Skip to main content

Charleston high school senior shows college colors despite online decision day


CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) — Charleston Catholic High School senior Katie Nester had planned to spend Friday in school, celebrating with her friends on the traditional National College Decision Day.

Charleston Catholic High School senior Katie Nester runs around Charleston to break in her military boots before leaving to attend the Air Force Academy.

“I would have been so excited and I still am, but it’s a totally different experience getting to celebrate with everyone,” Nester said. “I’m sad I have to miss that, but we are celebrating online in our own way.”

Nester is the senior class president and star goalie on the state champion girls soccer team. Last year, she verbally committed to play soccer at West Virginia University but changed her mind after getting into her dream schools, the highly selective West Point and the Air Force Academy.

“Getting that acceptance letter was absolutely crazy and exciting,” Nester said. “When I finally decided, it came down to I wanted to serve our country and a great education that comes along with it, and I decided that the Air Force Academy was going to be my home.”

Nester decided she wanted to attend one of the military academies after going to a soccer camp at the Naval Academy in the fifth grade. She was inspired by the men and women who sacrificed everything to protect others and wanted to follow in their footsteps.

“I just think I have this dream of being successful,” Nester said. “Everyone has their own definition of success, but for me, it’s accomplishing my goals and my dreams, and one of those is serving my country.”

A couple of weeks ago, Nester received her military boots in the mail and decided to start running as part of a challenge to break them in. She hopes to run 100 miles before leaving for basic training.

“I am nervous about all of the push ups and everything that is going to happen at basic, but I am so excited!” Nester said. “I can’t wait.”

That running around Charleston has allowed her to proudly show her new college colors, despite not being in school for traditional celebrations. A number of people she has run past have congratulated her and wished her luck moving forward, she said.

“They have been supporting me,” Nester said about her friends going through the college decision process. “I have done my best to support them as much as I could. I think in the end, everything works out the way it’s supposed to work out.”

U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney and Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin, all of whom represent West Virginia, nominated Katie to the military academies to begin her journey to serve the nation. However, she is sentimental about the school and friends she is leaving behind.

“It’s more than just a building where you learn,” Nester said about Charleston Catholic. “You meet your friends, you have a lot of great memories, a few failed tests, a few A+. They all come together and compile into what’s an amazing experience and one that I am definitely going to miss, but I’m excited for what’s ahead.”