The Doers: Tacoma students who are act to make a positive difference

1/11/2019 | TACOMA, Washington

Stella_web.jpgStella Keating

Class of 2024, Bryant Montessori

As a transgender student, Stella is very active in advocacy for transgender students. She has amazing energy and is an excellent role model for trans youth. Stella is a champion for the Gender Cool Project (, a national storytelling campaign about trans youth. Being a Gender Cool Champion has given Stella amazing opportunities to be on the TODAY Show, interviewed in numerous newspapers, including the New York Times, written an Op-Ed for Teen Vogue and spoke at major corporations across the country. Stella hopes to reduce the fears about transgender people and make the world safer for people like her, she is a doer.

Eden_web.jpgEden Standley

Class of 2021, The School of the Arts (SOTA)

Eden is a curious, socially conscious and academically motivated student, visual artist and photographer. She has been commissioned to design and provide artwork for individuals. Eden created a program for students after school in 8th grade and continues to volunteer and support the program while she's been in high school. She also spends every late start (every Friday) volunteering at school. Her commitment to helping others makes Eden a doer.

Solomon_web.jpgSolomon Selkin

Bryant, grade 5

Solomon embodies the spirit of Montessori: care for yourself, care for each other, care for this place. In class he generates enthusiasm by bringing activities to share. He is the Editor in Chief of the Bryant Post, a newspaper publication with a staff of ten students that goes out electronically monthly and covers student, school, local, and world news topics. Solomon contributes, edits and distributes this publication to all subscribers throughout the school and community at large. He recently organized Astronomy Night, where students and families were invited to come to Bryant Montessori in the evening to view the stars through telescopes brought by the Tacoma Astronomical Society. Solomon is a doer who chooses to focus his amazing energy toward making his community a better place.

Ort team

Class of 2026, Sherman Elementary School

The Ort team at Sherman Elementary is anything but just a bunch of fifth-graders. This forward-thinking team is teaching fellow students the importance of managing waste to reduce greenhouse gasses. Purple gloves and plugged noses, they dig through the lunch trash to save uneaten sandwiches and half-eaten food from the landfill. Small savings add up too—like today’s haul of 15.6 lbs.of diverted food waste. The Ort team is not waiting for guidance on how to clean up the environment, they are leading the way.

BelleDonna.jpgBelleDonna Root

Class of 2019, Foss IB World School

BellaDonna is an amazing young woman who has taken on a leadership for the AFJROTC (Air Force Junior Reserve Office Training Corps) program, and serves as Cadet Captian at Foss.  Her teacher, Major Phillips describes her as a “mover and a shaker.”  She puts a tremendous amount of focus and hard work into AFJROTC and her school career as an International Baccalaureate (IB) student. She gives her time and talent in school clubs and volunteers to help lead and organize events throughout her school. BelleDonna’s peers describe her as a “role model.”

Christopher.jpgChristopher Noordman

Class of 2023, Meeker Middle School

Christopher is engaged in just about every activity at Meeker Middle School. He brought down the house at the school talent show with his Elvis rendition. He serves on leadership and leads advisories. Each day he voluntarily does the morning announcements, and he pioneered afternoon announcements to let students and staff know what clubs and meetings are happening that day. It’s also the small things, like offering a hello or kind word to everyone he meets. His teacher, Kate Kuravackal says, “He is who I wish I were when I was in middle school.”

4.jpgTravis McDaneld

Class of 2019, The School of the Arts (SOTA)

Travis is someone who doesn’t need to be asked to help, when he sees a need he steps up to lend a hand. He is involved in just about everything at SOTA, including volunteering technical support for all events including evenings and weekends. Attending performances for all departments, he does lighting, sound and clean up. Travis is a musician, poet and artist. His drive and hard work helped to earn him a place on a study service trip where he worked and shared his artist abilities with young children in Florence, Italy.

Adam Maxon

Class of 2019, Wilson High School

Opioid abuse tarnishes families, ruins relationships and leaves a trail of broken hearts in its wake. Wilson High School senior Adam Maxon felt the devastation firsthand while someone close to him battled addiction. “You don’t know if you have that monster inside you,” he says. After hearing a speaker from the Not One More organization who visited Wilson, Adam decided to get involved. He leads a Not One More group that includes more than 20 Wilson students. Their goal: to raise awareness and prevent drug abuse among youth. “We want to start the conversation with the generation I’m in,” Adam says. “We’re the future.”


Kyle Brown

Class of 2023, Gray Middle School

On the football team, he is considered the "Uncommon Man".  The player who goes out of his way to be encouraging and motivating. He is the example for all students and adults alike on the power of compassion and empathy. Kyle consistently looks for ways he can help, stepping to lend a hand wherever its needed without the expectation of reward.  His can-do attitude is infectious and others raise their effort in turn.  Kyle is a doer in the purest sense of the word, he is a positive influence in every group that he participates in.  

Ara.jpgAra Shirbacheh

Class of 2026, Browns Point Elementary

Ara is a leader in both her class and school. She never fails to help others, and always with extreme kindness. A brilliant thinker and patient with her explanations, Ara works well with everyone. At her school, she serves as a peer mediator, on student council as a representative, on safety patrol, and she plays in band. Outside of school she is a swimmer, plays piano and ukulele, sews, and knits. Her teacher, Molly Callendar said, “The best part of Ara is that she always remains humble, even with her multitude of gifts.” 

1.jpgElena Seaholm

Class of 2019, Science and Math Institute (SAMI)

At SAMI, teachers often joke that they should probably be paying Elena a stipend for all the work she does for the community. In addition to being an exemplary student, she is an accomplished student government leader, always brimming with fresh ideas and enthusiasm for her school. She has helped to start a newspaper at SAMI and plays a significant leadership role in yearbook. She's also a competitive volleyball player. It's hard to point out specifics because she contributes on a nearly constant basis to everything at SAMI. Her teacher, Stephanie Skaggs describes Elena as, “the most reliable and mature student she ever met, and deeply deserving of recognition.”

2.jpgReginald Archibald II

Class of 2021, Lincoln High School

Reginald is a doer because he doesn't allow anyone or anything to get in the way of his success. He is a part of the Lincoln basketball program, playing on varsity since his freshmen year. As a student, he is continuously willing to support and advocate for himself and others. In middle school, he began serving as a tutor for AVID and served as ASB president. Outside of school, he volunteers his time to better his community and strives to gain experiences that will help him pursue his goals. Reginald is a natural born leader who pushes himself to succeed.

3.jpgTayler Hart

Class of 2019, Mount Tahoma

Tayler is a proud Deaf student whose determination has encouraged and energized classmates. For the last three years, she has served as President of the Deaf T-Birds, helping them realize a trip to Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. and gather a team for the Deaf Academic Bowl. She has choreographed their part in the school's multicultural assembly, to highlight Deaf culture and pride. She has signed the King County proclamation the past two years at Seattle's Deaf Thrive event. Tayler has interned with NW Youth Corp and was chosen to speak at their leadership conference. As a result, she was offered an internship with the National Park Service and was their first Deaf intern.  

Hana Carlson

Class of 2022, Tacoma School of the Arts (SOTA)

Hana Carlson doesn't know the exact day she was born. She has no baby photos to share with classmates. Hana's journey of self-discovery led her to find her gift of dance and a connection to community service. Hana is a freshman at SOTA and a Doer. She's leading our future in a positive direction one step at a time.