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Valedictorian Caiti Fjelsted
For her senior culminating project, Caiti Fjelsted reached out to those in need by starting something called the Cow Club at the high school.
“We raised money — $983 to be exact — for Heifer International, an organization that provides cows to deserving families in underdeveloped nations,” she said.
The concept is called agroecology, the sustainable use and management of natural resources by using social, cultural, economic, political and ecological methods that work together to achieve sustainable agriculture production.
“And they need farm animals to make it all work,” she added.
Fjelsted said she received a very good education at South Whidbey High School, a sentiment shared equally by her fellow valedictorians.
“My teachers encouraged me to follow a path of independent study, and that was crucial for me,” she said. “Sometimes, they would offer a class and give up their free time. They really care.”
Math teacher Andy Davis said he hopes his own daughter grows up to be like Fjelsted.
“She is one of the most well-rounded students we have; a great math student, an artist, history student and totally sincere, modest and caring,” he said.
She will attend the University of Washington in the fall, but hasn’t picked a major yet. History, English and foreign languages are the areas she is most involved with, but is open to new ideas.
“I’m starting school with a blank slate, and I’ll see what’s out there that has appeal. That’s what college is for,” she said.
Her most defining moment the past four years was her trip to Europe two summers ago with history teacher Tom Kramer.
“It really changed the way I look at the world beyond the island,” she recalled.
“The toughest part of graduation is leaving those I care for behind,” she noted. “It isn’t the place, it’s the people.”