Dancers, computer scientists, viola players, engineers and athletes — those are just some of the many titles the W.F. West High School class of 2021 includes.
They’re also tenacious students, both in the online classroom and in the tangible one. When presented with a difficult path littered with unparalleled obstacles they trudged on for months, making connections with each other and teachers from afar while solidifying their class legacy during a year like no other.
Their journey so far, as well as their plans for the future, will be celebrated 6 p.m. Saturday during a commencement ceremony held at W.F. West High School’s stadium. Unlike their predecessor, the class of 2021 will be able to celebrate with an in-person commencement ceremony.
W.F. West’s top 10 academic students, celebrated every year for their academic achievement and professional accomplishment, stand as the leaders of this stouthearted group.
Here are their stories so far, and where they plan to go from here.
Abigail W. Kay (4.0 GPA)
Co-valedictorian Abigail Kay plans on attending the University of Washington next year to study molecular and cellular biology, with plans on pursuing a career in molecular genetics.
She graduated with honors in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), English and humanities, according to a biography provided by the school district.
For 14 years, Kay has competed with the Southwest Washington Dance Center and has performed many different styles of dance, including ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, modern and lyrical.
During her time at W.F. West, she was an active member of her school’s National Honor Society chapter and served as vice president her senior year.
Kay has been an avid photographer since her freshman year. She’s also competed in photography competitions at the national SkillsUSA conference.
Her favorite class while attending W.F. West was advanced molecular genetics, where she developed and performed her own research projects.
Cody M. Matz (4.0)
Co-valedictorian Cody Matz plans on pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science at Montana State University after high school, but not before he first traverses the United States from coast to coast.
Matz has lived abroad and visited many remote parts of the United States, including Alaska. He has also biked the Continental Divide Trail from Canada to Mexico.
Matz graduated with honors in STEM and humanities.
While attending W.F. West, he participated in National Honors Society, robotics, knowledge bowl and the school’s computer club.
Jacob A. Blomdahl (3.99)
Jacob Blomdahl graduated second in his class and has plans to attend Whitworth University to get a bachelor’s degree in engineering, then a master’s in either aerospace or mechanical engineering. His goal is to use his education to “engineer a better world and improve the lives of others.”
During high school, Blomdahl built a wind tunnel to test the aerodynamics of SpaceX grid fins for his advanced physics project. He also played soccer for two years at W.F. West High School and tennis all four, eventually placing fourth in doubles at the 2021 district tennis tournament.
His sophomore year, Blomdahl became state champion in solo euphonium (a brass-wind instrument) and has played in the low brass section of the jazz band, pep band and wind ensemble.
Outside of his school work, Blomdahl has also worked at Centralia Aircraft Repair. He graduated with honors in all four school departments.
Drew K. Reynolds (3.985)
Drew Reynolds graduated third in his class and plans on attending Texas Tech University to pursue a civil engineering degree and play for the Division I Red Raiders baseball team. He hopes to eventually play at the pro level for a Major League Baseball team.
He graduated with honors in STEM and humanities.
Reynolds lettered in athletics all four years while at W.F. West, playing baseball and football. He also competed in his school’s prestigious ping pong club.
He also played two years for the EnFuego Baseball team.
Lori A. Christian (3.978)
Lori Christian graduated fourth in her class and plans on pursuing a joint degree in political science and human rights, with a focus on pre-law preparation, at Barnard College of Columbia University. She looks to eventually attend law school and earn her JD-MBA.
She held honors in STEM, English and humanities.
Christian was involved in Key Club, theatre, W.F. West’s National Honor Society chapter, and nonprofit Teens for Abused Children (TFAC), which she established in 2018.
At age 16, she was recognized as one of Washington’s Distinguished Finalists for the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards for her work with the TFAC.
Christian hopes to eventually open her own law firm with an emphasis on international business and family legal services.
Stephenie Drummond (3.97)
Stephenie Drummond graduated fifth in her class and will attend Gonzaga University in the fall with plans to pursue a degree in civil engineering and minor in architecture. She’s also considering a master’s in management.
She’s hoping to work as a civil engineer for the government and eventually own her own firm where she can design and build houses.
Drummond graduated with honors in STEM, English and humanities.
During her tenure at W.F. West, she participated in wind ensemble, varsity swimming and varsity tennis.
She was also in French club for three years; one of her favorite activities that they participated in was the ASB lip sync battle.
Brian J. Lee (3.95)
Brian Lee graduated sixth in his class and plans on attending Washington State University to study civil engineering with a goal to eventually become a civil engineer.
He graduated with honors in STEM, humanities and performing arts.
Lee has played the viola in the W.F. West Orchestra all four years. In 2019 and 2020, he played a solo in a regional solo/ensemble competition and placed second both years.
Last October, Lee began spending his free time taking piano lessons. In addition to his musical prowess, he also spends time playing chess online and competing in in-person tournaments on an annual basis.
Last year, Lee competed in the annual Washington State Chess Championship tournament.
Jay M. Caird (3.945)
Jay Caird graduated seventh in his class and plans on continuing his education at Whitworth University, where he plans on majoring in biology on a pre-med track. He plans on attending medical school with hopes of becoming a family practitioner working in underserved communities.
Caird, a Running Start student, is also graduating this spring with an associate’s degree in biology from Centralia College.
At W.F. West, he was involved in FFA, ASB, knowledge bowl and the school’s National Honor Society chapter.
At Centralia College, he participated in the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and was also recently named to the all-Washington academic team.
In 2019, he started a math tutoring program at his former middle school and continued through his senior year serving in that role.
He also volunteers his time at the Health and Hope Medical Outreach Clinic.
Cade M. Haller (3.941)
Cade Haller graduated eighth in his class, with honors in STEM and humanities, and plans on attending either Montana Tech University or Centralia College in pursuit of a degree in mechanical engineering.
He’s currently considering work in nuclear, petroleum or aerospace engineering job sectors.
Outside of the classroom, Haller enjoys hanging out with friends, hunting, fishing, snowboarding and watching college and professional sports teams.
During his tenure at W.F. West, Haller competed in football, baseball and basketball all four years. He’s also been involved in National Honor Society for three years and was involved in the school’s cornhole club.
Allison G. Dickson (3.935)
Allison Dickson graduated ninth in her class, with honors in English, humanities, STEM and performing arts. She plans on attending Western Washington University to major in biochemistry with hopes of eventually becoming a pediatric physician’s assistant.
Dickson was part of the W.F. West wind ensemble group and pep band, where she played Friday nights cheering on the football team. She also held many senior roles in the school’s music program, including librarian and flute section leader.
She also served in the Key Club, National Honor Society, Global History and Community Club and the Handwriting and Calligraphy Club. During her time at W.F. West, she took both College in the Classroom and advanced placement courses.