Student of the Week: Gretchen Shea


Fia Cooper

Reflecting back on her high school years, varsity soccer player Gretchen Shea feels as though her greatest accomplishment was “definitely playing in the state game,” she said.

Noemi Skovierova, Staff Reporter

Senior Gretchen Shea is inspired by her dad to be “hardworking,” both through her soccer career and her classes at La Salle.

Growing up in the Sellwood area of Portland, Shea went to Sellwood Middle School before she started attending La Salle as a freshman. Although her older brother attended La Salle as well, she began to like La Salle due to its size. “I like having a smaller school so it was a little more personal with the teachers,” she said. 

As a senior, Shea has taken on a heavy workload, including AP Calculus, AP Physics, AP United States Government, and Multimedia and Web Development. Though she finds her courses challenging, she appreciates that a lot of her classes are math-focused due to her interest in STEM and engineering. “When I was forecasting, I was like engineer, architect, and women in STEM, so that’s why I picked the physics and calculus class,” she said. 

In addition to her schoolwork, Shea continues to play club soccer throughout the year, even after the La Salle season has ended. “That keeps me pretty busy,” she said.    

During La Salle’s digital learning days in 2020, Shea kept busy by working at the Sellwood Pool and Spa House, while also balancing her schedule with school. “I kind of worked a lot so I feel like it made me realize that I need a better balance,” she says. 

Balancing her school and life has been difficult for Shea, especially with the added stress of her senior year. “Last semester, I ran into the problem of waiting until the last minute to do everything, which is very difficult.” The added pressure of college applications and advanced classes grew to be difficult for Shea. “I make a lot of to-do lists, and try to stay as organized as possible,” she said. “I try to value and use my time well.”

To deal with any other stress she might be feeling from soccer, work, or school, Shea tries to sleep or run to let go of tension. “I try to get as much sleep as possible,” Shea said. On the weekends, besides playing soccer and working, Shea enjoys spending time with her friends and thrifting.

While relaxing from school, Shea also makes an effort to be up to date on current events and educate herself about today’s issues. “I’m trying to listen to more podcasts like news podcasts,” she said. “I really like learning about urgent events and all that kind of stuff.” 

Looking ahead towards her next year as a freshman in college, Shea isn’t sure what she wants to pursue. “I kind of want to branch off even more,” Shea said. After looking at a lot of West Coast schools, Shea is looking forward to hopefully attending school at either the University of Denver or the University of Colorado Springs. 

After wrapping up her semester as a senior, Shea advises incoming and current underclassmen to relax and prioritize themselves. “Just try not to stress yourself out with schoolwork,” she said. “I feel like this year I definitely tried to do a lot which I didn’t really need to do.”