When Eleanor Stalick was 3 years old, her grandfather, Dr. Robert Stalick, pulled her mother Theresa aside.
As a public schools superintendent in Oregon with a doctorate in education, Robert Stalick knew how to spot gifted children.
“Your biggest challenge is going to be keeping her challenged,” he told Stalick’s mother.
And he was right.
As a student, Stalick has always been ahead of the curve.
The National Merit Scholar tested into the Longview School District’s program for highly capable learners in second grade, and she started attending Lower Columbia College when she was 13.
“I don’t want to say I was bored in middle school, but I needed some other stuff to do,” the R.A. Long graduate said in a recent interview.
Stalick started with a simple art class on sketching at LCC, and soon she was taking night and evening classes at the college. A couple years later — at the age of 15 — she had her first associates degree in hand.
Stalick has taken summer classes every year since the eighth grade, and she now has more than 200 college credits with two associates degrees in arts and sciences. She recently completed college classes in physics, computer science, calculus and linear algebra.
After earning her first diploma, Stalick contemplated transfering to a four-year university.
But then she realized that she didn’t want to miss out on the high school experience.
“My motto has always been to try everything,” she said.
Stalick played varsity soccer and ran varsity track as freshman through sophomore year, and later switched to running for the R.A. Long’s varsity cross country team.
Similar to other areas of her life, Stalick said she enjoys the individual challenge that comes with distance running.
"I like it because it's a sport where you can rely on yourself," she said. "You have a team there to help you, but in the end everything that you do comes down to hard you want to work it."
In addition to academics and athletics, Stalick is also a passionate musician.
She started playing cello in the R.A. Long orchestra in eighth grade after witnessing her brothers play the instrument growing up.
“It’s kind of like the glue that holds my whole world together,” she said of the instrument.
Stalick will attend the University of Pennsylvania in the fall, where she will double major in political science and computer science.
Stalick said she wants to focus on cybersecurity, with an emphasis on working with other countries to develop a coherent policy on the growing problem.
(She added that her interest in cybersecurity predates the 2016 election.)
After graduating, Stalick said she could see herself working in government..
Stalick said she chose the top-ranked university because she wants to continue to be surrounded by high achievers.
"It really motivates me to be around people who are at a really high level," she said.