One week before 2015 graduation, seniors Kathryn Booker and Milan Shah sat in the Landy Hall lobby leafing through the 2001 Shorecrest yearbook. “I think the fact that Milan and I are sitting out here looking at our Alpha class yearbook a week before graduation says that we all have made life-long friends here,” said Kathryn.
Her family has a strong legacy at Shorecrest - Kathryn’s father attended Shorecrest, her brother is an alumnus as well, and her grandmother, Mary Booker Wall, served as Head of School for decades. To Kathryn, Shorecrest is an extended home.
The influence of her family, namely her brother Michael, played a big part in Kathryn’s success as an athlete at Shorecrest. She recalls, “I started sailing in eighth grade when I crewed for my brother during his senior year.” Flash forward to her senior year when Kathryn and the sailing team had enormous success including, winning a National Championship
in Chicago this spring. Kathryn says, “We have had a lot of success because we are so close and have known each other for so long. Like a family, we do have arguments and we don’t always get along, but never for the long-term. We’re like siblings.”
Hours on the water and teamwork in various sports are indirect reflections of Kathryn's amazing time management and effective communication skills. On the basketball team she's known for her "heart and hustle" and for years she was the only pole vaulter on our track and field team.
While Kathryn has enjoyed the close-knit atmosphere of Shorecrest, she has also taken opportunities to venture further afield during her years in high school with travels to Argentina and participating in the Global Scholars Initiative, an academic track focused on international studies.
Having been a Shorecrest student for 15 years, Kathryn has experienced a breadth of classes and teachers. One subject that stands out over her time at Shorecrest is English. Kathryn says, “My favorite classes are usually English classes because I really love the English teachers, especially Mal (Ellenburg). I think we have really good discussions. Instead of just reading and writing, we actually talk about the books. The teachers let us take the discussions in different directions. Even back in Mrs. Savitsky’s class in second grade, we had Kindergarten reading buddies and we would talk about the books. This has been something that we have done consistently the whole time I have been at Shorecrest.”
She continues, “Mrs. Savitsky was one of my favorite teachers because she is one of the nicest people I have ever met in my life. I still have great memories from her class. In high school, Mal Ellenburg’s class was awesome and he helped me to look at reading in a completely different way. He recently helped me write my college essays. I even went back and read Catcher in the Rye again last summer because it made such an impact on me.”
While Kathryn takes her academics seriously, her most memorable moment was Homecoming during her Junior year when their class won the competitions beating out the senior class for the second year in a row. “That was a lot of fun because they were NOT expecting it. Usually seniors tend to win Homecoming, but they didn’t.”
Kathryn will be joining the sailing team at Stanford University this fall where she plans to study economics, computer science or a combination of the two.