Central senior named to IHSA All-State Academic Team

Hinsdale Central senior Katrina Geiersbach isn't just an athlete, an award-winning speaker, an accomplished student and a musician. Geiersbach also is one of 26 high school seniors from across Illinois named to the Illinois High School Association's 2021 All-State Academic Team.

The IHSA awards this honor to students who have excelled academically and in extracurricular activities. Geiersbach will be recognized, along with other members of the 2021 team, at a virtual banquet this spring.

"I've always just loved to do everything," Geiersbach said.

So it was no surprise when, with the pools closed due to COVID-19, Geiersbach traded in her swim cap for a tennis racket.

"This year I decided to play tennis for the first time. I ended up falling in love with that, as well," she said.

Geiersbach also enjoys singing as a member of the Hinsdale Central choir. She plays guitar, tutors middle school students, teaches water polo at the Salt Creek Bath and Tennis Club and volunteers as a vice president of The Community House Junior Board.

Her interests inside the classroom are as varied as her extracurricular pastimes. She lists history and English as her favorite subjects but plans to study government, economics and environmental science in college.

"I'm such a people person," said Geiersbach, explaining that history and English allow her to read about people and hear their stories.

As a member of the Hinsdale Central speech team, she enjoys telling stories, too. Geiersbach's informative speech about the militarization of space earned her a spot in the national competition in 2020. As a senior, she was named sectional champion for her speech about conspiracy theories.

"It's been super fun to be a part of the team," she said, noting the experience has left her with skills that she can use throughout her lifetime.

Along with Central's water polo, tennis and speech teams, Geiersbach is a member of the student council, which has been working with school officials to fashion some sort of normalcy out of the final months of the school year. Geiersbach said she's hoping for some form of prom and a next-to-normal graduation to close out her four years at Hinsdale Central.

As she wraps up her high school career, Geiersbach said she has her teachers and classmates to thank for her success.

"They pushed me," she said.

But even with the rigor of her classes and her busy extracurricular schedule, Geiersbach said the most important lesson learned during high school didn't happen in a classroom, in a pool or on a stage.

Faced with the need to distance herself from the people and the activities she loves, she said she found new ways to stay connected and involved. She learned to perform her speeches for a camera rather than a judge or audience and, like so many people, adapted to learning from home.

"The last year has taught me resilience," Geiersbach said.

- story by Sandy Illian Bosch, photo by Jim Slonoff

Author Bio

Sandy Illian Bosch is a contributing writer to The Hinsdalean