Adopted from the Ukraine when she was four years old, Katie Painter has overcome a number of challenges, but she has never let any of them slow her down.
Despite being diagnosed with hydrocephalus, which impedes her learning, the Stuart W. Cramer High School senior is graduating with the cum laude distinction. She has been an active member of the school band for four years, and she plans to attend Gaston College to study nursing.
When Katie was in the tenth grade, her mother passed away of pancreatic cancer. Obviously, it was a very difficult time for Katie and her family, but she persevered and kept a positive outlook on life. She is admired by her classmates, who say Katie is best known for her positivity and drive to succeed. She can light up a room with her smile, and she looks to a bright future with excitement and optimism.