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The LEAP Student Blog

Mercer Island HS - Hailey Gullstad

Author: Hailey Gullstad
Grade: Senior
School: Mercer Island HS
Mascot: Islanders
League: Kingco
Classification: 3A

Located just east of Seattle, Mercer Island is home to just under 25,000 residents and one 3A-sized high school, fittingly named after the island.  Our location makes Mercer Island a unique place to grow up.  Seattle, the surrounding areas, and all the opportunities afforded by a sprawling metropolis are easily accessible, but we also have a tight-knit community contained on our little 13-square mile stretch of land.  The school district has one middle school and one high school, so as a senior at Mercer Island I have been with most of my classmates for almost seven years.  Living here and attending the local high school really is the best of both worlds.

The winter sports season recently wrapped up, and Mercer Island has much to celebrate.  For the first time in school history, all five winter sports teams (boys’ and girls’ basketball, boys’ swimming, wrestling, and gymnastics) made it to the state tournament.  Our boys’ swim team continued their tradition of dominance by winning a sixth straight state title.  Aquatic success is nothing new to Mercer Island, which might have something to do with the fact that kids here are practically introduced to the pool while still in the womb.  The thinking goes something like this..."if you live on an island, you better know how to swim."

And, while our sports teams have done extremely well this season, it's really the music program that sets Mercer Island apart.  Our band, choir, and orchestra (in addition to drill team) were recently recognized as academic state champs.  These musicians certainly perform in the classroom, but they perform even better in the stands or on the stage.

The marching band is the most visible component of the music department.  At 300-plus members, they perform regularly at football and basketball games, however this winter the band experienced the trip of a lifetime.  The sophomore, junior, and senior members of the band went international with a trip across the pond, highlighted by a spot in the London New Year’s Day Parade.  I’ve included a youtube video of their performance.  Check it out and enjoy!

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