Meet Katya Pledger!
Four years and 24 classes later, Katya has come to the end of her TPS journey. As she looks back on her TPS years, she is thankful for the teachers who poured into her their time and talents. Of all the classes she took, several stand out: Anatomy and Physiology with Mrs. Gonzalez, Constitutional Law with Mrs. Youhas, Economics with Mr. Rucker, Forensic Science with Mr. Ullman, Spanish (levels 1, 2, and 3) with Sr. Poortenga, and U.S. Government and Politics with Mr. Monfreda. During her classes, she would write down funny quotes made by a teacher or classmates, which she sometimes reads when she needs a chuckle. She even sent her Chemistry teacher, Mr. Riesen, who was by far the funniest teacher ever, a word document with a list of his memorable quotes.
A natural night owl, Katya prefers to work later in the day. However, she does not recommend procrastinating, especially on research papers (which, by the way, she did, so she learned the hard way). She has discovered that procrastination often stems from lack of motivation or even fear of a daunting assignment. However, once she started, she realized that it was not as intimidating as she thought it would be. Another note on research papers: note-taking does not have to be done all by hand. Katya used to spend hours writing notes on index cards but has since used word documents for each source she uses. It saves time and prevents hand cramps too!
Outside the class room, Katya contributed to The Cracked Pot (rest in peace) as the global news columnist her junior year. She is thankful for the opportunity because she grew as a writer, shared her analyses, and met other students (shout out to her awesome editor, Rachel Woo!). However, her involvement with TPS has also extended beyond her laptop. Last summer, she participated in the Honduras mission trip. On the trip, she met her Spanish teacher and fellow students. She enjoyed going to a new country and being immersed in a different culture. She loved the people she met and the ministry she was a part of. She had such a wonderful experience that she will be returning again this summer.
While Katya is sad she will no longer be taking TPS classes, she is excited about her future plans. This fall, she will attend the Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, where she will study Health Management, Policy, and Information. But she will always be a TPSer at heart.
Despite the seemingly endless hustle and bustle of high school, Katya found comfort comfort in these words: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” Ultimately, life’s purpose is not about getting good grades or going to college, but rather about glorifying and enjoying God—now and forever. (But, doing well in school can glorify God, too).
Advice to the younglings of TPS:
While these days may seem endless, they will soon pass. So, enjoy them while they’re here, but don’t relax too much. These days are the launch pad for your future, so make the best of them!