, further developing her understanding in English literature. Not only that, Mrs. Tamminga is a strong Christian who is happy to spend her lunch period listening to students having a stressful day and encourages them. Mrs. Shelden is Covenant’s College Advisor, and Laurel had the pleasure of being her Teacher Assistant as well. Laurel said Mrs. Shelden meets and supports students, academically, and spiritually, which has been a helpful and encouraging part of Laurel’s upperclassman experience. Finally, Mrs. Wood was once Covenant’s interim science teacher and is now the Assistant to the Principal. Laurel has worked with Mrs. Wood in a variety of capacities over the past couple years and is grateful for her guidance, knowledge, and encouragement.
In addition to these teachers, Laurel is grateful for specific courses. As an upperclassman, College and Career has been incredibly helpful in helping her prepare for post-graduation. Laurel also enjoyed taking time during her study hall period to be mentored by staff and faculty. She believes that seeking out adults and mentors within her community is important, and other students should take advantage of that unique resource that Covenant has to offer.
Laurel is grateful for her personal growth and accomplishments over the past four years. Each year, Covenant hosts an award ceremony, celebrating the hard work of the student body and unique talents and skills. Character awards – Barnabas, Stephen, and William Carey awards – are also issued for an encouraging spirit, boldness in declaring the gospel, and academic diligence. Laurel has received several of these character awards during her time at Covenant. In addition, she played lead roles in annual drama productions, served on Student Council, managed and curated content for Covenant’s student-life Instagram page, and led the Honor Society as club president.
After graduation, Laurel desires to study political science and education and become a teacher. “I want to teach secondary school because I’ve been so impacted by my high school teachers and the ways they’ve walked alongside students that is so specific to secondary education,” Laurel said.
“No matter what I do...it's still of ultimate value to learn more about God's word and to learn more
Hannah Scott attended Springfield Classical Christian School with the exception of one year at public school for her K-8 education. After trying public school, Hannah desired a tight-knit community for high school.
Since her freshman year, Hannah has seen much growth not only in academics, but in learning how to deal with social situations and conflict. Hannah said she is a very opinionated person, and she has learned “it is ok to be quiet sometimes.” She adds that it is better to ask questions and engage in thoughtful discussion in order to understand where someone is coming from.
In addition, Hannah’s faith has grown while at Covenant. When she entered high school, she said her faith was “there” but not quite her own. Since then, it has grown even in the simple acts of how she reads the Bible and prays. While she did those things before, it “feels more real now.” Hannah recognizes that she’s not done growing in this area and acknowledges that God will continue to grow her.
Specific student life opportunities at Covenant have aided in Hannah’s growth. Hannah learned to advocate for herself in Student Council nominations. She also participated in KidREACH, a weekly after-school tutoring service to Jefferson Elementary students. Tutors are exclusively Covenant High School students who offer help primarily in reading and math homework, and this experience of working with kids impacted Hannah greatly. She has also served her student body on Honor Society and as President of the House Council. “It’s been cool to talk to the girls I’m leading and grow in that way – in a more personal leadership role,” Hannah said. “I’m usually down to business but leading people has been a growth area for me.”
In the classroom, Hannah was impacted by several teachers: Mrs. Tamminga, Mr. Nichols, and Mrs. Rust. Mrs. Tamminga, English faculty, has been a constant encourager and advice-giver. Hannah also enjoys English class and the way Mrs. Tamminga relates everything to our faith. It has been eye opening for Hannah to make those connections in class and see ideas in a whole new light. Mr. Nichols serves as one of Covenant’s Bible and Latin teachers. Class discussion has helped Hannah grow in her communication and listening and because of that, Mr. Nichols became one of her favorite teachers. Mr. Nichols taught Hannah through thoughtful discourse to think for herself. Hannah is thankful for the Christian example that Mrs. Rust is to her students. Regardless of circumstances, Mrs. Rust exemplifies consistent faith, grace, and positivity.
Hannah is grateful for Bible class. “All other classes involve Scripture but having a class that really digs into Scripture and life lessons from a Biblical perspective – I love it.” Hannah is now considering seminary in her future because of classes like Apologetics and Systematic Theology with Mr. Nichols, which focuses on practical advice but also learning how to answer difficult questions you might be asked later in life. “No matter what I do, if I take time to study God’s word, even if I didn’t dream of a career like that, it’s still of ultimate value to learn more about God’s word and to learn more about God,” Hannah said.
Hannah is thankful for her senior classmates, who she says she wouldn’t trade for anything. “I’ll be sad to graduate,” she said. Next year, Hannah plans to attend Boise State University and perhaps study journalism or communications, while possibly later attending seminary.
“I realized that God created us to be creatures of fellowship."
Grace Schock attended public school then Heritage Christian School before Covenant High School. As the oldest in her family, she desired an academically challenging school and chose Covenant for the emphasis on a Christian and College Preparatory education. Despite the commitment of a 30-minute commute, she said it’s been “totally worth it.”
Since freshman year, Grace grew to desire excellence in her work that gives God glory as opposed to herself. She chose to take a rigorous course load that included Advanced Biology, four years of Latin, four years of Spanish, and AP classes. While Grace should be proud of these academic accolades, she also learned that it’s okay to let go and “not do everything.” Grace comments that people should strive to be in the moment, enjoy it, and share memories with friends.
Grace has also grown in her relationships and gained a greater understanding of how important Christian fellowship is in daily life. “I realized that God created us to be creatures of fellowship,” Grace said. Her friendships are deeper now than they used to be and sources of encouragement both in academics and her spiritual journey. Every night, several of her classmates use Microsoft Teams to chat while they do their homework, and this kind of comradery has been a blessing to Grace.
Teachers have helped shape Grace’s growth in the past few years. Mr. Friedman and Mrs. Tamminga were especially impactful to Grace’s growth and development. Not only does Grace enjoy math, but she said Mr. Friedman is very good with his math students, commenting that he is patient and leads with empathy. “He’s doing all that he can to see students excel and strive for excellence,” said Grace. She elaborates that Mr. Freidman’s emphasis on working alongside students to help them discover new concepts made upper-level math courses very enjoyable. Mrs. Tamminga is a safe and understanding teacher. Grace also enjoys the way she teaches her English classes. “She can just pick up at a chapter and apply life lessons,” said Grace. “It’s a gift God has given her.”
Covenant has also helped Grace live her faith. By being in the Word continually, through Chapel messages, and praying throughout the day, Grace has learned to be more disciplined in her faith. As a senior, Grace took Wisdom Literature as a Bible class, and her and her classmates regularly open the Word and read it together in partners. Grace said to be immersed in the Word in class is refreshing, and it’s even been helpful in understanding the Bible more in her own personal devotions.
Outside of the classroom, Grace has been Vice President of the Ambassadors, Vice President of Student Council, and regularly participated in the Girls Discipleship Group. She is also an active leader in her youth group at Lake City Community Church. She helps organize events, is part of the leadership team, and this opportunity has stretched her to serve and lead others.
Next year, Grace looks forward to attending Biola University with hopes of earning a liberal arts degree. She is full of excitement for this new season, knowing Covenant has prepared her well.