WASILLA — Harley Lytle carved herself a unique place in the short history of Redington Jr./Sr. High School.
Lytle is part of the first class to spend all four years of high school at Redington, which opened its doors for the first time in August of 2015. She was the valedictorian of her class, boasting a 4.078 grade point average, and a varsity athlete in three different sports.
Lytle is also the first Redington student to be named the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman/Mat-Su Sea Hawkers Student-Athlete of the Year.
“It shows me the hard work paid off,” Lytle said.
Lytle and Colony High School graduate Trace Severson are the winners of the annual award presented by the Frontiersman and the Mat-Su Sea Hawkers, a local nonprofit, which supports sports and community interests throughout the Valley. The award comes with a $1,000 scholarship. There is a check presentation scheduled for July 2 at Hermon Brothers Field prior to the Mat-Su Miners game against the Anchorage Bucs.
Lyle was one of five class of 2019 graduates nominated by their respective schools. The list of nominees also included Marrett Mollnow (Colony), Lexi Rau (Houston), Teanna Nicholai (Palmer) and Ashlee Voorhis (Wasilla). Nominations were based on criteria that included a minimum GPA of 3.3 and participation in at least one varsity sport.
Lytle said she’s proud to be part of the first four-year class at Redington.
“We got to spend all four years on the same team. We really got to know each other,” Lytle said.
Lytle competed in volleyball, basketball and soccer during her time at Redington. Even though she was balancing academics and three different sports, Lytle said sports helped her through it.
“Sports gave me the relief when I was stressed about school work,” Lytle said.
Lytle also had supportive people around her she said, noting family and her science teacher, Andrea Thompson, specifically.
“Sometimes the workload was really big,” Lytle said.
But whenever she was in jeopardy of getting behind, Thompson was there for her, Lytle said. Thompson also helped fuel Lytle’s love of science and desire to study science after high school.
“(Science) was a very enjoyable class for me for four years. (Thompson) really made me it enjoy it,” Lytle said.
Lytle said the opportunity to spend her summers in the remote seaside community of Seldovia also helped inspire her.
“Everybody is out enjoying the marine life down here,” Lytle, who is working in Seldovia this summer, said. “Otters, whales, seals, I really enjoy that aspect a lot.”
In the fall Lytle said she will be studying in England. After that she will attend the University of Alaska Southeast to study marine biology.
“I figure a degree in marine biology will get me what I need,” Lytle said.
Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman managing editor Jeremiah Bartz at firstname.lastname@example.org.