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Destination: Graduation - Katelyn Watson & Marquis Rice

This series highlights graduating seniors from Covington's Holmes High School and is written by staff members at Covington Independent Public Schools:



Katelyn Watson has been accepted to Morehead State University, Western Kentucky University and Eastern Kentucky University. She wants to become a pediatric nurse, and is leaning toward Eastern, the college her health care teacher attended.

Whichever college she chooses, when she attends class in the fall she will become the first in her family to go to college.

“It’s a big deal for me,’’ Katelyn said. “I want to show them that I can do it. I will go and make something of myself.’’

To gain experience, Katelyn, 18, has been working in the health care field - at a doctor’s office and in the nurse’s office on the Holmes campus. She has been applying for scholarships to help pay her way through college. She said she does not want to come back home because of lack of finances. Teachers and counselors at Holmes are helping her find resources. 

“They care about every single senior,’’ Katelyn says. “If they didn’t, they wouldn’t help us. I don’t think I would have gotten where I am without my teachers, my friends and my mom.’’

Katelyn has plenty of great memories of Holmes, such as the musicals, the boys winning the state basketball championship in 2009, prom and homecoming. 

Her advice to incoming freshmen: “Keep your head up. It will get easier. Hard work, effort and time will pay off. Get involved.’’
Katelyn has been involved in many activities at Holmes, such as cheerleading and theater. She is president of SkillsUSA and is a member of the National Honor Society and the National Technical Honor Society.

David Schaefer, IT Instructor at Holmes and SkillsUSA North Central Regional district director, said Katelyn has a good attitude and is always willing to try. “Katelyn is a hard working student that definitely understands how important school is for her future,’’ he said. 

Katelyn said she has learned important lessons while at Holmes, such as not goofing off, keeping good grades and getting involved. “You definitely have to make and keep good friends, and never give up,’’ she added.



Numbers are always running through Marquis Rice’s mind. 

“Every time I see numbers I want to add, multiply or divide them,’’ Marquis says. “I can’t help it. Doesn’t matter if I am looking at the time or an address, I always want to do something with numbers.’’

Marquis also wants to use numbers to make a living. He plans to go to Northern Kentucky University, major in accounting and become an accountant/financial analyst.

“Math comes easy for me,’’ says Marquis in his quiet demeanor. “It just all makes sense to me. I like math, numbers and money. My main goal is to make a lot of money and live comfortably.’’

Marquis, who has spent his entire education career in Covington schools starting at Ninth District Elementary School, will graduate in the top 10 in his class. He has a weighted grade point average of 4.6 and unweighted 3.88.

By the time he graduates from Holmes, he will have a semester of college completed. In the afternoon, Marquis attends classes at Gateway Community and Technical College through the partnership Gateway has with the district.

Marquis says his best memory of Holmes was going to the junior prom. He has been involved in many activities at Holmes, including basketball, Gear-up, PRIDE, Leadership Resiliency Program and the Superintendent’s Student Leadership Council. He has taken Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses.

His advice to freshmen: “Excel in classes from the start. Anything you do now will affect your entire high school career and maybe life. Give a good first impression.’’

The most important lesson he has learned is never to procrastinate.

Marquis says Holmes has prepared him for the real world. The person who has influenced him most is Superintendent Lynda Jackson. Marquis says Ms. Jackson employed him as a co-op student, taught him how to drive on the weekends and helped him with college.

“She is helping me to become a successful person,’’ he said.

Ms. Jackson said she met Marquis three years ago when he served on the student leadership council. “I quickly discovered that Marquis was a bright, outstanding young man with a great future ahead of him,’’ Ms. Jackson said. “He excels in everything he does and has set goals for his future. I am honored to have been able to work with Marquis. I have learned more from him than he has from me.’’