My name is Crystal. I’m a founding student at Rainier Prep in Highline. I live in Burien with my parents, who immigrated from Vietnam before I was born.
When I started 5th grade here, everyone, including our teachers, had to figure things out together! Rainier Prep is different from other schools I’ve known. Here, students, teachers, and the principal are all are involved in decisions and help shape our school culture.
At Rainier Prep, everyone belongs. Every morning we do handshakes with staff when we arrive. This sets the tone for a good day. In our advisory circles, we talk about our days with our teachers and peers.
We’re really a community here. Every Friday we have a school-wide student of the week – the award is given to a student who portrays the core value of the week. It is motivating! I try my best and I’ve portrayed the values more each year. I work better in teams now, I ask more questions, and I feel more urgency, but I don’t just rush through. I have been recognized in front of the whole school twice – for the values of excellence and grit. It felt so good to be recognized, and I was proud of myself because I knew I did well.
At Rainier Prep, our teachers help us prepare for our futures. In 8th grade, we have a whole enrichment period dedicated to high school prep. Ms. Moe, our Dean of College Success, talks to us about different high school options, so we can figure out what we want and how to achieve it. Rainier Prep is helping me pursue schools with a rigorous application process. Aviation High School is my top option right now. I am proud of the high academic standing I’ve maintained throughout middle school here.
Beyond preparing us for success, our teachers really care about who we are as people. They always notice if I’m having a tough time or look sad, and always offer to set aside time to help me, whether it’s about an assignment or a personal issue.
In June, I’ll graduate from Rainier Prep. I’ll be sad to leave, but I know I’ll be prepared for success in high school and the rest of my life.