Big Walnut’s Berger puts quality education first
Senior year has kicked off well for Big Walnut student Katherine Berger.
“So far, it’s been fun,” she said, laughing. “I’m old. It’s the last time I’m going to do these things.”
As she begins her final year participating in high school activities, Katherine is splitting her time also preparing for what’s next. Choosing and applying to various schools is currently a priority, she said.
Denison University is at the top of her list.
“I’m in love with Dennison. It’s so pretty,” she said. The school also has a political science program that interests Katherine. She is also considering Wittenberg and Miami universities.
Although she has some interest in law school, Katherine admits she is not quite sure of her ultimate direction.
“Right now, I just want to get out there and get a good education,” she said.
She had considered a culinary career — she is normally the person who makes the evening meal at home and she does enjoy it, she said.
“I invent new stuff with food,” she said, “I dabble.” She also likes to make items that are not very prevalent in this country, such as homemade cannoli.
Katherine, who also enjoys political science, said she is thinking about studying in Europe, exploring the government process there. With mock trial being the impetus for her potential career choice, it is also the next thing on Katherine’s plate this year. Participating in mock trials since her freshman year, she admits her life will revolve around the case her team has in the coming weeks.
When she first began the exercise, she found she loved it.
“I have a knack for it,” Katherine said. “I like the debating. I like very much being a debater, even if I’m wrong.”
If she does go on to law school, she said she would probably be either a criminal or civil lawyer.
Mike Ruark is Katherine’s advanced placement literature teacher.
“Katie is one of the strongest students that I have come in contact with while at BWHS,” he said. “She is kind, caring and always willing to help her peers. Katie is actively involved in multiple school activities and strives to better herself and the community. When talking with her I am constantly amazed by her maturity and depth of understanding on almost every topic.”
He added that she is “consistently one of the best in her writing and understanding of difficult topics.”
Besides mock trial, Katherine is also involved in marching band and concert and symphonic bands. She has been in band since the fifth grade playing clarinet. She hopes to continue playing in college with either an ensemble or symphonic group.
Tennis is another activity that Katherine has participated in since she was young.
“It became something I realized I was good at,” she said. Katherine ended up second in singles varsity her freshman year and has been first singles varsity each year since. The team has a winning record in their division.
She hopes to continue tennis in college, at least at the club level.
Katherine also likes to write. She is currently participating in a project sponsored by the National Novel Writing Month to produce 50,000 words by the end of November.
“It’s an endeavor,” she said, noting that she needs to write 1,600 words a day to make her goal. If she succeeds and submits her work, it will be bound in a paperback copy for her. Having written mostly realistic fiction in the past, this year she plans to try her hand at either science fiction or mystery.
She also participates in writing club at school.
“You get a prompt, write and then critique,” she said. “We also try to get kids to express themselves publicly without fear.”
Being president of the German Club, babysitting, volunteering at times at the local library and working with Leo Club are other areas that keep Katherine busy. With everything else that she is involved in, she said she also wants to concentrate on her grades and on school financial aid.
Katherine reflected on advice to the freshman class.
“Don’t be afraid. It’s going to be big, loud, but one day you’ll realize you’ll have a good time.”
Katherine is the daughter of Laurie Berger of Sunbury.