Kyle Brown and Marena Decker, seniors at Horizon Christian School, have been chosen as the Elks Students of the Month for March 2019.
Brown is the son of Justin and Misty Connely and Ken and Christy Brown. His brother and sister, Kameron and Kloee, attend Grand Canyon University in Arizona, and his sister, Caitlyn, attends Linfield College in McMinnville. At Horizon, Brown has served as vice-president on the school leadership team both his junior and senior years. An honor roll member all four years of high school and a member of the National Honor Society, Brown maintains a 3.64 cumulative GPA. He has earned college credit through Columbia Gorge Community College and Grand Canyon University through taking courses including Advanced U.S. History, Advanced Literature, Advanced Chemistry, Advanced Language/Composition and Business Math. He is on track to have his first college year completed when he enrolls as a freshman at Grand Canyon University this fall.
Brown has participated in soccer and basketball all four years of high school and was chosen MVP for both sports his sophomore and junior years. He served as soccer team captain for two years and was chosen for Second Team All-League his senior year. He served as team captain for the basketball team for two years, and received the Coaches Award and Christian Character Award for JV and varsity basketball, respectively.
He was part of the Horizon Varsity basketball district championship team that went on to compete in the state playoffs this season.
Brown has dedicated many hours of community service, including doing clean-up for Glacier Electric, serving food and bussing tables for the White Salmon Elks Lodge, picking up trash along Highway 141 with the White Salmon Rotary Club, doing yard work with his class and volunteering for Hearts of Hospice. Brown believes that “true kindness is doing something for someone who can’t repay you.” This belief is witnessed in his volunteer work at Hawks Ridge, where he reads to elderly residents, and his work with Bridgetown Ministries, where he visited with the homeless, brushed their hair, washed their feet and listened to their stories.
Outside of his studies, sports and volunteer work, Brown stays busy bussing tables, running food, and servicing rooms at the Riverside Inn at Best Western Plus Hood River Inn. Brown plans to attend Grand Canyon University in the fall, majoring in business management, with the goal of one day owning his own business. He also plans to do some traveling.
Decker is the daughter of Stan and Tonya Decker. She has a brother, William, who is at the United States Air Force Academy, and a sister, Augustina, who is a student at Horizon. A member of the National Honor Society, Decker maintains a 4.08 cumulative GPA. She has taken college credit courses, including Advanced U.S. History, Advanced Chemistry and Advanced Language/Composition, as well as AP courses, including AP Literature, AP Physics and AP Calculus.
During her four years at Horizon, Decker has served as president, vice president, secretary and committee head for the student body leadership team. She has been a mentor for small groups, tutored sixth grade math, and participated in the Toastmasters Youth Program. An athlete as well, Decker has played varsity basketball for three years and received the Aldrich Leadership Award in 2018, the Christian Character Award in 2017 and 2018, and played on the district winning and state placing teams in 2017 and 2018. Decker also participates in track and field. She placed second in district and seventh in state in 1A discus in 2018 and this year serves as team captain.
Decker also plays handball. Horizon awarded Decker the Work Ethic Award in 2017 and the Inspiration Award in 2018.
Decker has clocked many volunteer hours, donating her time to various projects. She served with Amor Ministries in 2018 in its mission trip to Mexico. She also volunteered at the Teen Reach Adventure Camp, the Service and Fundraiser Group and worked at the Triple Threat Basketball Camp. She also volunteered at the WAAAM Museum.
Outside of school, Decker stays busy with her work on the family farm and is self-employed as a nursery supplier of shrubs and grasses. She has also worked for McPheeters’ Turf, Mid-Columbia Insurance and was a standards and evaluations intern for Insitu in the summer of 2018. Decker has earned her private pilot’s license and has more than 70 hours of piloting time in a single engine plane.
After graduation, Decker is considering attending LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas, Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, Wash., or Central Oregon Community College in Bend. She plans to major in professional flight with a minor in aviation maintenance. She hopes to have a career as a flight instructor, airline pilot or aircraft mechanic.