2022 Standout Senior Slide WOHS Katie Royal

Meet Katie Royal

  • “Perseverance Makes a Difference: Future Tarheel Reaches for the Stars” 

    If anyone needs to be reminded that they control their own future, Westover High School (WOHS) senior Katie Royal’s story of resolute tenacity will definitely help them remember.

    The second of four children, Katie has been a ward of the state for two years amidst a global pandemic. In the face of adversity, she has maintained ownership of her own destiny and attitude, stating, “I want to be remembered for helping people throughout my life. I’m most proud of my academic perseverance and dedication.”

    Although she started her freshman year at another school, she transferred to WOHS and immediately felt at home. She credits the availability and approachability of the staff and faculty for the ease of her transition.

    “I feel like the staff at Westover is always there for you, no matter what the situation,” said Katie. “It doesn’t have to be school related. If they can help, they will. This goes for all the staff—custodians, lunch ladies, administration, counselors, teachers—they are always there, whether it be a smile or a helping hand.”

    Katie noted how it is apparent at her school that the staff isn’t there just to collect a paycheck. The WOHS staff shows up every day because they care about the students. One teacher in particular, Dr. Julia Little, made a lasting impression on her. Dr. Little is a science teacher at WOHS and taught Katie in several classes.

    While teachers and staff like Dr. Little showed her how to go above and beyond for others, Katie understands that the choice to work hard and apply herself is hers to make—and hers alone. “Dr. Little taught me that perseverance can get you a long way, and you should never give up. It’s up to you,” explained Katie. 

    The teachers’ willingness to listen and help others inspired Katie to serve her fellow students as a peer helper and tutor. Katie also worked as a student assistant in the WOHS library. “Katie has always been exceptionally helpful,” said WOHS Assistant Principal Kristle Rouse. “Despite everything she has gone through, she is at the top of her class. She is even in the running to be the 2022 Valedictorian.”

    Katie wasn’t intimidated by an advanced course or a heavy workload. While other students scoffed at the idea of homework and essays over the weekend, she appreciated how those challenges would better prepare her for college and life beyond the classroom. Her dedication to academic excellence and positive attitude paid off and earned a Presidential Scholarship.

    Katie’s advice to future students is to use the resources available to them and ask for help when needed. “Don’t be scared to ask questions,” she encouraged. “Everyone, at some point when they learn something, needs help. You can’t gain knowledge or accomplish anything if you don’t ask.”

    High school graduation does not mark the end of Katie’s educational journey. She has been accepted into the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) and will pursue a four-year degree in the field of Peace, War, and Defense. That isn’t her ‘finish line’ either! After earning her undergraduate degree, she then intends to continue her education through UNC’s prestigious School of Law.

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