Grace Tacker – A Student Interview


Jacqueline Lemus-Govea, Assistant Editor

Grace Tacker may seem like the average high school junior, but behind that face mask is a person that has had a multitude of life experiences that complement the aspirations she has for her future. Tacker has been in the Centennial School District since kindergarten, and has lived in Oregon her whole life. She has been described as a quick thinker and adaptive to situations, so you know she is able to handle situations under pressure. In terms of pets, Tacker has a cat named Mulaney (whose birthday is on January 12th) and a dog named Barley (whose birthday is on March 23rd). In her free time, Tacker enjoys reading and watching TV shows.

“I like reading, all genres, I’m like that with TV shows too. I really—I’ll watch anything. I’ve watched at least one of every genre, for the most part. I do watch [more TV] more than I read but, when I read I feel like it’s more of a [personal experience]… I do really, really enjoy heist-y things and shows… I like certain character archetypes. I’m really into characters, I prefer characters over plot any day,” said Tacker.

The high-school-experience has looked very different for the majority of high schoolers, since the start of the pandemic, but Tacker is making the most of it. “It’s been difficult, but I’m managing for sure. It is much harder than I thought it was going to be, going from the 3-4 classes to the 7 was a really big jump. It was a really big leap, actually. I feel like a lot of students, not just me, are struggling with that too. I went from having almost straight A’s… this is also my first time taking harder classes, like AP or college [leveled] classes. I feel like they’re just really kicking me right now,” said Tacker. “I’m honestly just looking for the best of it. I know I can get my grades up, I know I can do all the things I need to do to be successful in the school.”

The 2020-21 school year was when Tacker was able to meet one of her favorite teachers: Ms. Kate Aschbocher. “During online, Ms. Aschbocher [taught the] Spanish 3-4 class. I’m very bad at Spanish, but I really, really like her and I thought she was very—not only a good teacher, but also while making sure her students not only understand, but comprehend, and are not feeling mentally and physically exhausted,” said Tacker. “And she really does care about her students’ well-being and not just how they’re doing in school. [She’s my favorite teacher], I wish I could find a time where I could talk to her.”

The speech and debate club was also a huge part of Tacker’s high school career. She said that although she wasn’t necessarily there to be the best in the competitions, she was there for the environment and the people. A lot of the time, she was spending her weekends in uncomfortable, nice clothes while speaking to audiences. But in between tournaments were where some of Tacker’s favorite moments occurred. Tacker said, “We bowled with a coconut, [the] same coconut [was thrown] off a balcony. We [also] saved a bird. There were so many just like fun stories I just have from those specific tournaments alone.”

Outside of school, Tacker is a proud associate of a local Plato’s Closet store. She mentioned that although she may have her differences with this employment she has come to enjoy her experiences and co-workers. “My co-workers are very fun… they are always super quick on their feet and fast-acting, we’re not afraid to go after thieves. It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s worth it in the end because I do get paid minimum wage. I get really good hours,” said Tacker. “….No, it’s a great place, other than some past difficulties working with them—the owners. But it’s overall positive, I get to meet and talk with really fun people who are always interesting and from different schools, so I get that outside-of-centennial kind of environment for a but it’s nice.”

In the future, Tacker hopes to go to college to study psychology and become a therapist. “I would like to go into study psychology, major in that, [and] hopefully become a therapist. I would like to specialize in being a child therapist, we’ll see where that does and how I can get that process there,” said Tacker. “But I’ve always wanted to do that, ever since I kind of got into psychology. I think it’s really—not only beneficial, but it’s a career that can’t die out, and it’s especially really needed during these times.”

Tacker mentioned that the reason she wanted to pursue psychology as a career is because she understands that it’s a career path that won’t die out and because she wants to be a part of that. When asked about what colleges and universities she was planning on applying to, Tacker said, “I’m definitely interested in staying in-state, as it is cheaper, and my goal is free. The ideal. But if I could jump out at an opportunity to go somewhere like on the east coast, or something, I would. But at the moment I’m looking towards Washington State, Oregon State. If I really, really wanted to get confident, Lewis and Clark [College] or Reed [College].” She also said that a huge pull factor in her interests in those particular schools is that she wants to be able to say that she went to the same school as Steve Jobs and Monica Lewinsky.
In preparation for her therapy career, Tacker is tackling some tough classes at the school.
“I’m taking harder classes to be on the radar of more colleges and get those things. I’m taking AP Psychology with Mr. Ruuttilla, with Ryan. But unfortunately he is not here with us, at the moment, which makes the class harder, especially when you have him for two classes. Shout out AP [Government]. It’s definitely a struggle, but we’re getting there,” said Tacker.
In the future, Tacker wants to be a part of a private practice group providing therapy for those who need it most. “Hopefully living on my own, not with a roommate. I don’t need a house or anything, I just need a little apartment. Hopefully I have a bird. I really want a bird. In regard to the near future, Tacker is planning on going on a senior trip with her mom. Though the destination isn’t final, they are potentially going to Ireland or England.

With that being said, Grace Tacker is a person full of exciting ideas and inspirations. It will be interesting to see where she does with the things she learns here at Centennial and beyond.

P.S. her brother is in a heavy metal band, called Silver Talon, and she wants everyone reading this to go stream it!