Senior Spotlight: Kate Purschke

Friday, March 17th, 2017

When you hear the name Kate Purschke the adjectives that come to your mind are probably endless: bubbly, positive, kind, and hilarious. The list of accomplishments that Kate has is also endless: straight-A student, merit scholar, two-sport varsity athlete, amateur cover model, and fearless leader. Whether she’s absolutely killing it on the field hockey field as a star midfielder or effortlessly posing for her closeup for NJ Magazine, she excels in everything she does. I was lucky enough to catch up with her and hear about how she does all of this, without driving herself crazy.

LH: As a merit scholar, What work did you have to put in to win this esteemed prize?

KP: The merit scholarship is actually based solely on PSAT scores, and I’m lucky in that I don’t have too much trouble with test-taking. I do feel like it was partially because of the work that I’ve put into my school work, so I know that the time and effort that I have put towards keeping my grades up has paid off.

LH: Did anyone help or mentor you as you have pursued your passions?

KP: I’ve been so lucky that there have been so many people who have helped me out, and my parents definitely deserve some credit. They’ve supported me in everything, no matter what. I also really looked up to the upperclassmen that came before me in a lot of the activities I’ve been involved in, especially with my sports, clubs, and retreat teams for my church. They all were so great with welcoming me into whatever community they were a part of, and I knew I could always go to them for any advice.

LH: You are a Merit Scholar, Homecoming Queen, a multi-sport varsity athlete, and an all around awesome person. How do you find time to balance all of these things with being a teenager?

KP: First of all, thank you so much! That is so sweet :) I have found over the past few years that I am by far happiest when I’m busy, so having a lot going on is something that I love. I’m more productive and just in a better mood, so it actually helps me balance everything. I also really enjoy most of the activities that I’m involved in, and even most of my classes this year, so I like putting time towards each of them.

LH: Where do you see yourself post college?

KP: After college, I hope to work in the business world, although I’m not sure of any specifics at all within that. I’m leaning towards a bigger company, maybe in New York or another big city, but I’m really just excited to see where I end up. One idea that I’ve definitely been playing around with is trying to work for a non-profit, or a for-profit company that focuses on doing social good - I want to know that the career that I devote my life to is in some way helping others, or making some sort of impact on the world.

LH: Do you have a major or future career in mind?

KP: I’m looking mostly at business schools, but really don’t know what I’ll focus on once there. I just know that I have loved all of my business classes at the high school, and find most aspects of finance and economics really interesting. I’ve been considering trying to double major in finance and accounting, but I also am very interested in some non-business areas as well, so could maybe switch one of those out for a substantial minor. Who knows!

LH: What has been your favorite class at CHS and why?

KP: This is a really tough one. I would have to say probably either Introduction to Finance and Economics with Mr. Ahsler, or AP Physics with Mr. Lee. Both of them are subjects that I find super interesting, and that I would be interested in continuing to learn about in college. Both of these helped me figure out that I am much more of a math-science person, because I like the logic and methods behind everything - it just all makes sense. Mr. Ahsler and Mr. Lee are both really great too, especially since they make sure to connect what we’re learning to real life, something that for me makes the topic so much easier to understand.

LH: What is your greatest memory (school and sports related).

KP: Another hard one! It’s so difficult to pinpoint one exact moment. As weird as this sounds, I think my favorite memories might have to be the bus rides to and from swim practice every day. It’s always so much fun because there’s such a great group of us who go to practice, and we get the chance to really become close. The swim team is honestly like a family, and the bus rides are a great break from everything where we can just blast music and talk.

LH: Do you have any advice for underclassmen?

KP: My best advice would definitely be to get involved. There are so many great activities and opportunities here, and you really don’t want to feel like you missed out. By reaching out I’ve become friends with so many people that I never would have otherwise known, and made some incredible memories. I really would encourage underclassmen to find something that they love, whatever that may be, and have some fun with it! It’s never too late to get started.

LH: Spotify or Itunes?

KP: Spotify, easily. I’m ALWAYS on it.

LH: What is your favorite Netflix series?

KP: Depends on the month. Right now it would have to be Gossip Girl, but I’ve definitely had phases of Scandal, Friends, the Office, etc.