South Whidbey High School junior Megan Drake was among eight incoming juniors from around the state of Washington selected to join the WIAA LEAP (Leadership through Education Activities and Personal Development) Committee, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association announced Thursday.
The committee is comprised of 16 juniors and seniors who represent each of the six WIAA classifications and the nine districts around the state.
“I wasn’t really sure I wanted to do it at first,” Drake said. “It took some convincing and I thought it would be a good idea, so I was really excited when I found out.”
Drake competes in athletics year-round for the Falcons. She’s a starter on the volleyball and basketball teams, as well as a high jumper and 400-meter runner in track and field.
“If anybody deserves to get recognized for this, it’s Megan,” said Falcons’ head volleyball coach Mandy Jones. “She is just an all-around good person, good athlete, and good student. She’s just…she’s Megan. She’s one of a kind.”
“She has a really high future ahead of her and I’m excited to see where she goes.”
Drake had to go through an application process in order to be selected, which included three letters of recommendation, a short essay on why athletics and activities are important, and a video personal statement about her school and a pitch for why she should be selected.
Those on the committee represent the voices of over 250,000 student-athletes in high school and middle school athletics and activities in the state of Washington.
Drake wasn’t even aware of LEAP, or that this is its eighth year serving member schools, until former South Whidbey High School Athletic Director Kelly Kirk told her she would be a good candidate. Now, it appears the work she put in will pay off over the long run.
“I thought it would look good on my college applications,” Drake said. “I wanted to be more well-rounded than just sports. Sports mean a lot to me and I do a lot of them, but I wanted more than that, so I thought this would be a good way to put myself out there.”
Drake is interested in pursuing a career in sports management.
“I thought it would give me some insight to what some of the jobs would be like in that field,” Drake said.
“She’s a quiet leader. You wouldn’t know that she’s leading but she does it in an almost sophisticated kind of way,” Jones said. “Her teammates respect her very much. Her coaches respect her.”
Her teammate in volleyball and basketball — senior Morgan Davis — held Drake in the same regard.
“She’s always been a really positive person and she always gives her best in everything she does,” Davis said. “She’s always the one who goes to the extra workouts for basketball and volleyball and track. She doesn’t ever try to find an excuse to get out of anything. It’s just kind of who she is.”
The first meeting for the 16-student committee is scheduled for Sept. 6 at the WIAA office.