For some students, mascot-inspired spirit and student body leadership are as intertwined in high school life as good grades and forging friendships.
At Lake City, that attitude is embodied by Katy Krieger. The senior is counting down her final days as she prepares to say goodbye to a place where she left an indelible mark as an outgoing personality with an exceptional student record and as the voice of the student body who frequently donned a navy-and-teal tutu for Timberwolves sporting events.
“I love making connections and I love knowing a lot of people. I think it comes with my personality; I’ve always wanted to help people get on the right track,” said 18-year-old Krieger in the conference room of the high school.
That’s a trait passed down from her parents, Jim and Paula Krieger, she said. “I’ve always taken sort of the motherly role when it comes to my friends. I like to make sure people are on the good track. I think that comes from the way my parents raised me. They were great role models.”
As for school spirit, Krieger said she’s always enthusiastically supported the cause, whether that meant wearing a onesie and a Snuggie or a tie-dyed “Austin Powers”-themed outfit: “I’m absolutely crazy about school spirit, and I’ve always liked getting other students involved in the spirit side of things, too.”
Krieger set her sights on scholastic success early. A Coeur d’Alene native and the younger of two daughters, the self-proclaimed “big Harry Potter fan” and foodie will graduate with a 4.2 grade-point average. She also was an International Baccalaureate student scholar this year.
While Krieger joked that she “dabbled in just about every single sport,” the area that really resonated was as a student leader. Though she’s accomplished much on paper, she’s excelled outside the classrooms of Lake City, too.
“My interest has been in leadership,” Krieger said about the student government roles and volunteer work that she’s done. “I’ve liked to lead the students and be the face for them. I’m really comfortable with the media and talking with adults, so it was important to be that link between students and adults.”
She served on the student council throughout her four years at Lake City, culminating as the student body president this year. It was a responsibility she took to heart.
“Katy cares deeply about the kids at this school; she cares about what’s best for her classmates,” said Deanne Clifford, vice principal at Lake City and Krieger’s former math teacher and student council adviser. “The students respect her. She is willing to fight for what’s right, no matter what. She’s the perfect role model.”
From the social events Krieger spearheaded to her near flawless academic career, she has set an example for her peers that resonated throughout the high school, Clifford added.
Krieger’s out-of-classroom activities included volunteering for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, in which she and others gathered food donations from area stores to take to race participants
She also helped organize a violence awareness week that focused on teen dating her junior and senior years.
“It’s a really big campaign to show the different kinds of abuse in teen relationships,” Krieger said. “I really kind of wanted to do more than just dances and fun stuff, and so this one was important to me because I see a lot of students yelling at each other in the hallways and stuff. It’s really kind of common. I wanted to show that it is more than just physical abuse. It at least got people talking.”
Bev Chambers, senior counselor at the high school, said Krieger’s hard work in the classroom, compassion and dedication helped set her apart from the thousands of other students Chambers has met in her 25 years in the Coeur d’Alene school district. “She is one of those rare individuals who exemplify what it means to be loyal,” Chambers said.
Perhaps no story better portrays Krieger’s commitment to school spirit than the annual Fight for the Fish event with rival Coeur d’Alene High School. While the navy-and-teal tutu has been a common sight on campus for a few years, Krieger stepped it up this year by leading the cheers and adding a healthy dose of energy to the competition, losing her voice in the process. The event raises thousands of dollars annually for human rights issues.
Even though the fish was awarded to Coeur d’Alene, it will go down as a mighty display of Timberwolves pride for those in attendance, Clifford said.
“Katy spearheaded the entire cheer portion of that event. And even though they lost in the spirit competition, it was an amazing thing to witness. I know I’ll never forget it,” she said.
Krieger plans on attending Oregon State University in the fall to study psychology. After pursuing a master’s degree, she hopes to become a criminal profiler.
Those who know her believe the Krieger will continue to lead.
“I think Katy will be one of those people that will be highly involved not just on the college campus, but also within the community,” Chambers said. “She’ll continue to be a giver and to help others.”