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Senior Feature: Ayla Crowell

Ayla Crowell at a robotics competition

The Class of 2024 is among the last of classes whose high school career was heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, strong personalities have emerged from that battle, one being graduating senior Ayla Crowell. She is about to graduate from the Math, Science, and Technology (MST) Magnet program, Camas band, and Camas Robotics Team.

Crowell playing for Camas band

Before coming to CHS, Crowell attended Prune Hill Elementary School and Skyridge Middle School. She heavily involved herself in numerous extracurricular activities from middle school until her transition to high school. 

At Skyridge, Crowell was part of the school’s Science Olympiad team, eventually becoming team captain. She competed in an event called “Game-On,” where competitors would build a complete game in Scratch—a code-building program—in accordance with a given theme within the allotted time. The event challenged competitors’ understanding of the principles of coding and idea building, skills that Crowell would continue to use throughout her high school career. 

Crowell at the December Research Symposium

However, come freshman year, Crowell left Science Olympiad to pursue a more computer science oriented activity. 

“I pretty much put all of my time and energy into the robotics team, Team 2471 ‘Mean Machine,’” Crowell said. “I joined early as an eighth grader and then quickly became a big part of the team. Now, I’ve been president and lead programmer for three years.”

In their busiest season, Crowell put over 500 hours into robotics alone. She put additional time into the Camas marching band as trombone section leader and presented her research at the annual MST Magnet research symposiums. All throughout her journey, she was faced with challenges on methods she could organize her schedule. 

“Now I prioritize sleep a bit more, especially when my parents require that I get enough sleep to drive myself places,” Crowell said. “Work smarter, not harder, and get to sleep because it will catch up to you.”

Crowell manages her time using Google Keep and Google Calendar. Through these two applications, she’s able to keep track of deadlines from school, work, and robotics, ensuring that she never misses an event. 

Crowell is the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships including the Cooke College Scholarship and the Amazon Future Engineers Award. Those scholarships have given her nearly $90,000 in scholarship money toward funding her Computer Science degree at the University of Washington. Throughout this entire journey, Crowell commends her sophomore year AP Biology teacher, Brianna Abraham, for helping her feel connected to the CHS community. 

“Abe still found ways to keep me in the magnet community, which was really sweet of her, even though I was completely online [for that year],” Crowell said. 

The Class of 2024 was among the last class severely affected by lockdowns placed on schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, seniors like Crowell and many others have been able to push through the difficulties of online learning and diversify themselves with involved extracurricular activities. 

Now, Crowell joins the UW Huskies where she will study Computer Science and become a full-time intern at Autodesk.

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Florence Liang
Florence Liang, Staff Writer

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