Ilwaco’s Brittany King

IHS senior Brittany King

SURFSIDE — “She is a bomb in a teapot. It’s students like her that is the reason why I got into education,” Brittany King’s grandmother, Glynis Bridges, says teacher Lianne Loo wrote in King’s letter of recommendation. “That’s Brittany,” Mrs. Bridges says with obvious pride.

King, along with her brother, Jaykub Bridges, helped save the life of a neighbor who was in a diabetic coma. King is lieutenant of her fire science group and is at home in full fire-fighting gear and leading half-a-dozen burly guys, as she is in a wrestling singlet competing against the state’s top girl grapplers.

King put together the finest two weeks of her wrestling career for the Lady Fishermen by qualifying for the regional tournament. “Brittany’s goal all year was to win a match as this is her first year of wrestling as a senior.

She came out of nowhere to place fourth (in the Trico 1A League). She surpassed her personal goals, really put things together and had nothing short of a career day that capped a phenomenal season,” coach Kevin McNulty praised.

King was awarded four “Oscars,” the IHS equivalent of an academic or citizenship award for outstanding performance. King received the Good Samaritan award from the Lion’s Club for helping with the rescue of her neighbor. She also earned the WellSpring Certificate of Awesomeness for her many contributions at Ilwaco High School and in the community.

She is a member of Youth Action Klub, Youth Empowerment Squad and the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Club. King went to Nashville, Tenn., last year for the National Youth Coalition Convention. In sixth grade she played tackle football and as a freshman was at ease at the head table on a visiting cruise ship as part of her hospitality class. This year the versatile King is in show choir at IHS.

King’s achievements in the classroom earned her National Honor Society membership. On the golf course she sank 40-foot and 30-foot putts at the District IV tournament this year. “Brittany drove the ball very consistently all day and made some fantastic putts. Not surprisingly, she played her best golf of her career,” coach Bob Enos praised.

When asked if she would make it to regionals in wrestling or golf, her quick response was, “I will make it happen,” even after her most bitter defeats in both sports. King also lettered in track and cross country at Ilwaco.

“My favorite class has been any that I learn in, that’s a class that I love. Any teacher that makes learning fun is one of my favorite teachers. Any coach that can make me better at a sport, while making it fun, but challenging is also a great teacher. I have had so many amazing teachers and coaches during high school that it wouldn’t be fair to name just one,” King says diplomatically.

“I admire my grandma more than anyone, for everything that she’s done for me,” King says. “I try to look at challenges with the attitude of how can I overcome them, while using the experience to learn something new and make me a better person. I have an intense drive to succeed in life but also a passion for helping people. I believe that it stems from all the compassion and love I have received since I moved to the Peninsula when I was nine,” King says.

“High school is important whether you want to go to college or not. Don’t cheat on your homework and tests and don’t skip school; you never know when someone will bring muffins to your class. Oh yeah, and one more thing, be nice to each other,” King advises underclassmen.

Outside of school King enjoys doing community service, hanging out with her best friends, but most of the time she is doing homework. “For my senior project I wanted to make a difference for as many people as I could and I think I accomplished that goal. I did a canned food drive two weeks before Christmas break. I got prize donations from local businesses and had drawings for prizes,” King explains. She brought in approximately 172 pounds of food for Chinook and Ilwaco, Reach Out food banks and F.I.S.H.

The friendships King has made are her most valued possessions. “People were created to be loved; things were created to be used. The reason the world is in chaos is because things are being loved, and people are being used. I don’t remember where I read that, but it stuck with me,” she relates.

“The best thing about living on the Peninsula is the sense of community we have. Everyone knows everyone and people are way more trusting and giving than they are in cities. This was evident in my senior project by the donations I received from the local businesses,” King says.

“My plan for after high school is to work at Jack’s Country Store for the summer, and then go to Central Washington University in the fall. I do not know what I want to be when I grow up, but I’m okay with that,” she says.

“Don’t let unfortunate circumstances decide who you’re going to be and how you’re going to act,” are King’s words to live by. “Bad things happen to good people all the time, but look on the bright side and be happy to wake up every the morning. Try to make the world a little better for the people around you, and someday all the good that you gave the world will come back around and be there for you when you need it the most.”

Coming to school the first day every year and getting to see everyone she has not seen all summer are King’s favorite memories from IHS. “My most embarrassing moment was walking through the middle school hallway this year and everyone thought I was in middle school because I’m so short. I must have blended right in,” the 5-foot-2 King says with a laugh.

Though short of stature, King is long on graciousness and grit, wisdom and wit. With those attributes she will make the world a brighter place, no matter where her path leads.

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