Shawn VanTassel

Age: 38

Residence: Alger

Occupation: Electrician; cross country coach at Sedro-Woolley High School

What’s Your favorite thing about Skagit County? “I like the access to the water and the mountains. You can go onto the water and play, and go to the mountains and play. I like the farmland, too.”

What’s the farthest you’ve ever traveled? “To Italy. We went through Rome, hit all the tourist sites, the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Went over there and explored a bit.”

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? “When I was really younger, I wanted to be a firefighter. (Then) I wanted to be a baseball player.”

Have you met anyone famous? “I met Bill Gates. He came to Sedro-Woolley to look at the Omni Processor.”

How are you spending time when so many people are cooped up because of COVID-19? “We’ve been outside a lot. We’re social distancing, but we’ve spent time in the woods, running, hiking. I’ve been staying healthy by staying outside and being active.”

What are your favorite places to run? “I like Northern State. Trails are always an option. I like the trails out at the airport. They’re all close and convenient, good places to get miles in. I do like Bellingham, too. We do a lot of biking at Galbraith. I’ve been up there quite a bit.”

What was your favorite subject in school? “History. I just liked hearing the stories. I had a really good history teacher with a lot of experience. They captivated the room with their own life history tied with history. I liked gym class, too.”

Who was your favorite athlete when you were younger? “Nolan Ryan of the Texas Rangers. I thought he was the coolest guy ever. He was a good pitcher, good guy. I was a big Texas Rangers fan when I was younger.”

What’s something you find yourself recommending to people? “The book ‘Extreme Ownership’ (by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin) about how the Marines guide and lead. That’s more on the motivation side of things.”

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