After accident in 6th grade, he had to re-learn everything

MARYSVILLE – Christopher Leonard has a 3.9 grade point average – amazing considering he can’t remember anything before he was in a bicycle accident in 2008.

Leonard said he was in a coma for three days after suffering a severe head injury in a bike mishap on Sunnyside Boulevard when he was in the sixth grade. “I dodged a bullet,” he said, adding he had motor skills, but no memory, even of his family.

“I had to learn everything from the ground up again,” he said. Leonard said he became dedicated to learning everything he could, “Because I didn’t want to lag behind and be a burden on everybody I know.” He said he would read and read and read, even college-level books like the Iliad.

Leonard and fellow Marysville Getchell High School senior Lucy Seitz are this month’s Boy and Girl of the Month, as picked by the Marysville Kiwanis and Soroptimist clubs. Both will receive plaques at Monday night’s School Board meeting, will be honored by both clubs, and will be eligible for club scholarships.

Leonard said he wants to be remembered as the “quirky, red-velvet cookie British guy.”

He’s not British, but he’s been told he sounds like he has that accent after the bike accident. And he used to bring cookies to school to cheer up his classmates.

From 2015-2017 he was House Head at the International School of Communications. As a student leader and mentor, he often acted as a mediator between students, staff and administrators. He felt called to do that after the shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck a few years ago after he saw so many classmates sink into depression.

He has been active this year, speaking out at School Board meetings in favor of keeping MG four academies.

Leonard wants to tell stories, fictional or real, as a writer. But he thinks he may have to learn another skill, too.

“I might need a day job, and then write,” he said.

He plans to go to Harvard or the University of Washington and major in English, economy or law. He did play a lawyer on the school’s Mock Trial team.

Leonard started playing tuba at 10th Street School. He has been in the marching band and received an “Excellent rating at the Puget Sound Solo and Ensemble.

He received a perfect score on the National Latin Exam, and a letter of commendation from the National Merit Scholarship Corp. Leonard has taken college-level classes in Physics, Biology, Language Arts, Latin and English. For community service, he was involved with the Sunnyside garden.

Seitz, who has a 3.6 grade point average, is interested in attending Seattle Pacific, Western Washington or the University of Victoria and studying psychology. She first became interested in that field by watching the old TV show “Frazier.” She later learned this state needs more in the way of mental health, and she wants to contribute to society.

She said she is open to lots of different things. She could be a researcher studying poverty, prisons or the affects of war or she could become a counselor or therapist.

Seitz also is interested in international politics. As a sophomore she and a few others started the Model United Nations Club. Everyone in the club represents a certain country, and they discuss world issues from the perspective of that country. She said it can be challenging.

“It’s different cultures and different belief systems,” she said, adding she would like to study abroad in the future, after traveling to England and France in the past.

Seitz is editor of the yearbook and co-wrote a 107-page mystery script that will be turned into a movie by the school in the future. She’s also on the fashion, Latin and Writing for Publications clubs.

For community service, she’s grown vegetables at the Sunnyside garden to donate to the food bank, cleaned shelves at the Marysville library, fed the homeless with the Salvation Army and cleaned Marysville Middle School during “serve week” at her church.