The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Meet Our Seniors: Brenden Pope


March 25, 2021

By Diana Zimmerman

Brenden Pope made a personal decision last year to transfer to Wahkiakum High School because he valued his education and wanted to feel not just valued, but seen in the classroom, something he said he had never felt during his time in the Longview School District.

"They were letting me slip through the cracks," Brenden said. "They were just pushing me through the system. It's way better here."

Brenden still lives in Longview, making the drive to Cathlamet each day.

"People are a lot better up here, teachers actually care," Brenden said. "You aren't seen as just a price tag."

His three favorite teachers at WHS are Don Cox, Marc Niemeyer, and Kyle Hurley.

"Mr. Cox finds ways to keep the class interesting," Brenden said. "Last year in his United States history class, when we discussed World War II, he had us research our own submarine unit and do a project on it. We went into both sides of WWII, with the German front and the Pacific front, discussing their motivations, their economies, and the technology they had at the time."

"Mr. Niemeyer is just an all around stand up guy," he added. "Mr. Hurley is a laid back teacher, but not so laid back that kids can get away with stuff in his class."

If Brenden has to pick a favorite class, it's probably weightlifting, but it's for a variety of reasons. One is Mr. Niemeyer, who encourages independence, recognizing that sometimes a student needs to work and sometimes they need to rest, and trusting them to know the difference.

"You can work through stuff while you're working out," Brenden said. "Instead of going to a party, getting drunk, and destroying your body and your mind, you can break your body down, which in the gym, will just make it stronger."

For fun, he likes to cruise around on his board or ride his bike at the bike park in Longview.

"If it's a nice day, and I feel like it, I'll tighten up the screws on my board and hang out," Brenden said.

He is considering future plans, and his mind is currently on the Merchant Marines or the Navy.

"I pretty much grew up on the water. Since I can remember, me and my dad, every Sunday morning he'd have off work, he'd wake me up at the crack of dawn and say, hey, we're going fishing."

Brenden is the son of Stephanie Smith and Lee Pope.


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