2023 Students of Distinction

Bella Grayson has high school down to a science

Posted on May 12th, 2023 By:

Gig Harbor Now is posting profiles of each of the 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 17, 2023, at Ocean5, 5268 Point Fosdick Dr.

Student: Bella Grayson

School: Gig Harbor High School

Category: Science & Technology Achievement

Bella Grayson does it all. She’s president of the school’s STEAM club and a five-time competitor in Washington Technology Student Association (WTSA) competitions in forensics science, medical technology, transportation modeling, VEX Robotics and digital and on-demand video production. She’s also been in the national competitions five times.

When she’s not immersed in science and technology, Bella is on the GHHS swim team, water polo team and ski team — all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.

Full STEAM ahead

Her favorite high school memories have been her STEAM club activities – especially competing at a high level in national meets. And she recently took first place in the state for her Transportation Management project.

In her junior year, Bella’s dad was diagnosed with cancer. It meant that she had to be in charge of all the household tasks for her family while her parents were away. It also meant working extra hard in school to keep up her grades and maintain her other activities. It was the biggest challenge she had to face, she said. Thankfully, her father is doing better now.

Bella Grayson

She’s proud of the fact that during COVID she was able to keep up her grades and her club activities, even though several of the clubs lost membership during the shutdown. She has focused on recruiting new members and now membership numbers are better than they were in pre-pandemic times.

Future: A&M and the Air Force

Last summer, Bella was invited to attend a program at Texas A&M University in College Station. “I really loved it there,” she said. So that’s where she’s headed this fall to major in Aerospace Engineering.

After college she plans to join the U.S. Air Force either as an engineer or a pilot. “I love to travel and my goal is to go to every continent at least once,” she said. “Hopefully, in the Air Force I’ll be able to do that.”

In a letter of recommendation, Eric Wolgemuth, GHHS science and computer science teacher, wrote that Bella “has exceptional gifts in physics and engineering concepts. I count myself fortunate to have had her in my physics class.

“I’ve never had a student who was so certain of their path through academics and into a career as Bella and she has worked so hard to bring those dreams to fruition. She has the smarts, the drive and the demonstrated interest combined with an intuitive mind for tech/engineering that I very rarely see.”

Bella’s advice to students just entering high school is to get involved in as many ways as possible. “Join clubs. Play sports or do music or art. It’s a great way to make new friends and you’ll find a sense of community. And it will help you discover what you’re passionate about. There’s a club for almost everything.”

Bella Grayson

GPA: 4.0

Parents: Jeanne and Rick Grayson

Achievements: Five AP/Honors courses; National Honor Society – Vice President; Student Advisory Committee; swim team captain; varsity swim and dive, water polo and track and field – coaches awards, Captain’s Award; Tide Pride and Most Spirited Award; Ski Club; Book Club; STEAM Club president; five time WTSA state competition; five time national TSA competition; National Technology Honor Society

Favorite teacher: “Picking a favorite teacher seems almost impossible. There have been so many that have impacted my life. One that comes to mind is my junior year physics teacher, Mr. Wolgemuth. He’s one of the most inspiring teachers I’ve had. His class was challenging but also fun, which led me to love physics and engineering. The passion that he taught and lives with taught me how to live my life, too. He has inspired me to go for my goals and challenge myself, and the lessons I learned in his class I will apply throughout college and my life.”

Best thing about GHHS: “The opportunities that are available. With all the clubs and classes available I’ve been able to have so many experiences and learn so many things. From book club to ski club, Interact club and more, I have been able to try so many things that I would never had the opportunity to otherwise. The amazing support from all the club advisors and staff has helped me grow as a person and prepared me to go to college and beyond.”