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Valedictorian Ben Snow

Ben Snow is one of South Whidbey High School
Ben Snow is one of South Whidbey High School's six valedictorians in the Class of 2009.
— image credit: Brian Kelly / The Record

Ben Snow

A sincere young man with a politician’s eye on the prize, Ben Snow is headed straight to the epicenter for public service, Georgetown University in the nation’s capital.

“I’m interested in government, the law and politics, and Georgetown is the nexus for all that,” Snow said. “And it will give me the credentials I need for law school.”

The urge to give something back had its genesis for Snow at age 16 when he was rushed to the emergency room and diagnosed with a rare disorder preventing his blood from clotting.

“They said there was a slight chance I’d die, but otherwise I’d be OK,” he recalled with a rueful grin. “That’s when I discovered I was no longer immortal.”

Lying in the hospital room was a defining moment for Snow.

“I asked myself, ‘Have I made the world better in some way?’ and realized I hadn’t up to that point.”

When the medical crisis was resolved — he’s fine, now — Snow began an active interest in politics.

Snow helped changed the format for student-body elections, arguing that many students don’t even know who their officers were. And for his senior project, he lobbied the school to allow the project itself to be done in the junior year.

“We’re all busy with sports (tennis, in Snow’s case), college applications and the chase for scholarships. The year just flies by,” he said. “The idea was adopted. I may put it on my resumé someday.”

On the whole, he said he’s always been impressed by the small-town atmosphere on Whidbey Island.

“It helps to have a moat.”

Math teacher Tom Kramer said that Snow can succeed at just about anything he sets his mind to.

“He’s very intelligent across a broad range of subjects and disciplines, not to mention being surprisingly witty at times,” Kramer said.

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