Ryan Hogan is a transformer. A survivor. A solid student and friend.
When the Secondary Academy for Success (SAS) senior walked through the Bothell high school’s doors four years ago, he was still devastated from his experiences at his junior high school.
“I was teased, pretty much bullied every day, and the teachers did nothing about it,” he said last Thursday while relaxing in the SAS lounge. “The rumors about my ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) didn’t help. I didn’t understand how to argue — so I sort of gave in.”
High school was next, but Hogan, now 18, didn’t want to follow his junior-high classmates to Woodinville.
“I couldn’t take it anymore and was really depressed,” he said. “I only had one friend at that school (junior high) … I wasn’t gonna go there (Woodinville).”
Enter SAS, and a new life for Hogan. He’ll graduate with more than full credit and in the top percentage of his class at 7 p.m. June 13 at the Northshore Performing Arts Center.
In his time there, Hogan has made copious friends — students and teachers alike — led the school’s environmental Green Team, excelled in his studies and recently earned two $1,000 scholarships from the Greater Bothell Chamber of Commerce and the Northshore Parent Teacher Student Association.
Principal Holly Call has known Hogan the whole way and is impressed with his accolades. Last Thursday, she proudly pointed to the mammoth Chamber of Commerce check leaning against some cabinets in the SAS front office.
“I have seen him transform from a shy, fearful young boy to a confident, well-spoken, involved young man,” Call said.
Added Hogan on the scholarships: “It’s really good. I wasn’t really expecting to get it. I thought I might as well try.”
Much like he did by attending school at SAS.
With his ADHD on the mend through what he feels was “maturing,” Hogan stepped into his new world and thrived by making friends and performing well in class. The Woodinville resident said he’s made more friends in four years than he thought possible.
“I was just accepted for who I was. I didn’t have to watch what I was doing, I could be myself,” he said. “I’m on everyone’s good side.
“I’m focused and found out who I am: a fun, nice guy.”
He’s also kind to the environment through his involvement with the Green Team. He’s always been an avid recycler, and jumped aboard when the school started the program. “I always thought we’re just wasting all our resources,” he said about why he’s a Green Teamer.
In the classroom, he’s good with grammar and gained science knowledge from his favorite teacher Greg Kuehnoel. Hogan is also active with the Duvall Church: he helped his dad and others construct the building, and he played Jesus in a live Nativity scene.
His experiences at SAS have given him strength to become more outgoing and involved in the community.
“I could have graduated a half-year ago,” he said, noting that the friendly atmosphere kept him coming back. “I’m depressed when I’m sick and have to miss school.”
So what does the future hold for Hogan? He plans on taking the summer off from his two-year job at the Cottage Lake Safeway and contemplating two career paths: an editor or a pyrotechnic (he’s interested in the choreography and mixing the colors of fireworks during displays).
“I’m scared,” said Hogan, who may attend a two-year college. “Working for the rest of my life doesn’t sound appealing.”
The sound of fireworks does, and Hogan just may be the hit of a Fourth of July gathering sometime soon.