Class of 2010: Cody Narte put personal life on back burner to finish school
By BRIAN OLSON
North Kitsap Herald Schools/Sports reporter
June 18, 2010 · Updated 10:37 PM
POULSBO — For Cody Narte, family and food are connected. Both have always been important parts of his life.
So when one began to fall apart, he clung to the other to help get him through his senior year.
“This year’s been a challenge,” Narte said. “Not just for me individually, but my family. My parents separated this year. But I kind of kept that on the down-low. I didn’t let that really affect the way I worked in school.”
Narte, 18, focused his attention instead on his future goal of becoming a chef.
“My culture being Native, Filipino and Italian, food is a big part of my life,” he said. “It means family to me. And being able to prepare a meal that can feed a family, it means a lot to me.”
Narte knew he needed to graduate from North Kitsap High before he could enter culinary school. But he struggled to stay focused on his schoolwork.
“I had a pretty bad paradigm develop,” Narte said. “I didn’t like school at all. The way I grew up, my family didn’t like school at all. It’s kind of a mentality we have.”
Narte, a member of the Nooksack Tribe, found his interest in school renewed when he became president of the United Natives Club at North Kitsap High. As part of his duties with the club, Narte organized the school’s annual Native American Assembly in May.
“It took about two weeks of absolute crunch time to get that together,” he said. “It was pretty stressful, but I’ve gotten a lot of comments from people saying it was one of the best they had seen.”
With the help of Beckie Clark, a counselor and teacher at North, Narte maintained a focus on his studies throughout the year.
“She actually gave me a lot of support and help,” Narte said. “Without her, I probably would not make it this year.”
Family has also continued to be a factor driving Narte toward his diploma.
“Since my brother graduated, and it was a whole huge family thing, I guess that was kind of a motivation for me to apply myself so I can graduate after him and not be held back or anything,” he said.
Narte will indeed graduate. He will walk in North Kitsap’s commencement ceremony at 7 p.m. tonight.
Over the summer, Narte plans to work as much as possible and save enough money to move to Seattle. He plans to take culinary classes at Seattle Central Community College, and may later transfer to the Art Institute of Seattle. In addition to his culinary interests, Narte dabbles in photography and painting.
“Art’s pretty interesting,” he said. “I try to apply myself in different fields.”Contact North Kitsap Herald Schools/Sports reporter Brian Olson at firstname.lastname@example.org.