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From serving on the Washington State School Directors Association to serving as a state representative, Alex Ybarra is a Wildcat that wears many hats.

After graduating from Quincy High School in 1979, Ybarra attended college at Gonzaga University for about two and a half years. With the first years of college going different than expected, he decided to take a break and return to Quincy to work at Columbia Foods and save money to go back to school.

When he was ready to return, he spoke with the math department at Central and said, “Look, I want to finish my degree in the least amount of time as possible.” Because he had previously completed engineering courses, his advisor was confident that enrolling in the math program would help him finish his degree quickly. Ybarra worried about this path because he hadn’t taken math courses in several years, but his advisor reassured him, saying, “Alex, don’t worry, we’ll get you through.”

It was this vote of confidence that led Ybarra to enroll in the math program at Central and finish with his degree in only five quarters, graduating in 1989 and beginning his career as an engineer.

His favorite memory of his time in Ellensburg is one that is common among many Wildcats. “I loved going to The Tav, getting a Super Mother burger, shooting pool, and just hanging out,” said Ybarra.

Ybarra would later use his Central education as a foundation to get his MBA from the University of Phoenix, and work for the Rocket Research Company as an engineer for military and aerospace products for 14 years.

Currently, Ybarra is a 13th Legislative District representative, works as a reliability and compliance auditor for Grant County PUD, was named to the state’s commission on Hispanic Affairs, served as the vice president Washington State School Directors Association, and retired last month from serving on the Quincy School Board since 2011.

His busy schedule seems like a lot to juggle, but he says that with his only daughter away at college in Utah, it helps fill his time as an empty nester.

With the many great things that Ybarra has already accomplished in life, we look forward to seeing what comes next.

January 07, 2020