- Academy High School
May 20, 2019 - Plano ISD Academy High School Salutatorian
Plano ISD Academy High School 2019 Salutatorian - Katarina Durcanska
Katarina Durcanska will attend the University of Texas at Austin as a mechanical engineering major. She looks forward to pursuing robotics, prosthetics or materials engineering in college and career.
Katarina says she has been very fortunate to have a lot of opportunities to be involved in her school and in the district. "Since sophomore year, I have been heavily involved in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team at my school, where I developed my passion for mechanical engineering, and I had the chance to serve as the project manager. Additionally, I’ve really enjoyed growing in my leadership skills with the opportunities to participate in Plano Youth Leadership, serving as a Titan Ambassador by giving tours to visitors to the Academy, and representing my school on the Plano ISD Superintendent's Advisory Council.
Most Influential Teacher
She says that she cannot pick just one influential teacher. "Mrs. Shanna Irwin-Coury is a brilliant math teacher that instilled a curiosity within me to explore challenging mathematics concepts. also, Mrs. Duyen Paquette helped me create an amazing senior capstone project. And finally, Mrs. Amy Bates, director of special projects in Plano ISD, has been an inspiration and role model through her tireless volunteering and mentoring in Robotics."
Advice to Students
"Make yourself at home. If you really want to get the most out of your high school education, you must embrace your school and get involved. This can mean anything - from joining clubs, creating relationships with teachers and staff, being active in your learning by utilizing tutorials, or growing a community of friends that make you excited to come to school. One of my favorite parts of attending the Academy High School was knowing that school was my true home away from home!"