2024 Students of Distinction

Lydia Magnuson dancing toward a bright future

Posted on May 9th, 2024 By: Jen Driscoll

Gig Harbor Now is posting profiles featuring the Students of Distinction being honored by the Greater Gig Harbor Foundation. These students will be celebrated during a banquet from 6 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, at Ocean5, 5268 Point Fosdick Dr.

Lydia Magnuson

School: Gig Harbor High School

Category: Community Service Achievement

Lydia Magnuson is a self-motivated student at Gig Harbor High School whose passion for dance and commitment to education have made her a standout in her school community.

With plans to attend Gonzaga University this fall, she aims to major in elementary education and ultimately become a fifth-grade teacher. She also hopes to join Gonzaga’s hip-hop dance team, the Bomb Squad, combining her academic goals with her love for dance.

Lydia Magnuson


Inspired by her own students

Lydia’s inspiration comes from the people she teaches. “I teach dance classes, and my students are my greatest source of inspiration,” she explains. “Whether they’re 3 or 70, each person I teach impacts me in some way. The younger kids inspire me with their energy, and the older adults show that age is just a number. I’m so thankful for all of them.”

Advice for incoming freshmen

Lydia’s advice for incoming freshmen is straightforward: “Enjoy every single moment because high school goes by fast.” She also emphasizes the importance of perseverance and adaptability. “Things always work out in the end,” she says. “I never imagined, as a freshman, that I would be on a state-winning dance team or teaching tap to people of all ages. I tried other sports at school to fit in, but it wasn’t for me. Then I found H2Whoa and knew I wanted to be on that team. Through advocacy, determination, and hard work, I made it happen.”

One interesting fact about Lydia is her perfect attendance record — she has never been absent or tardy to school since kindergarten. This dedication extends to her commitment to community service. It’s a testament to her drive and determination to make a difference.

With her ambitious plans and positive attitude, Lydia Magnuson is a role model for her peers. Whether she’s teaching dance, counseling at camp, or advocating for her school, she embodies the spirit of a Student of Distinction.

Lydia Magnuson

Category: Community Service Achievement

GPA:  3.959, 31/362

Parents: Carrie Magnuson; Eric Magnuson

Achievements/Activities: Since the start of high school, she’s completed over 665 hours of community service and an additional 259 hours during middle school.  She was also an ASB officer for 3 years, National Honor Society for 3 years, student of the quarter twice at Peninsula High School. Her dance team also won a state Class 3A championship in the Hip-Hop category.

Favorite Teacher: “My favorite teacher is Mr. Miranda from Peninsula High School. He is a teacher that puts his students first. I always looked forward to his classes. He is a role model for what kind of teacher I want to be when I grow up.”

Best thing about Gig Harbor High School: Her high school experience has been largely shaped by H2Whoa, Gig Harbor High School’s dance team, which she joined after transferring from Peninsula High School. “H2Whoa is the best thing about Gig Harbor High School,” she says. “It’s why I transferred before my junior year, and winning a state championship this year was the cherry on top of an amazing experience.”