Lions Club Names Katie Laverty October’s Athlete of the Month
By Mitch Silver
Let’s imagine we sit on the committee that chooses the Rye Lions Club Athlete of the Month. We know the criteria begin with Garnet athletics, but encompass much more: outstanding academics, extracurriculars beyond sports, and public service.
Now let’s imagine we have an application on behalf of Rye senior Katie Laverty for the October award. It was sent in by her swim coach, Kelly Johanson, who tells us, “Katie was one of our team captains this year and did an amazing job. She won the Sectional diving tournament on Friday and is now ranked third in the state. In addition, Katie finished 15th in the 100 Breaststroke at the swim finals last night. Being able to compete at such a high level in both swimming and diving is a huge accomplishment.”
Okay, we can check off the Excels in Athletics box. What about her class work?
Katie’s record shows she’s been on the school’s High Honor Roll every semester since freshman year. She’s a member of the National Honor Society. She loves Math and History, and she’s been accepted to Harvard next fall. Guess we can check off Academics as well.
What with swimming and diving for her school and competing for the Whirlwind Diving Club in New Canaan, where she’s been a USA Diving National finalist, and doing her homework, there isn’t much of the day left over. Even so, Katie finds time to play the flute in the high school band. Maybe you’ve seen her out on the field at the Rye-Harrison football games. And yes, she’s a member of the National Music Honor Society.
That leaves service to the greater community. As a Youth Deacon of Rye Presbyterian Church, Katie has participated in summer mission trips, Coming Home dinners for people leaving prison, Stop Hunger Now, and Midnight Run, the program that brings aid to the homeless in New York City.
In her summers after freshman and sophomore year, Katie traveled with a church group as part of Rebuilding New Orleans. For more than 60 hours she repaired, cleaned, and painted houses for veterans who were unable to rehabilitate their homes after Hurricane Katrina.
She says, “I felt good that I was able to give back to the people who’ve served our country. And also, gratitude and appreciation for all the things I’ve been given, things a lot of other people aren’t as lucky to have.”
Check, check, check, check.
Coach Johanson puts it this way: “Katie’s always super inclusive to everyone on the team and a great role model for the other girls. She’s worked really hard balancing school, swimming, diving, and going on recruiting trips for college.” Not to mention community service.
And that’s why, fellow committee members, we’ve named Katie Laverty the Lions Club Athlete for October. The nine monthly Lions Club winners will be invited to the year-end awards dinner at The Osborn. That night, the winner of the vote by the Rye High student body for Athlete of the Year will be announced. The talented Ms. Laverty will certainly be in the swim for that honor as well.