Annalise Arroyo has proven herself not only as a top scholar but also as an athlete and leader in her school community. Her commitments include serving as president of the Gig Harbor band council and being part of the swim and water polo varsity teams.
Arroyo says that keeping up with her grades has been difficult, but she’s learned to manage her time wisely.
“I like to take a lot of advance classes because I enjoy working hard and moving at a fast pace,” she says. “I want to push myself, and that helps me succeed.”
A swimmer since young age, Arroyo joined a club team in kindergarten and later played other sports including soccer. She says one of the best parts about sports was meeting new friends who shared the same interests.
“Athletics teaches you teamwork, and I learned how to work as a team, especially in water polo,” she adds.
Among her achievements was being selected for Gig Harbor High’s state water polo team, which won the state title. Arroyo also shares her passion for swimming with others — she became a lifeguard at the Gig Harbor Y in her junior year and shortly after started teaching swimming. She’s also the coach for the Y’s Seals team.
“Her quality of work has exceeded my expectations from day one, and she is still going strong,” says Marcus Henderson, athletics director at the Tom Taylor Family YMCA. “Annalise has been a great addition to our team. … The work she has done for us has shown her dedication to this job.”
Music has also been a big part of her life and is an Arroyo family tradition. She has been playing the flute since sixth grade and also plays the piccolo. At Gig Harbor, Arroyo has been in the band all four years, and this year joined the pit orchestra for the spring musical.
A true leader, she’s been part of band council for three years, serving as president this year. She’s even tried to convince the school to create a marching band.
Arroyo hopes to continue playing with a band in college. She’s still deciding on a school, but one of her top choices is Notre Dame, where she’s been accepted and where she could be part of the marching band.
Her plan is to study electrical engineering.
“I hope to be able to design things,” she says. “I enjoy the idea of using my creativity and problem-solving.”
Education: Senior, Gig Harbor High School
Parents: Chris and MaryAnne Arroyo
Activities/Achievements: 10 AP/Honors classes; ranked No. 9; AP Scholar with Honor; National Hispanic Recognition Program; National Merit Scholarship; USA Water Polo Academic All-American; girls JV and varsity swimming, Coach’s Award, Tide Pride Award; girls varsity water polo team; band Outstanding Leadership, council president; YMCA life guard, Seals swim coach and swim instructor; math tutor
Favorite teacher: Dennis Johnson, AP physics. “He creates creative metaphors to help students with challenging topics and really cares about the success of the students in his class.”
Best thing about high school: The many student opportunities. “I was able to participate in two varsity sports, and Gig Harbor also has a spectacular band program.”