Katy is a mother of two, a “G-Kate” of three, and a teacher-librarian, retiring from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) with 20 years of service in 2021. In the last 15 years of her CMS career, Katy served as a Unity Advisor at three different CMS high schools -- Vance (recently renamed Julius Chambers HS), Independence, and Hawthorne Academy.
Katy has experienced Unity Project as a parent, a student, an advisor, and an educator.
She first witnessed the program’s impact when her daughter tackled a Unity course as a rising senior with the Myers Park HS crew (Summer 2002). The experience helped mold her into a curious and adventurous woman and a successful documentary producer/cinematographer.
In 2006, Katy began teaching at Vance HS, completing three Educator Courses and stepping into the role of Unity Advisor in her first two years. Transferring to Independence HS in 2013 and then Hawthorne Academy in 2015, Katy successfully engineered Unity programs at both schools. She also completed the Educators Initiative (2016-17), a year-long partnership that provided an opportunity to share experiential educational strategies with other teachers. Most recently (Fall 2021), Katy joined a crew of teachers and other educators who work with teens in the Charlotte community, completing her fifth NCOBS course.
Over the years, Katy has recruited ten diverse student crews who stepped outside of their comfort zones and embarked on weeklong summer wilderness courses. She believes fervently in the importance of getting kids into the woods but understands that the great outdoors are merely the classroom. More important are the life lessons learned on course and shared when they return to school, form Unity Clubs, and implement community projects that address issues of diversity and social justice.
Katy lives with her partner, David, a retired Charlotte Observer journalist. Together they look forward to wandering road trips filled with outdoor adventure.
What inspired you to serve on the Charlotte Advisory Board?
Upon retiring, I was advised to take time to reflect on this new phase of life and not make commitments for at least six months. But when Alexys Taylor -- 2008 Vance Unity Crew, CAB board member, and Charlotte Program Coordinator -- invited me to join CAB, it was a natural progression of my work with NCOBS at the school level. Serving on CAB’s Unity committee provides the perfect opportunity to continue partnering with NCOBS, as we strive to strengthen The Unity Project and as we navigate, as yet, uncharted waters.