2024 Students of Distinction

Preston Fradet balances ambition with perseverance

Posted on May 9th, 2024 By: Joshua Eskew

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.

Preston Fradet 

School: Gig Harbor High School 

Category: Career & Technical Education Achievement

Preston Fradet is an industrious graduating senior from Gig Harbor High School, whose tireless dedication to academic excellence, athletic prowess and aeronautical passion exemplifies the spirit of determination. 

Preston Fradet

Determination and focus lead to success 

For Preston Fradet, a typical day begins at 6 a.m., just as the sun begins to peek over Mt. Rainier.  He has to start early if he wants to make time for his advanced schoolwork, his challenging track practice and his longtime job at Spider’s Bike, Ski, and Tennis Lab. Amidst the whirlwind of daily responsibilities, Preston reserves time for his passion project — the 24-foot-long, four seat airplane that, throughout his high school career, he has slowly built in his garage. With so much to do in a day, this Gig Harbor high senior can’t afford to waste a minute.

What’s the secret to his success? If you ask Preston, he points to his ability to stay focused on a single goal over a long period of time. As an athlete, Preston has also learned to value the support that only a team can provide. “My team helps to hold me accountable,” he says. Ever the perfectionist, Preston views each triumph as an opportunity for growth, perpetually striving to surpass his own benchmarks and embrace continuous improvement.

The secret to success 

Preston attributes his remarkable achievements to his unwavering focus and the unwavering support of his teammates and mentors. As a dedicated athlete, he understands the transformative power of teamwork, finding solace and strength in the camaraderie of his peers.  

A vision for harmony

Despite the conflict he sees in the world, Preston thinks his academic and athletic endeavors help to give him some perspective. He’d like to see people take a step back, think about what really matters, and stop being so combative on social media and in their other interactions. 

Charting new horizons 

This harmonious attitude has sustained Preston not only through four years of high school but also through 12-hour bike rides between Seattle and Portland. As his college career is set to take off, his ambitions are only growing.

With aspirations of earning a degree in aerospace engineering and conquering the ultimate physical challenge — an Iron Man competition — Preston remains steadfast in his pursuit of excellence. But for now, Preston’s main goals are to finish high school with the strongest possible record and, of course, to see his own airplane finally take to the skies.

Preston Fradet

Category: Career & Technical Education Achievement  

Parents: Summer and Jeremy Fradet

Achievements/Activities: After saving for six years, Preston finally had enough to complete flight school. When asked about the accomplishment he is most proud of, Preston states, “in addition to my academic achievements, one of the things that I am most proud of is getting my pilot’s license in three months, and 30 hours below the time it takes the national average. My passion for aeronautics and building my own RV-10 airplane with my dad really pushed me. Being able to realize a dream that I have had for so long was an incredible experience and furthered my interest in aviation technology.”

Favorite Teacher: “Mrs. Klein is my favorite teacher at Gig Harbor High School. One of the great things about Mrs. Klein is the relationship she builds with students. Coming into her class as a junior with a class full of seniors, she made sure to go out of her way to make connections with every student. The combination of the connection she creates with the openness of asking questions creates a class where everyone feels safe to learn.”

Best thing about high school: “My favorite thing about GHHS is the teachers. I can’t stress enough how much of an impact on my life they have made. The thing that stands out about all my teachers is how much out of their way they go to make a connection with every one of their students. Almost all of my teachers know about my personal life. For example, on a Friday, I might get asked by 3 or 4 different teachers, “Hey Preston, are you skiing this weekend?” or “It looks like nice flying weather this weekend, are you going flying?” As a student, getting asked these questions makes you feel known and shows the connection and care that each of my teachers has. This connection goes both ways as well. Getting to hear about my teachers’ personal and family life makes them seem less alienated and as someone I can approach with ease. The connection allows me and other students who might be struggling to not be scared when going to ask a teacher for help, and it allows kids to be successful in the classroom. Having a deep connection with my teachers and feeling comfortable approaching them and asking questions is something I will always appreciate about Gig Harbor High School.”