Only at St. Mary’s Academy does a young woman hold every student leadership position.  Only at St. Mary’s is a woman the captain of every sports team, the lead role in every theatrical production and every musical performance.  Only at St. Mary’s does a woman hold every role on the robotics, mock trial and Science Olympiad teams.  Only at St. Mary’s Academy, is women’s leadership part of the DNA.  This is the foundation on which our school was built 162 years ago and continues to anchor our mission today.

Below we continue our year-long series that looks at the St. Mary’s Academy legacy of cultivating women leaders.

St. Mary’s Academy Women in Leadership:  Katherine Bloch ‘19

Katherine Bloch, class of 2019, recognizes the gift that St. Mary’s has been in her life.  She shares that her education not only equipped her with the skill set needed to be successful in life post high school, but that her experience at St. Mary’s encouraged her to consider opportunities and interests beyond what she would have ever imagined.  Katherine has put those gifts to work in short order, accomplishing much in the few short years since graduation.

Katherine is currently in her third year at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, where she studies English and Management, and she is recently a published author, having released her debut novel earlier this year.  Sisterwitch, she shares, was inspired by a dream.  And while the novel, which took two years to write, falls into the fantasy genre, there are several notions that hint to her St. Mary’s experience…a female heroine, surrounded by a close group of young women, who is finding her place in the world.

In addition to writing her first novel, Katherine has quickly learned the world of querying agents and publishing.  It’s an extensive application process, one that she hopes to soon dig into again, as she has recently completed a second novel.  “Hellraiser is a similar genre but leans a little more science fiction,” Katherine explains.

Katherine shares that she is drawn to science, specifically research, an interest she discovered at St. Mary’s through her experience in her Scientific Research Methods class.  She will pursue that interest further this coming summer through an internship at Verisk Analytics (www.verisk.com), an international data analytics firm.  Verisk, based in New Jersey with offices worldwide, maintains myriad areas of specialty.  Katherine will work in their London office for their Maplecroft division (www.maplecroft.com) focused on consulting and risk management.

Katherine isn’t exactly sure what the future holds but she’s excited.  She knows she will continue to write and continue to push herself outside of her comfort zone.  That pursuit ignited for her at St. Mary’s where she first stepped beyond what was “safe” and into new opportunities including serving as the director of Women’s Empowerment Week as a senior.  That same pursuit is what drew Katherine to attend university in Scotland.  “The St. Andrew’s experience prioritizes independence.  There’s not a lot of handholding”, she confirms.  It also influences her advice for current St. Mary’s students, as well.  “Step out of your comfort zone; it’s the only way to see what your passions are.”

A synopsis of Sisterwitch as well as a link to purchase, can be found here.