From working on films to flying planes: alumni update

From working on films to flying planes: alumni update
Litchfield has been all over the world thanks to his piloting job. “We go to Central America, Mexico, Canada and sometimes even Europe,” Litchfield said.
Ben Litchfield

A 2009 Inglemoor graduate, Ben Litchfield (he/him) flies Boeing 737 planes for Sun Country Airlines. As a high schooler, Litchfield didn’t know what he wanted to do in the future.

“I knew more of what I didn’t want to do rather than what I wanted to do. I knew I didn’t want to sit at a desk all day. I knew I didn’t want to do hard manual labor,” Litchfield said. “Flying checked all the boxes of my sense of adventure.”

Litchfield said that the benefits of being a pilot include only working once or twice a month and free flights on any U.S. airline, if the flight has an open seat.

“There happened to be two open first-class seats. [So I took] my mom to South Korea, flying first class over there for free. And then she was just like, ‘I shouldn’t be up here, I shouldn’t.’ And I’m like, ‘Come on. This is where you’re supposed to be,’” Litchfield said.

He said that the Running Start program helped him gain independence and prepare for college.

“There’s a lot of pressure of having to have everything all figured out. You know, what you’re doing after college, setting yourself up for college, getting good grades in high school,” he said.

Litchfield took a year off before going to community college, and after community college, he attended a four-year college.

“Don’t be so hard on yourself, because you got time to figure it out,” Litchfield said. “Take time, figure it out, travel and see the world while you’re young and healthy.”

Litchfield has been all over the world thanks to his piloting job. “We go to Central America, Mexico, Canada and sometimes even Europe,” Litchfield said. (Photo courtesy of Ben Litchfield)
Anna Richards
Anna Richards

After graduating from Inglemoor in 2015, alumna Anna Richards (she/her) worked in fields ranging from creating video games to film. Now, she’s pursuing a master’s degree in television writing in Germany.

At her last job, Richards put together the finances of visual effects for Technicolor Creative Studios. One of the largest and most stressful projects she worked on was managing the environments team, who created all the trees and houses for “Avatar: The Way of Water.”

“When I was on Avatar, we had to deal with the director James Cameron, and we had to learn how to work with him and the people below him who had a lot of power and keep them calm when things were stressful,” Richards said. “Even though that’s not a specific skill you learn in school, it’s really been important to my career of handling stressful situations and keeping other people calm.”

Richards said her passion for film originated in her high school IB Film class taught by Katrina Allemeier (she/her).

“Taking Mrs. Allemeier’s IB film class was the first film class I had ever taken, and it really informed my future,” Richards said. “I pursued different areas of film: editing, visual effects and now writing.”

Richards said the film industry is very diverse, with jobs ranging from computer programming to equipment specialists and writers. Her favorite part of the job is bringing ideas to life through film.

“There’s always something different happening every day,” Richards said. “No day is the same as the last, so I really love that about the film industry — it’s always exciting.”

Tatevik Aprikyan hosts “The Why” on Scripps Network.
Tatevik Aprikyan

Tatevik Aprikyan (she/her), who graduated from Inglemoor in 2007, has anchored local and national newscasts. She was a anchor/reporter in Seattle, New York, Boston, and Chicago. She also had her own national show called “The Why” based out of Chicago, which covered social and political topics
such as former Olympians, NASA astronauts and Ukraine.

“There’s just been such a range of topics that I’ve done, and such a range of interviews, and they’ve all been amazing,” Aprikyan said. “Some have been very challenging, some have been wonderful, and that’s what I love about the
job: you get to do everything.”

Aprikyan dreamed of being a news anchor as a kid. Working in television allowed her to do both the writing and visual aspects of storytelling.

“To be able to have that responsibility to tell that story beautifully and respectfully and allow that person to shine in their voice and in their interview, I take that very, very seriously, and I don’t take it for granted, and it’s a privilege to do this job,” Aprikyan said.

While at Inglemoor, Aprikyan received the IB diploma and participated in four sports. Additionally, she interned at KUOW-NPR Seattle and wrote a biweekly column for the Bothell-Kenmore reporter that focused on youth issues. With her rigorous schedule, Aprikyan said she felt extremely grateful to have such an encouraging community around her.

“I had big dreams when I was in high school, and now looking back, everything that I’ve wanted to accomplish in my career, I’ve been able to do that,” Aprikyan said. “I was very fortunate to have gone to Inglemoor, where they champion those kinds of dreams, so people like me could do that kind of career path.”

Tatevik Aprikyan hosts “The Why” on Scripps Network. ( Photo courtesy of Tatevik Aprikyan)
Hanna Dinh Hsieh
Hanna Dinh Hsieh

Hanna Dinh Hsieh (she/her), a 2009 Inglemoor graduate, is a project manager at UW Medicine in the Digital Health Office. She works with other departments to care for patients through digital health means.

“Some of my work requirements include facilitating project team meetings with stakeholders,” Dinh Hsieh said. “I work with a variety of stakeholders, from frontline staff all the way to chief executives, and a lot of various clinical departments as well just depending on the project.”

Dinh Hsieh said her experiences at Inglemoor started her path into medicine. She said she always wanted to go into the medical field but wasn’t sure which specific career to pursue. Her science classes at Inglemoor exposed her to the college work she would do if she chose to become a doctor. Dinh Hsieh decided to focus on management instead of a career in the sciences and got her bachelor’s degree in public health and her master’s degree in Health Administration at the University of Washington.

“It’s okay to not have your career aspirations completely figured out,” Dinh Hsieh said. “Just be open in your career, and be comfortable with this journey being very circuitous. It can zigzag, it can go sideways; it’s never going to be a straight line.”

Dinh Hsieh said it was important to just try things out. Whenever an opportunity comes by, she recommends giving it a chance.

“Don’t be afraid to try new experiences,” Dinh Hsieh said. “You never know where they’re going to take you.”

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About the Contributors
Amy Zhao (she/her), Reporter
Sophomore Amy Zhao is the author of several books and graphic novels, including 16 Psyche and Invasion of the Aliens. She is very excited to be on the Nordic team and is passionate about cultivating creativity, expressing important messages, and sharing helpful tips through her writing. At school, Amy is involved in Honor Society and is the Sophomore Class Representative executive for DECA. When she is not writing, she can be found searching for the best bubble tea on the planet or drowning in her collection of plushies.
Iris Huang (she/her), Junior PR Manager
Sophomore Iris Huang can’t wait to start her second year in Nordic News as Junior PR Manager. She is excited to meet new people and improve her writing skills throughout the year! Iris swims for Inglemoor, plays flute in the school’s band, and participates in clubs like DECA and National Honor Society. Outside of school, she enjoys listening to music, sleeping, doing art, and hanging out with friends.

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