Gig Harbor Now is posting profiles of each of the 25 Students of Distinction being honored by the Greater Gig Harbor Foundation. The students will be honored during a banquet from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at Ocean5, 5268 Point Fosdick Dr.
Student: Alexa Thoms
School: Gig Harbor High School
Category: Community Service
Alexa Thoms has a remarkable record of community service including more than 100 hours of volunteer work in the 2020-2021 school year.
Through the GHHS Interact Club she has helped at the Tacoma Rescue Mission, Polio Foundation, Race for a Soldier, Turkey Trot, ALS walk and the Basket Brigade.
She does a weekly shift at FISH Food Bank and volunteers at National Honor Society events, all while tutoring middle and high school students in Chinese and math.
She also plays trumpet in the GHHS jazz band and pep band, plays varsity tennis and soccer and has maintained a 4.0 GPA. In fact, she ranks at the top of her graduating class of 337.
Alexa Thomas Contributed
Alexa considers herself to be self-motivated to do good work and get good grades as she participates in many extra-curricular activities and sports. Of all the things she’s done in the past four years, her favorites have been participating in GHHS Interact Club and playing girls’ varsity soccer, she said, because of the friends she made and the things she was able to accomplish in each activity.
Her volunteer work has also been immensely satisfying.
“I am most proud of the impact that I have made in my community through the countless hours of volunteer work I was able to accumulate at the Fish Food Bank, Tacoma Rescue Mission, through Interact Club and from tutoring, even during the shutdown,” she said.
Those same things – volunteer work and keeping her grades up – have also presented challenges, she said.
“My biggest challenge was adjusting to the workload and intensity of the classes. Middle school did not prepare me very well for jumping straight into honors and AP classes during my freshman and sophomore years of high school.”
For Alexa, coping with the pandemic shutdown wasn’t difficult.
“It really wasn’t an issue for me because it just gave me more time to volunteer. I kept myself really busy, which helps me be more productive. I was able to keep doing my volunteer things, work two jobs and coach soccer,” she said.
This fall, Alexa will attend the University of Utah to study biology with a pre-med focus. Her hope is to become a surgeon. Many of her high school courses have been geared to this objective, including honors courses in anatomy and physiology and a college-level biology course. In all, she’s taken seven AP classes and three honors classes, plus the University of Washington class.
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Her teachers have high praise for Alexa’s efforts. Ramey Le Roy, GHHS science department head, appreciated her willingness to participate and offer her thoughts on many different topics. “This opened the floor for other students to share their views,” Le Roy said. “This was especially helpful during remote learning as many students didn’t feel comfortable having discussions over zoom. Alexa would open the floor for discussion and her peers would follow her lead.”
Bryce Waddington, director of coaching for the Gig Harbor Premier Soccer Club, called Alexa “a leader both on and off the field, being elected captain for the past seven years by her teammates, and she is someone other players can turn to for help. She consistently demonstrates her strong work ethic, intelligence and communication skills. Her upbeat personality and optimism rub off on the younger players” that she coaches.
Alexa’s advice to younger students is to “stay organized and on top of your work. You should try to get it done sooner rather than later so that you can enjoy the evening or weekend without stressing about homework.”
Category: Community Service
GPA: 4.0, tops in her class
Parents: Paul and Nicole Thoms
Activities: Varsity letter for Community Service; Interact Club: volunteers with Turkey Trot, Basket Brigade, Tacoma Rescue Mission, ALS Walk, PenMet Parks, Polio Foundation, Race for a Soldier, FISH Food Bank; tutors middle and high school-students in Chinese and math; National Honor Society Vice President (12); Girls Varsity Soccer — MVP, Best Offensive Player, Outstanding Scholastic award; Harbor Premier Soccer; JV and Varsity Tennis; Jazz and Pep Bands
Favorite teacher: “Mrs. Le Roy. She was always very friendly and caring; I always felt supported in her class and I never had trouble with any concepts because she was such an engaging and enthusiastic teacher. I genuinely believe that she is one of the best teachers in the district and I will continue to remember her as one of my best teachers. I am so glad that my younger sister has her this year for biology.”
Best thing about GHHS: “… our community. The teachers are great. My teachers never made school feel like work. They made it enjoyable and emphasized the learning. Besides the teachers and the great administrative staff, everyone seems to support each other.”
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