2022 Students of Distinction

Anya Wild shines in sports, extra-curricular activities

Posted on May 16th, 2022 By:

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: Anya Wild

School: Gig Harbor High School

Category: Academic Achievement

Anya Wild’s 4.0 GPA has put her at the top of her graduating class. She has taken 15 advanced placement classes, including college-level Spanish, and her scores earned her the AP Scholar with Distinction Award in her junior year.

She has been a National Honor Society member since her sophomore year and this year, she’s president of the Gig Harbor High School chapter. She volunteers regularly in the nursery at her church and has also volunteered as a coach for first-time players at her volleyball club.

Anya Wild

Anya Wild Contributed

Photos, volleyballs and lacrosse

She’s especially proud of her work as photo editor of the GHHS yearbook, designing and editing photo spreads, conducting interviews and shooting photos of many school events – like tennis matches, for instance, where the coach has given her access to the team’s warmups so she could get good close-up shots of the players.

“I’ve put in a lot of time and effort into crafting a yearbook that was special for myself, my class and my school,” she said.

She’s also active in volleyball and lacrosse. She made the C-team squad and joined a club team in her freshman year, then played on the GHHS varsity volleyball team since her sophomore year. This year she was captain.

She has also played on the PSD Riptides lacrosse team since ninth grade, played JV and varsity as a freshman, and varsity as a junior and senior.

Choosing the thing that’s been her favorite during her time at GHHS is difficult.

“I truly cannot pick a favorite thing I did in high school, but I know most of my favorite memories come from being with my friends,” she said. “Whether that was in class, after school or playing a sport, they made these past four years special.”


As it was for many other students, coping with all the changes that came with the pandemic was challenging for Anya. Navigating the world of online learning and finding motivation to stay on top of school work was tough.

It was easy to get distracted or procrastinate, she said — even for a 4.0 student. Being super-organized helped – she keeps track of everything in a planner, using 10 different colors of highlighters and “lots of sticky notes.”

Staying organized is also her advice to younger students.

“There is nothing more important than a planner and highlighters to stay on top of your work,” she said.

This fall Anya is headed for Northeastern University in Boston, where she plans to study computer science and behavioral neuroscience and, eventually, work in A.I development “mapping the way our brain works,” she said.

Anya’s teachers speak highly of her. AP Calculus teacher Phyllis Payne calls her “…a hard-working, organized, creatively thinking student of excellence who has balanced her high achievement in school with exceptional leadership in athletics as well.

“She is thorough, inquisitive and works for accuracy in all she does and works well in a group setting both as a leader and a contributor to the group work. She willingly helps those around her and enriches the classroom learning environment with her perspective. In a hope-filled, joy-filled way, Anya leads by example with a tender heart and creative mind, and she brings this joy and hope to those she meets regardless of the circumstances.”

Anya Wild

School: Gig Harbor High School

Category: Academic Achievement

GPA: 4.0

Parents: Carolyn and Andrew Wild

Accomplishments/activities: 15 AP/honors courses; National Honor Society president; volleyball – four years, head captain – senior year, Riptides Lacrosse JV and varsity; photo editor GHHS yearbook; volunteers as soccer coach, helps at church nursery

Favorite teacher: “I have had a few truly special teachers who have taught me lessons beyond the classroom, but Mrs. Payne will always stand out. Since I met her in my first year AP Calculus I’ve been inspired by her and grateful to be one of her students. She is one of the smartest people I have ever met and the most caring. It’s a pleasure to come to her class, even at 8 a.m. or on zoom. She is an incredible person.”

Best thing about GHHS: “The people. From students to teachers to coaches the people have made my years memorable and shaped me into the person I am today.”