Our New Students, From Near and Far

Saya in the computer lab

Saya in the computer lab / Photographer: Chris Waage

Our high school has welcomed some amazing new additions to our student body this year. Among this new group of students are Samantha Peterson and Saya Takeuchi.

Samantha Peterson is a junior who recently transferred from Odessa, Washington. Her interests include volleyball, dogs, and the color blue. Peterson loves Orcas Island High School so far, and has been very grateful for the kind students and staff members here. According to her, our school is pretty different than her previous one. She mentioned, “my old school was really bad when it came to bullying, and so far I haven’t had any problems with that here.”

Saya Takeuchi is a sophomore who is spending the school year on Orcas as an exchange student. She is from Yokohama, Japan, which is right near Tokyo. Although she has only lived on the island for about two months, she finds it extremely welcoming. Similar to Peterson, Takeuchi really loves how kind and friendly everyone is here, both on the island and at our school. She remarked, “not all of us, but some Japanese people, are humble and too serious to talk to, so I was very surprised by that difference.” Takeuchi said she also likes animals and nature, which are both plentiful on Orcas. When asked what the big difference between Orcas Island High School and her school back in Japan is, she replied that it would definitely be the number of people. At her school, middle and high school are connected. “There are over 2,000 students in my school and over 450 in my grade. I cannot completely recognize who is who,” she said. “But here, there are not so many students, so I can be friends with all of them and we can get to know each other very well. I feel like we are tied with a deep bond. I really like it.”