Jola Barnett gave her classification talk this week. 

Jola was born and raised in Sedro Woolley.  

Her grandparents, both of which were from Pittsburg, were married 63 years before her grandfather passed away. When Jola's grandparents met, each one lived on the “wrong side of the tracks,” but they made it work despite the thoughts that others had.  He was in the military and they had three children, one was Jola’s father.  

Jola’s parents will celebrate their 50th anniversary this year.  Jola's mother came from Poland when she was 12 and when her parents met her mother was 17.  Her Father was a smoke jumper.

Jola is the oldest of four girls.  Jola won a $500 savings bond in a baby contest when she was one and she always wanted to be a cowgirl/country singer and move to Nashville.  Her mom and dad were part of a hill climber club and she grew up hunting, fishing, camping, and swimming in the rivers.  

Jola went to Catholic school and participated in singing concerts in high school. She was also a cheerleader and in the show choir.  She even wrote and performed the song for her high school graduation. While in high school Jola went to Europe as an exchange student. This experience sparked an interest in Jola for travel and history.  

Jola graduated from Edmonds Community College in 1988 and was planning a career in the travel industry.  During this time, Jola was looking for a job and decided to go to a panel interview with Blue Cross and was hired. This began her career in the Health Care Industry and moved her away from the travel industry.  

Jola met her husband, Mark, at Dennys and they were engaged in 1988. They will be married 27 years in October. Jola and Mark had their first child, Johnathan.  Jonathan is studying to be a doctor.  In November of 1992 their son Adam was born. And in 2002 their daughter Megan was born on May day.

In 1995 the family moved to Arlington after Mark’s job was transferred to Cascade Valley Hospital.  Jola would visit Mark at work and was eventually offered a job as the switchboard operator at the hospital.  Over time she moved into the operations of the hospital. After 13 promotions in 21 years she is now the VP of Operations. She oversees corporate compliance,is the privacy officer, manages charity, manages departments and many other things.    

Jola loves to fish and boat. This love has spilled over to her daughter, Megan. A few years ago Jola took a dream halibut fishing trip in Alaska. She was also, elected commodore of Dagmars Yacht Club and the Hat Island Yacht Club.  

Jola started a Medical Explorer Post at the hospital for the Scouts after her long involvement in Scouts with her son Adam, who is an Eagle Scout. Because of Jola's involvement and her work with the Medical Explorer Post she received the District Award of Merit from the Mount Baker Council.    

Jola took a glider ride on her 40th birthday crossing a dream off of her bucket list. She enjoys hiking, singing, football, and of course the WSU Cougars. She was also blessed with her first grandbaby this year.

Jola went back to school in 2005. She finished her associates degree and then transferred to WSU. She traveled with the school’s senate club and graduated with a 4.0.  Jola is now an adjunct professor for WSU.  

Her parents raised her to be thoughtful, engaged and respectful.  Jola strives to be that person today and Rotary has helped shape her life.

 
 
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