2024 Students of Distinction

Peyton O’Brien has a passion for design and service

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.

Peyton O’Brien

School: Peninsula High School

Category: Science and Technology Achievement

Peyton O’Brien credits her family for inspiring her journey and encouraging her to pursue new opportunities. “They’ve always pushed me to step out of my comfort zone,” she says.

Peyton’s family has taught her to value effort over outcomes, emphasizing that the process of growth is often more important than the result. Her twin sister, Paige, has also been a significant part of her life, providing support and friendship through thick and thin.

Peyton O’Brien

Dreaming of Disney

Peyton will be attending California State University-Fullerton, where she plans to dual major in graphic design and marketing. This combination of creative and business skills will allow her to explore a range of career possibilities, but she ultimately hopes to work for Disney, working on ride design or experience design.

Community and organization

Peyton cherished the authentic connections she made with teachers and peers during her high school years. “I’ll miss the supportive environment and the friendships I’ve built here,” she reflects. The strong sense of community and the consistent encouragement from the school’s staff were instrumental in her success.

Advice to incoming freshmen

For incoming freshmen, Peyton has straightforward advice: be yourself, use a planner to stay organized, and don’t hesitate to seek help. She stresses the importance of embracing high school opportunities and making the most of the journey. “It’s crucial to keep track of your tasks, especially with a busy schedule,” she suggests. Following these tips, Peyton believes, will lead to a fulfilling high school experience.

Community service and leadership

Peyton has volunteered about 800 hours through the PHS theater department as the lead microphone technician, where she has helped produce school performances.

She has also been a Key Club member since her sophomore year, eventually becoming president. Her notable projects include Operation Teddy Bear, which sent over 1,000 teddy bears to children in Ukraine, and Paws for a Cause, which raised over 923 pounds of pet food for the local community. Peyton finds great fulfillment in her volunteer work and looks forward to continuing her community involvement in college.

Peyton O’Brien

Category: Science and Technology Achievement

Parents: Shawn & Alison O’Brien

Achievements/Activities: Peyton is active in several school activities, including the PHS theater department, Key Club, and Yearbook Club. As the lead microphone technician, she has contributed to successful school performances. As Key Club president, she has led impactful service projects, such as Operation Teddy Bear and Paws for a Cause.

Favorite Teacher: Peyton’s favorite teacher is Mr. Kendall. “He creates a dynamic classroom where we feel valued,” she says. His approach balances discipline with a relaxed attitude, making his class enjoyable and productive.

Best Thing About High School: For Peyton, the best part of Peninsula High School is the supportive staff and the sense of community. “The teachers and staff create an environment that helps us succeed,” she explains. This supportive culture has enabled Peyton to grow both academically and personally, setting the stage for her future success.