Katherine Duque-Maquiz graduated from Saint Columbkille Partnership School in June 2020 and is now a freshman at Saint Joseph Prepatory High School. In the first quarter of this school year, she was awarded the Saint Joseph the Worker award for her exceptional work ethic. Her parents are beyond proud of her and, as humble as she is, she’s proud, too.
Katherine is an only child who is currently attending school remotely due to high-risk relatives at home. When asked about how difficult it must be to learn completely at home, Katherine is upbeat and positive, saying that school is actually a lot easier for her at home. She’s more focused, less stressed and in a much calmer space.
So far, she enjoys Saint Joseph’s and says she was prepared academically for the rigor of high school. She wants to help people when she grows up, though she’s not sure exactly how yet. One guiding principle that Katherine shares from her time at Saint Cols is, “know a person for who they are, not what they look like.”
These traits of helpfulness and consideration stems directly from how she was taught at Saint Columbkille. Loyola Academy English and Language Arts (ELA) teacher Emily O’Brien says of Katherine, “She was always a hard worker and took great pride in her academics. She is an excellent example of Magis - always striving to do more. It is great to see her recognized for her efforts at the high school level. We are so proud of her!”
In terms of her Catholic faith, she says that attending Saint Columbkille and Saint Joseph’s is very important to her family and helped her grow spiritually. After coming to Saint Cols in 2nd grade, Katherine says, “Not everyone [in my family] was able to go to a Catholic school. [They] really loved that I was learning more about my faith [and] asked me questions about it. The spiritual community at Saint Joe’s is very similar and was helpful to carry on from Saint Cols.”
Though she didn’t have a typical graduation ceremony upon leaving Saint Columbkille, she was able to participate in an important and long-standing tradition at the school. She and a few other students were able to sign their names in the attic, among the other graduates, when helping fetch Nativity supplies and props before Christmas last year.
“We did manage to sign our names [last year],” she says. “It was a nice way to say goodbye to Saint Cols. There will always be a piece of us at Saint Cols.”
When thinking back to her years at the school, she says, “I loved every second at Saint Cols.” Further, she recommends to those still at the school, “Make sure you make the most of your time there. It’s something you’re never going to forget.”