Bailey Sherley

Ellensburg High School senior Bailey Sherley plans to attend Washington State University in the fall.

Contributed | Daily Record

Bailey Sherley will be one of many students in Ellensburg to be graduating from high school at 8 p.m. Thursday. For her, graduating is a rewarding experience that makes her hard work throughout an unusual year worth it.

She had no expectations for graduation, as most of the year has been designed around social distancing. However, the school has been able to organize an in-person graduation, which is something Sherley is looking forward to.

“I feel like it’s a monumental moment and that it’s really nice that we are going to be able to do it alongside all of our peers and classmates,” she said.

Sherley is an Elite Scholar, which is something only a limited number of seniors reach each year. She attributes her academic success to managing a balanced schedule and to the help she received from her “excellent teachers.”

While she excelled in all her subjects, she was particularly interested in agriculture, which has always been a large part of her life.

“I have several relatives who are heavy in agriculture and who are agricultural teachers,” Sherley said. “So, I just kinda grew up in it.”

Through Future Farmers of America (FFA), she was required to have a supervised agricultural experience. She decided to go above and beyond and created her own agricultural business that raised cattle and swine. This involved raising her own animals and creating a business plan.

She has participated in nationals for a couple competitions for FFA and 4-H. She will be participating again for FFA nationals this fall with her team. They will compete visually at first, but if they make it to the semi-finals they will travel to Indianapolis.

Although the year has been a first for everyone, with remote education and a hybrid schedule, it hasn’t really bothered Sherley. She said she liked the hybrid schedule because it gave her more flexibility to work on things like her agriculture business, as well as hobbies outside of school such as skiing and sports. She has played volleyball and tennis for EHS in the past, but couldn’t this year due to an injury.

She is excited to be graduating from high school, and plans to attend college and Washington State University, where she will double major in marketing and agricultural business.