Williston’s Poster Child


Katherine Kang is Williston’s motto personified.
Katherine, a senior from Amherst, Mass., brought home an impressive three Senior Superlative awards from the senior’s “100 Days Celebration” on Feb. 11. These superlatives were “Best to Bring Home to Your Parents,” “Williston’s Poster Child,” and “Senior Angel,” and they complement exactly the presence Katherine has on campus.
Katherine first arrived at Williston as a 7th grader in the fall of 2017. She continued her Williston journey to high school where she decided, the summer going into her junior year, it was time for her to join the boarding community after four years of commuting. In her six years at Williston, she has experienced just about everything from being a day student turned boarding, Williston’s middle and high school experience, school during Covid, participating on three varsity sports, joining student council, becoming a proctor, and being a leader of the Wildest Cats, just to name a few.
Katherine draws from a variety of different inspirations which have helped drive her deeper involvement into the Williston community.
“I had a really close friend group of seniors who all held various leadership roles on campus, and I really looked up to them,” she said. “I also began to see that the core aspects of student life at Williston, whether it be weekend activities or general student camaraderie, are all so student driven and require student leadership.”
Katherine believes having different roles on campus makes her everyday experience so much fuller, as she has made connections with so many people.
Longtime friend and classmate Alexis Caines, a senior from Shutesbury, Mass., praised Katherine’s impactful presence on campus.
“I think all of her involvements make her have a really strong connection with the school,” she said. “She’s a familiar face to many and you feel comfortable going up to her.”
Katherine believes Williston has helped her become a well-rounded person. She highlighted how the atmosphere of Williston has helped grow her confidence. She attributes this to the teachers, coaches, friends, and overall encouraging environment on campus.
Head Hockey Coach and dorm parent Christa Talbot Syfu ‘98 describes Katherine as someone who has a diverse array of interests, all of which she excels in.
“While taking a serious academic load, she manages to lead clubs, the dorm, teams, and be involved in all the activities on campus,” Talbot Syfu said. “She’s definitely taking advantage of all Williston has to offer.”
Katherine always strives to push herself in the classroom. She has taken all the options of Honors classes when offered and AP classes when offered. This year she is taking AP Statistics, AP Literature, AP French, and AP Psychology. Her hard work has also paid off as she was one of 12 Williston seniors inducted into the Cum Laude Society this past January. Membership to the Cum Laude Society is the highest academic award that faculty can bestow upon a student.
Advisor and coach Alex Tancrell-Fontaine has known Katherine for six years, and has seen her inspire kids in the classroom and on the field.
“I taught her in the 9th grade [English class], and she was a leader to her peers in the classroom in her abilities and the way that she takes risks. I think this is a direct correlation to the athlete she is,” she said. “As her coach in two sports [field hockey and ice hockey] for six years, I am so proud of the athlete Katherine has become.”
Tancrell-Fontaine also added, “She worked very hard to improve her skills on the field and on the ice. Katherine is always asking questions and really has kept an open mind which has allowed her to find great success.”
Talbot Syfu also pointed out how Katherine manages her activities with ease.
“It’s impressive how she carries herself under stress and how she always gets everything done she needs to,” Talbot Syfu said.
With Katherine’s final trimester at Williston coming to a close, she took a moment to reflect on what she will miss the most.
“I know I will never find a place where I can say hi to everyone I pass between classes, see my math teacher in the corner of every hockey game, or paint my body ‘Simpson’ yellow on Halloween,” she said. “This level of comfort is so unique, as are the connections with other students and teachers. It’s the small moments of spontaneity and connection with others throughout my days that I will really miss.”