Molly MacKinnon

Gig Harbor High School senior is a dedicated leader, top academic, talented artist and passionate servant

Students of DistinctionMarch 26, 2014 

Molly MacKinnon has pursued a variety of interests, including art, church leadership activities, athletics and community service, and she’s maintained a 3.99 grade-point average. She has been taking college classes through the Running Start program and will graduate in June with both a high school diploma and an associate of arts degree.

“Molly is truly one of the outstanding students in her high school,” Peninsula High School Principal Tim Winter said. “Through both academics and activities, she has risen above her peers to achieve great success.”

MacKinnon’s resume includes the Gig Harbor High School swimming and tennis teams, extensive volunteer work for organizations such as St. Anthony Hospital and Tacoma Rescue Mission, as well as part-time jobs.

“I enjoy giving back to my community,” she said.

MacKinnon is an active member of the youth leadership team at Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church and a successful participant in Pacific Northwest Alliance Bible Quizzing, a program similar to Knowledge Bowl but focused on the Bible. As part of the program, she placed as one of the top 20 quizzers in the district and qualified for an invitational meet; she also competed at an international level.

Art also has been a major focus for MacKinnon. Her parents encouraged her to pursue her talent since she was young, and she has largely taught herself.

“I’ve grown up drawing and painting and experimenting with things,” MacKinnon said. “I want to continue with my art because it’s been a big part of my life. I don’t see giving it up.”

MacKinnon won born in China and adopted in the United States. She has been exploring her heritage and is in her third year of studying Mandarin.

“I’ve always thought it would be cool to go back and work in China,” she said.

MacKinnon first visited China when she was 8, when she met her birth family. On another trip, she was part of a medical team that worked with underserved people.

While she hasn’t decided on a future career, MacKinnon hopes to study international business and Chinese and work in the international field.

“Responsibility, integrity and determination are all words that describe the quality of Molly MacKinnon, which makes her someone who positively influences those with whom she comes in contact,” Winter said. “It is clear to me that she will continue her success after graduation.”

Molly MacKinnon

Category: Music, Art and Drama

Education: Senior, Gig Harbor High School

GPA: 3.99

Parents: Brad and Melodee MacKinnon

Activities/achievements: Artistic pursuits through sketching, watercolor and photography; produced China Night poster; won Pierce County Library Art Expressions; Bible Quizzing; Thailand mission trip; youth leadership at Chapel Hill; National Honor Society; United Way varsity letter; National Merit Scholarship commendation letter.

Favorite teacher: Heidi Steele, Chinese. “Her passion for Chinese is inspiring, and her desire for her students to succeed even beyond high school is motivational.”

Best thing about high school: The staff. “I was new to the school as of this summer. Multiple members of the staff bent over backwards to help me integrate and (have) success in the school.”

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