Warwick Valley High School senior Katerina Bucek is a renaissance woman. She excels in art, creative writing, languages and math. As her art teacher, Kristen Spano said, Katerina shines in every direction.
“Katerina’s love for art, science and language is deeply admired by her classmates and teachers alike,” Spano said. “She is a well-rounded student with a passion to learn.”
Poems in English, Spanish and Korean
For one project this year, Katerina was able to combine her talents in writing, language and art. The senior portfolio class assignment was to create a thank you card for a college after an admissions interview. Katerina painted a watercolor still life and then layered the text of one of her poems in English, Spanish and Korean on transparent sheets over the image.
Katerina said she picks up languages fairly easily. She has been studying Spanish in school for five years and is currently taking University Spanish 2, a college level class offered for SUNY Albany credit.
In addition, Katerina has been learning Korean on her own for about two years. She plans to major in East Asian Studies in college.
“Katie not only has an aptitude for languages but understands the importance of tolerance and respect for other cultures,” said Spanish teacher Kathleen Randall. “She is well on her way to becoming a global citizen.”
Katerina has a 4.0 average and is a member of the National Honor Society and the Mu Alpha Theta mathematics honor society.
Another project Katerina is currently working on and enjoying is creating a newspaper dress for the WVHS annual fashion show. Katerina also volunteers at the Albert Wisner Library with its sign language storytellers group and helps with the Teen Advisory Board.
An interest that began with food
Katerina became interested in learning the Korean language after watching videos about Korean food.
“I like cooking, so I wanted to learn the recipes,” said Katerina, who is also using Duolingo to master Korean. “But it’s hard to understand the recipes if I don’t know the language. I don’t personally know anyone who speaks Korean, but by watching Korean shows and things like that, I’m able to understand about 80 to 90 percent of what is said on them.”
Katerina said writing is her main creative outlet. She took a creative writing class last year and is a member of the creative writing club. Two of her short stories won honorable mentions in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.
“I mainly do writing because I feel like it’s a different way to express myself,” Katerina said. “With art it’s through pictures, but through writing I feel like I can be better understood by other people.”