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High achieving Penticton student is 50th recipient of Rotary Student of the Month

Maggie Grade 12 student Katie Drobe embraces pursuit of excellence
Sunrise Rotary student of the month is Grade 12 Princess Margaret Secondary student Katie Dobe. (Submitted)

The Rotary Club of Penticton Sunrise is pleased to kick off the Student of the Month program for the academic year 2022-23 with the selection of Katie Drobe — an immensely gifted, high-octane and charming grade 12 student at Princess Margaret Secondary School. This marks the eighth year of the Student of the Month program with Drobe as the 50th recipient.

Drobe loves the vibrant, close-knit family atmosphere at Maggie and cherishes the excellent teachers she has as role models. “It’s fun getting to know everyone at school. Especially exchange students and learning about their cultures and home countries,” she said.

Drobe has excelled in academics and athletics while exploiting her innate leadership ability to organize laudable community fundraising and school spirit-enhancing activities.

Scholastically, she achieved stellar overall average grades of 98.2% in grade 9 and 96.9% in grade 10. Last year, she was chosen as Maggie’s top academic student in grade 11, recording an average grade of 97.5%. This top academic award, for which she is rightly proud, is even more remarkable considering that she was carrying a full load of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math)-related courses.

“Katie is an exceptionally mature young person who excels in academics. In Spanish class, she shows great ability in language learning and often pursues more sophisticated and authentic language use far beyond that required,” Maggie modern languages teacher Pauline Tinka said.

Drobe’s burning desire to do her best extends to athletics. Two years ago, she quit competitive dancing, to focus on academics and take up field hockey.

“I am super proud of myself for getting out of my comfort zone and working hard to improve at team sports,” Drobe said.

Last year, Drobe organized the Scrunchies for SOWINS fundraiser in support of the South Okanagan Women in Need Society. To stage the event, she had to first learn how to sew herself and then teach others how to make fabric-covered elastic hair ties. After many hours of hard work, the event raised $200 for SOWINS, not to mention spreading student awareness of the societal impact of domestic violence. This fall, Drobe co-organized Maggie’s annual Terry Fox Run.

Maggie counselor Gerri Hess, who has taught Katie since grade 7, said, “Katie always amazes me with her effort, dedication and thoroughness in anything she pursues.”

Pen High social studies teacher Christy Bevington said, “I feel fortunate to have both taught and coached Katie while at Maggie. She is a lovely person … so well-rounded in academics, extramural activities and leadership. Last year she was brave enough to try field hockey. Her natural athleticism enabled her to improve quickly. A born leader, she soon became a great help to the younger players.”

Outside of school, Drobe enjoys her part-time job at Blenz Coffee shop. This past summer, she held three jobs to save money for future travel, a passion instilled by Ms. Tinka who was the Club’s Exchange Student to Ecuador in 1998-99.

Upon graduation, Drobe plans to undertake biomedical engineering studies at UBC leading to a BASc(Eng) degree and then embark on a career employing new technology to solve critical health/medical problems.