Natalie Iverson

Gig Harbor High School senior devoted to serving others, excels at multiple pursuits, including music

Students of DistinctionApril 9, 2014 

Natalie Iverson is a well-rounded student who has excelled academically while she’s pursued sports, music and extensive community service.

As a leader, she rises to the occasion, and she grounds much of what she does in her faith.

Iverson is active through her church, where she volunteers for many projects and causes. A highlight of her involvement was a trip during the summer of her junior year to Montana, where she served and ministered to children at a Native American reservation.

“It was a test of my faith, and I grew closer to God,” Iverson said.

She also volunteered to direct her church’s Vacation Bible School this past summer after the leader stepped down and the program was in jeopardy.

“Natalie approached the pastor and gave an impressive rationale for the importance of having a VBS at our church, continuing a tradition that has been responsible for touching many young lives over the years, and not disappointing children who routinely have attended VBS there every summer,” said Jan Coen, a member of the church who also knows Iverson as a volunteer at the Gig Harbor/Peninsula FISH Food Bank. “She shows maturity beyond her years.”

Iverson’s Vacation Bible School was a success. She created the curriculum and the activities, and then promoted the program, which attracted about 40 kids. She also recruited peer and adult volunteers.

Music has been another big part of her life. She played trumpet and the french horn, and she has been singing in church and school choirs. This year, she’s a member of Meistersingers, which is getting ready to travel to British Columbia for performances.

“I love music,” Iverson said. “It’s one of those things that bring people together. It’s a universal language.”

Iverson has maintained a 3.75 grade-point average. She said academics doesn’t always come naturally to her, so she has to work extra hard.

“I just put in a lot of extra time,” she said.

Her talents extend to theater. One of Iverson’s highlights was when she participated in an Evergreen Performers production. She was selected for the lead role in “Anne of Green Gables.”

Iverson plans to major in elementary education and become an elementary school teacher. She was inspired by her grandmother, who was a teacher, as well as her own third-grade teacher.

“I like leading kids,” Iverson said. “I feel it’s my passion and calling.”

Natalie Iverson

Category: Community Service

Education: Senior, Gig Harbor High School

GPA: 3.75

Parents: George and Joanne Iverson

Activities/achievements: Tacoma Rescue Mission; FISH Food Bank; Peninsula Lutheran Vacation Bible School; cross country; swimming; water polo; Running Start; Meistersingers; concert band; jazz band; theater performances.

Favorite teacher: Dave Whitesell, honors history, “prepared me the most for future classes by inspiring critical thinking and how to present public presentations. ... He had high standards that encouraged growth in my learning.

Best thing about high school: The music program. “It’s very advanced and has shown great improvement, especially with both Mr. Lackman and Mr. Swanson, who have taken the program to new levels from when I first entered four years ago.”

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