Coleman Anderton

Gig Harbor High School senior has passion for the arts, and is a devoted leader and servant

April 16, 2014 

Coleman Anderton has been described as a focused, creative person who is dedicated to serving others. He has a long list of accomplishments, including numerous theater roles, community service through the Boy Scouts of America and leadership activities at his church.

Anderton landed his first lead role at Peninsula High School when he was a freshman, playing the reverend in “Footloose.” Now a Gig Harbor High student, he continues to play leads and loves a good acting challenge.

“Coleman was not only a leader in the play but offstage as well,” Gig Harbor High drama teacher Kristin Zetterstrom said of his role as Otto Frank in “The Diary of Anne Frank” last fall.

“He was regularly the first to arrive and last to leave,” she said. “Coleman came prepared with outside research and original ideas, and, as a newcomer to the theater world, quickly rose to set the example on work ethic and community values to the most seasoned veterans in the program.”

Anderton said his theater experiences have helped him academically. He started high school with a 3.0 GPA, but when he was part of the last fall play, he became highly organized, and his grades went up. Most recently, he was on track to earn a 4.0 this semester.

“I don’t know how I did it,” he said. “I just had this push to work harder.”

His artistic pursuits include choir, music and song writing, as well as video production, including freelance work for some nonprofit organizations. He also is actively involved at his church, where he serves as a youth leader and mentor.

“Coleman truly demonstrates qualities of commitment, service, leadership and integrity that will ensure his success and contribute to the success of others,” said David Harper, a Madigan Army Medical Center physician who knows Anderton as a neighbor and church leader. “I am continually impressed with Coleman as a leader among his peers.”

After high school, Anderton plans to devote two years to mission work though the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, following in the footsteps of many of his family members. He then hopes to study film, theater or broadcasting.

“I’ve loved filmmaking since age 10, and I made my first video at 10,” he said. “I loved the feeling of directing and making something original.”

He also wants to study music in college and continue to create music for his films.

“Coleman stands out among his fellow students,” Zetterstrom said. “He is a cultured, dedicated young man who surpasses expectations.”

Coleman Anderton

Category: Music, Art and Drama

Education: Senior, Gig Harbor High School

GPA: 3.0

Parents: Craig and Aryn Anderton

Activities/achievements: Theater performances, including lead roles; Meistersingers; guitar; songwriting; basketball; Eagle Scout; Chinese Club; LDS seminary President’s Award for attendance; class president; youth group leader; nominated for homecoming court; various community projects.

Favorite teacher: Rebecca Wenrich, English, “because the care and attention she gives to her students helps them to believe in themselves.”

Best thing about high school: “I love that, at Gig Harbor High School, teachers and students alike, from different social circles or groups, reach across to each other, helping students feel accepted and empowered.”

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