Katherine Boorstein, Mount Zion High School

In the darkness of night, Katherine Boorstein tucks herself in bed and, to the glow of her laptop’s screen, writes herself to faraway lands and unexplored places. A published and award-winning playwright who also has directed for community theater, Boorstein doesn’t just thrive off-stage. The Decatur 17-year-old also acts and sings. “When I’m on stage I can completely be someone else,” Boorstein said. “I can just express myself and make other people happy.” She still remembers one of the first lines she ever delivered on stage. Then a shy fifth-grader dressed as a brown newt in the Little Mermaid’s entourage, she exclaimed, “Gosh, he was awfully angry.” Ever since, she has been in love with the stage, she said. But drama isn’t the only thing that attracts this well-rounded student. Boorstein, one of the top students in her Mount Zion High School class of 194, got a perfect score on the ACT. She also is treasurer of the student council and co-captain of the Scholastic Bowl team. And, among other activities, she volunteers at a hospital and at the library. “She’s a go-getter,” Mount Zion High School Principal Greg Bradley said. “A bundle of energy.” A passionate history buff, she favors the cosmopolitan Edwardian era in early 20th-century Britain, when women’s suffrage and fashion were at the forefront. “It was a very heightened, merry, crazy period, and that’s just like my personality,” she said, laughing. Boorstein will head to Brown University this fall where she will study English and theater, though she’s thinking about a career in law or business, she said. In the meantime, she knows one thing for sure — her curiosity about the world will continue to inspire and drive her. “I never stop looking for more depth and more meaning for my life.” — Becky Schlikerman
Tribune photo by E. Jason Wambsgans
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