Katie Hiestand began her career at BL almost a year ago as the Assistant to the Headmaster. Thrilled with her new position, she jumped in headfirst and instantly began contributing to the community.
As we headed into quarantine and the pandemic spread, in true Laker fashion, Katie was determined to make a difference. “Being in quarantine affected a lot of people, and I wanted to help where there might be shortages of volunteers,” said Hiestand.
Katie lives in Hanover, Pennsylvania, giving her one of the longest commutes of anyone in the BL community: around an hour and twenty minutes in each direction. She knew that she could use some of the time she gained back to volunteer.
“The week we went under lockdown, I knew I’d have at least three hours cleared up from my commute to lunch,” she says.
A longtime animal lover and owner, she leapt at the opportunity to help out at the Ivy Woods Feline Sanctuary in Westminster, Maryland. For the past few months, she has volunteered twelve to fifteen hours per week. Feeding and cleaning are hard but rewarding work. “What’s better than hanging around with a bunch of animals who want to be loved and petted?” she says.
Katie’s other volunteer job is with the Adams County (PA) Department of Aging. She transports meals to twelve different older adults around the county, as part of a county program similar to Meals on Wheels. In addition to delivering the meals, Katie checks in on her clients, sometimes offering important social contact to elderly people stuck in quarantine. "I lost my elderly mom in October of last year,” she says, “I know if it was my mom, it would be really scary for her to be stuck at home. So I’m doing it in her spirit.”
Community service and service learning are hallmarks of a Boys’ Latin education and play a vital role in challenging students to think beyond themselves. Katie Hiestand serves as an example that service can be a fulfilling lifelong pursuit.
Founded in 1844, Boys’ Latin School of Maryland is an all-boys private school serving boys in grades K-12. World-class faculty, challenging academics, and character development remain the hallmarks of a Boys’ Latin education. The outcomes speak for themselves, Boys’ Latin graduates attend top colleges and universities and are prepared for the real world and ready to make a difference.