TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - Katherine Metheny is both dedicated and decorated.
The Newsome High School senior received a distinguished cadet medal which means she has the highest GPA in the battalion. She also has the American Legion scholastic medal which is distributed by the American Legion recognizing scholastic excellence. But she has plenty of more awards where that came from.
“It leads to a very hectic schedule and a large workload but I really enjoy it. It allows me to feel productive and busy,” said Katherine. “I feel like when I don’t have them I feel like I’m doing nothing, so it creates a very interesting environment.”
Katherine is part of the junior ROTC. She has risen to the ranks of Cadet Major and the second officer in charge of Newsome's 280 cadets. To top it off, she's Hillsborough County Public School's cadet of the year.
“It teaches discipline, leadership, and confidence. It's a wonderful program and I personally have grown from it,” said Katherine.
When she’s not fulfilling her JROTC duties, she’s acing exams. Katherine is the valedictorian for Newsome High’s class of 2019. Her GPA: 10.583.
“It’s just a personal accomplishment that I’ve had since freshman year and I am very proud of it,” said Katherine.
She should be proud. She worked hard for it. Katherine has excelled in both her regular and Adanced Placement classes as well as dual enrollment. When she attends college this fall, she will already have her associate’s degree.
“You take a lot of classes, you see your rank be number 1 and it feels good. So, I just kept doing that. The competition was hard but I really enjoyed it,” said Katherine. “It felt rewarding. It’s four years of hard work and it finally paid off. I'm really happy I went through with it.”
She’s already seeing the benefits of her hard work. Katherine is proud to be one of the newest -- and probably one of the smartest University of South Florida Bulls. The National Merrit Scholar will be attending the university on a full scholarship.
“It's a nice distance from home. It's large enough to have opportunities and I felt like it was a good fit for me,” said Katherine.
Despite all her accomplishments, Katherine somehow balances humility with pride.
“I just take pride in the things I do and I really want to improve for the people around me and for myself. So, that’s just manifested itself into the person I am today and I'm proud of that,” said Katherine.
Katherine plans to get her degree in both political science and economics. After that, it’s off to law school. She said she wants to give back to the country that has given her so much. Before that, she's hopping on a cruise and taking a well-deserved break.