By ANDREW NELSON, Staff Writer | Published May 26, 2011
What do dance and climbing the 200-foot face of a mountain have to do with one another? For Blessed Trinity High School senior Katie Womick, it’s all about focus.
“I loved it. Like dancing, it took all the stress off,” she said, recalling her mountaineering experience in Switzerland. “You cannot let your thoughts stray.”
Drawn to the archdiocesan high school in Roswell because of its fine arts program, Womick is one of the school’s advanced dancers, with a background in pointe, ballet, modern, contemporary, lyrical and jazz.
Womick worked this year on three shows put on by the school’s drama department, from working on the tech crew in “Fight Girl Battle World” to dancing in the musical comedy “The Drowsy Chaperone.” She had a dramatic role in the play “Radium Girls.”
“I don’t really have a routine before going on stage except for wishing everyone good luck … and saying the ‘Memorare’ in my head while I’m waiting in the wings,” she wrote in an e-mail.
For her, the dance room is “a little haven” from everything else.
“It doesn’t create a lot of stress for me. It’s just a relief from the normal pressures,” she said.
Katie, who is 18, is the oldest daughter of Susan and David Womick, an elementary school teacher and film and video producer, respectively. Her younger sister, Anna, also attends Blessed Trinity High School. The Womicks are members of St. Peter Chanel Church.
Next year Katie is attending Emory University, where she plans on studying biology with an eye toward medicine.
“I really feel fulfilled when I serve others. That’s what I want to do, help others. Being a doctor allows me to do that in a way that I may not be able to do in other jobs,” she said.
Service has been a constant in her high school career. Katie has also been a leader in the school’s Habitat for Humanity program, Pure Fashion Atlanta and the Challenge Girls Club.
She credits her interest in biology to Beth Drisaldi, a fifth-year teacher and chairwoman of the science department. The two bonded over college decisions but also over discussions about faith.
Drisaldi said she’s seen Katie change to an enthusiastic student.
“She’s always very inquisitive, she’s very focused, a leader in the classroom,” said Drisaldi, who is expecting her second child and posted emergency how-to information in her classroom if she goes into labor there.
The teacher and student agreed they shared a deep faith, where Drisaldi could be a sounding board and offer advice to a young woman navigating high school.
For students remaining in high school, Katie had advice that mixed the practical with the fun. First the practical: look after those freshman year grades because that’s an important year. However, all work and no fun is simply no fun.
“Don’t spend all your time focused on school and grades. Also take the time to develop those friendships that, hopefully, will last all four years and hopefully, much longer that than,” she advised. “High school is very busy and sometimes, you forget to—quote, unquote—stop and smell the roses. Enjoy it while it lasts because it goes so quickly.”