Student of the month: if there’s a Will there’s a way

Will “races” across the field / Photographer: Eve Eon


Congratulations to Will Stephens for being recognized as Student of the Month.

Stephens, a looming figure in the Class of 2024, stands out with his Adidas track pants and a smile bigger than his stride. Born in Seattle, Stephens was driven right back to Orcas Island, where he has spent his entire life. Living on a farm with his little brother and parents, Stephens has grown up driving tractors, jumping on trampolines, and camping in his own backyard in the company of twinkling stars.

“Ever since meeting the guy, I’ve always wondered how many hundreds of track pants he must have had. Seeing that guy running with his backpack towards Olga has inspired me to get up off my couch,” Theo Vaccarella stated, a friend of Stephens who reportedly holds him in a “high regard.” Stephens is a
past and active member of the Viking’s Cross Country team, running in 5k races spanning from urban Bellingham to the forests of southern Washington.

Starting out in the Parks and Rec running club, Stephens quickly found a love for running, being
able to transport himself wherever he so desired. He joined the Cross Country
team in 7th grade and has steadily improved in speed
since then. Running for long periods of time takes a physical toll on the body, which Stephens learned the hard way. Acquiring a leg sprain from a race in Friday Harbor, he was forced to use crutches for the majority of the fall sports season. Seeing this figure, going from running miles at a time to jumping around on crutches, cast a depressive lull on Orcas Island High School, a community hoping for the sprightful return of this young man.

A small selection of Stephens’ hobbies include membership in Orcas Island Reproductive Health Initiative, debating in Model UN, coding in Java, and playing video games late into the night. He is interested in going to college after high school to obtain a computer science degree, which he hopes will land him a career in software development. One of Stephens’ favorite subjects is math with Ryan Kennedy, where mint Altoids and a communicative atmosphere allow for a productive time. His primary motivation being a fear of the future, Stephens can push through strenuous mental tasks and still keep grinning.

Stephens holds a moral philosophy of utilitarianism, choosing to do whatever does the most good for the most people, which has earned him quite the reputation on campus.

From playing trombone to running all around the island, Stephens shows his true character through his favorite activities. Thank you Will, for being a Viking role model in the Class of 2024.