Our school: Seton Catholic Cougars

A loving, faith-based environment 

Student leaders Jerrica Pachl and David Carrion describe what makes Seton Catholic High School so special.

It is Jerrica Pachl’s go-to place to be.

David Carrion commutes an hour each way just to go there.

“Honestly, I could not imagine myself going anywhere else. It is truly my happy place,” Pachl said. “I love being at school. When I’m not at school, I find an excuse to be at school because I love the environment there.”

David Carrion would commute an hour, each way, to attend Seton Catholic. He said all that mileage was worth it. Photo courtesy David Carrion.
David Carrion would commute an hour, each way, to attend Seton Catholic. He said all that mileage was worth it. Photo courtesy David Carrion.

Carrion lives in Toutle, roughly 60 miles from campus, but that does not keep him from Seton Catholic.

“It’s a lot of mileage, but definitely worth it,” he said.

Carrion is a three-sport athlete, a member of the National Honor Society, is in the newspaper club, and he started an outdoors club as his senior project.

“Seton is very special and unique. The only catholic high school in Southwest Washington. That has a big impact on the way we view ourselves as a high school and the impact we have in the community around us. I have a connection with 90, 95 percent of the school. That’s definitely special.”

Pachl, as well, is a three-sport athlete for the Cougars. She is the public relations officer for ASB, an ambassador for the school, and is involved in campus ministry.

Jerrica Pachl said all of Seton Catholic High School is her support system. Photo courtesy Jerrica Pachl
Jerrica Pachl said all of Seton Catholic High School is her support system. Photo courtesy Jerrica Pachl

“Oh, Seton is family. That is what it is. Everybody is super caring for one another,” Pachl said. “When I tore my ACL my sophomore year, I had students calling me, asking me if I was OK. Everyone there was my support team.”

She noted that the school’s principal gives out birthday cards to every student. 

“We all have one goal, to make it through high school successfully, together,” Pachl said.

She brags about her school as an ambassador.

“I love the idea of being part of the legacy at Seton, being involved as much as I can,” she said.

These interviews were conducted after Washington schools were closed for six weeks but before the governor cancelled in-building learning for the rest of the academic year. Now, the Cougars are doing online courses but will not be back on campus.

Carrion and Pachl said they miss track and field season and the energy the sport brings to the whole school. 

Mostly, though, they miss being with all their friends and teachers.

“We are doing online classes, but it’s a different level of connection,” Carrion said. “Face to face is really important in learning.”

“I miss being in the classroom,” Pachl added.

They also are missing out on Wednesday’s mass, a gathering of all students, every week. Carrion plays guitar at mass.

Even though they will not return to campus as students, they will always have special memories from Seton Catholic. When they see the school colors, or the mascot, they will smile.

“Every time I see it, I’m proud to be a student at Seton Catholic,” Carrion said. “I’m proud to have gone all four years and how much it has taught me. It really hits home.”

“Being a small school and seeing the school colors make me proud to be a Cougar,” Pachl added. “Representing our school colors proudly, it definitely makes for an important impact.”

Carrion did not know hardly anyone when he first came to Seton Catholic. He went to public school, an hour away, until his freshman year.

“I was still able to create very strong bonds with my classmates,” Carrion said. “Anyone can start fresh at Seton. They give it their all, and they can do great things. Everyone would have a great experience at Seton.”

Advice to other students during the school closure:

“Just stay positive,” Pachl said. “To the Class of 2020, we are such a strong class. This isn’t going to stop us. Our school community isn’t just inside the school. We’re all here for each other.”

Carrion said to stay in contact with classmates and keep an optimistic outlook on things.

“Just think of all the things we have in our life that we can be grateful for,” he said.


About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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