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The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

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The Hawkeye May 2024
1st Amend Award School


A veteran of school music activities, senior Tunny Parrish plays the vibraphone in fth period percussion ensemble. Parrish has participated in school musicals, the pep band, and the drumline.

Tunny Parrish has been many things. Not only has he been a member of STEM leadership, the drumline and the percussion ensemble, but he has also been an active member in the MTHS drama department and National Honor Society.

Joining the drama department during junior year, Parrish’s first production with the department was “Zombie Prom”, a musical put on by the drama department during Jan. 2017.

“I was in the ensemble [playing music in the pit], and I had done stuff like that before, but that was the first chance I had to be in the community here, because I already did a lot of [acting] outside of here,” Parrish said. “Acting has always been a part of my family; that was something that my mom was super interested in. I had done a couple of [acting] things in late elementary school, going into middle school, and then I really started getting into [acting] after [‘Zombie Prom’].”

Parrish continued his heavy involvement in the drama department after playing in the “Zombie Prom” ensemble. His last production while a member of the MTHS drama department was the play “Peter and the Starcatcher”, where he was in charge of music directing.

“It was really fun to be up there acting, and then also to be hearing the effect of your labor everyday,” Parrish said.

In addition to his musical experience as part of the drama department, Parrish has been involved with the percussion ensemble all four years at MTHS.

“[Percussion ensemble] is fun because it’s a nontraditional experience,” Parrish said. “The symphonic band has like 60 kids, and chamber winds has like 40 kids and this year percussion ensemble had seven.”

Parrish enjoyed his time in the percussion ensemble at the high school level because it felt as though the activities conducted during class applied more directly to percussionists.

“Being in the percussion ensemble, and being able to talk to people who have Ph.Ds in this stuff and going to competitions specific to your group, was all really helpful in developing this sense of an identity as a member of the percussion ensemble,” Parrish said. “Instead of being just the kids in the back, we developed our own warm-ups, the things we can focus on while we’re playing and attended our own competitions.”

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Some of Parrish’s favorite memories from MTHS include playing with his fellow members of the percussion ensemble in the homecoming assemblies and in drumline competitions.

Parrish, in addition to his involvement with the drama and music communities at MTHS, was also heavily involved in the STEM department.

Parrish first got involved in STEM leadership during his junior year. While in STEM leadership, Parrish heavily involved himself in outreach activities for the STEM program, which involved reaching out to younger students by going to local elementary and middle schools and contributing to events such as local science and math nights.

In addition to his heavy involvement with STEM leadership, Parrish also will be graduating with an Honors STEM diploma after going down the aerospace pathway of the STEM program.

For his STEM senior project, Parrish applied his interest in conservation to create an app that assists users with eliminating their carbon footprint. After completing activities preset by the app, users can increase their “enviroscore” and track how much they are decreasing their carbon footprint.

Using his wide variety of high school experiences, Parrish seeks to forge his own path in life and create a position in life where he can draw upon all of his skills.

“I’ve dabbled enough in a lot of different programs that I feel like their all culminating towards an experience that I haven’t had yet,” Parrish said. “I feel like I fit a little into here and a little into here, which tells me that I need to forge my own path going forward.”

Parrish felt that his role in “Peter and the Starcatcher” is an example of tying together all of the things he has learned from the various programs he has involved himself in at MTHS. He was able to act in the play as a member of the drama department, help with set design using skills he learned from STEM classes, help direct the music using skills used as a member of the percussion ensemble and be able to communicate effectively using public speaking and communication skills built up from presentations and English classes.

“It all sort of came together into this one final thing that I can look at and I can say: ‘that’s four years worth of work right there,’” Parrish said.

Parrish plans to attend the University of Washington in the fall and seeks to gain admittance into the college of engineering towards the end of his freshman year.

“I want to start in the human centered design and engineering program, which is a major that deals a lot with technical communications, visualizing data and bringing these technical concepts to the general public,” Parrish said. “I want my role to be as a communicator who gets stuff out to people.”

Parrish has emphasized how he wants to be in a role that can communicate with people and deliver to them what they want.

“I always want to make stuff for people, that’s why I do theater, that’s why I do band, that’s why I do STEM, it’s for other people to consume,” Parrish said. “Whatever I do in the future, I really hope that it’s user and consumer oriented.”

Being a transgender student, Parrish hopes that his accomplishments encourage other transgender students to follow their ambitions.

“Seeing diversity is important, because there aren’t really a lot of people born as women and transgender people in the STEM department, and so having that perspective to bring to the table is really important,” Parrish said. “My role in STEM, I feel, has been to bring another minority perspective to a community that is still largely very white and very male, so I think having any perspective that is outside of that is important.”

Parrish hopes that his perspective as a transgender student has allowed him to introduce other perspectives and voices that the school may not have previously considered.

“My role [as a leader in the STEM department] was to listen to other minorities and bring their voices forward, and also to introduce topics that other people hadn’t considered,” Parrish said.

Parrish believes that he has really grown into the idea of being himself during high school and has discovered who he is as a person.

“I think it was about junior year when I was like, I’m here for four whole years, so I might as well take this time to do some learning about myself, the way that I function and the way that I work with other people,” Parrish said. “Once I started focusing really hard on that, I found myself joining other extracurriculars and I really realized what I like to do, and I never would have gotten to that point if I never stepped outside of my comfort zone.”

Parrish hopes that his legacy at MTHS has been left as a communicator who was able to connect different communities and ideas.

“I’ve really been working towards building bridges for the past four years,” Parrish said, “and if there’s one thing that people would remember me by I hope that it would be the idea of taking two different things, like STEM and art, and figuring out how to connect them and communicate that.”

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About the Contributor
Nolan DeGarlais
Nolan DeGarlais, Editor-in-Chief
Editor-in-Chief Nolan DeGarlais is in his senior year of high school and is a fourth-year staff member of the Hawkeye. This year, Nolan hopes to lead the Hawkeye in coverage of all of the events that have the potential to impact the school community. Nolan also hopes to further develop the Hawkeye as an editor and a leader by helping other staff members to be successful in all aspects of journalism, including writing, graphics, photography and design. Under his leadership, Nolan hopes that the Hawkeye will continue to shine as one of the top student publications in the state and nation. In his free time, he enjoys reading, hiking, watching movies and spending time with friends.
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