After Shoreline high school seniors cross the stage June 19, diploma in hand, some will stay close to home, others may travel to destinations far away, but all will leave their imprint on the community.
Kate Jablonski is no different.
After spending time at Meridian Park Elementary, Einstein Middle and Shorewood High, the senior has set her sights on Pomona College, located in the warm sun of Claremont, Calif.
“It’ll be nice to get away from home and meet new people,” Jablonski said.
Her ties with the community, academics and athletics have reached many people, whether or not they know it.
Spent time at the Shoreline Pool? Perhaps you’ve bumped into Jablonski, who has worked there for more than two years.
Attended the Shoreline Arts Festival? Jablonski has been involved with the event throughout high school, this year serving as a co-chair for the hands-on art tables and the junior art show.
A hard worker, Jablonski said she likes to keep busy. Two seasons out of the year have been spent in the pool either with the Shorewood swim team or playing water polo, a sport she picked up a few years ago. Jablonski expects the competition at Pomona to be tougher, but she still hopes to continue playing water polo competitively there.
Jablonski’s efforts in supporting the Shoreline Arts Festival affect almost everyone who attends the festival. She works with Colleen Jablonski, her mother, and Susie Johnson as co-chairs of the hands-on tables at the fair. Kate and Colleen Jablonski aren’t the only family members involved with the hands-on tables, Kate’s older brother Jeff and her father, Ron, who works for the Shoreline School District, also have been involved.
Although Jablonski does not plan on studying art – her ceramics class this term is fun, but not her strongest suit, she admits – her mother has always instilled in her and her brother an art appreciation.
“My mom raised us with a sense of art,” Jablonski said.
She said she feels the festival can appeal to many people, whether or not they consider themselves artists.
“It’s important for kids (even if they) aren’t good at art,” Jablonski said. “It’s a good way for them to express themselves.”
Academics have always been important to Jablonski, who was in the Highly Capable program in elementary school and has continued to challenge herself with Advanced Placement and honors classes throughout high school. She took five years of Spanish and hopes to travel abroad while at Pomona.
Taking rigorous classes has been important to Jablonski.
“I wanted to have a good chance of getting into a prestigious school,” she said.
She also enjoys volunteering in a classroom at North City Elementary. She and two other classmates began working with the students in Kay Law’s North City class in October.
Law has known Jablonski since she was a student in her classes in fourth and fifth grades. Even though Jablonski has such a busy schedule, she always makes time to visit the students and encourage them with their writing, Law said.
“Kate is in everything,” Law said. “For her to say, ‘I’m going to consistently come and work with these students,’ is just a testimony of the kind of kid she is.”
And while Jablonski devotes a lot of time to a number of projects, each one is important to her, Law said.
“She really focuses on the quality of what she leaves behind, not just the quantity,” she said.
Law described Jablonski as kind, funny and unassuming. The teacher recognized these characteristics in Jablonski at an early age, and said she knows Jablonski will succeed in whatever she does.
“She knows how to empower people,” Law said. “That is just a unique skill, for anybody, at any age.”