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Two IWA Seniors Commit to College Athletics on National Signing Day

For the first time in school history, IWA marked National Signing Day with an all-school assembly in the auditorium, bringing together the student body to cheer on the accomplishments of two seniors, Emily Chaires and Kati Rzasnicki. 

Both students signed letters of intent for Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. Emily will run cross country and track for the Pirates, and Kati will join the basketball team. Both students plan to major in kinesiology.

"I chose SU because I loved the environment," said Kati. "The basketball coaches and team were all very personable  and welcoming and I felt like they really took time to get to know me as a person and not just a file on paper."

Emily agreed.

"I fell in love with the school," she said. "Everyone was so welcoming. I'm excited for this opportunity. Not many people get to say they participated in college sports."

Emily's and Kati's families were on hand for the event. There was a great deal of cheering and excitement on behalf of the students. 

"She is a coach's blessing," basketball head coach Fernando Villasana said about Kati. "Kati is committed to the team and leads by example. She's there at practice, she's there for games. She's evolved from being a leader in the background to one in the foreground."

"On the cross country team, Emily kept working hard to improve and not let anyone down," athletic director Rick Perez shared on behalf of cross country coach Bryan Gonzalez. "She always has a smile on her face, and she really deserves this opportunity!"

Both students know that IWA has prepared them well for college, and both talked about how being athletes at the Academy compelled them to understand time management. 

"I often have late nights after games and practices and still have homework to do when I get home," said Kati. "Learning how to use my free time and study halls effectively has made this a lot easier now than it used to be."

"Being an athlete taught me how to juggle school and sports," said Emily. "I had to find ways to do homework and study, and use my time better."

As the students take this next step in their education, they know they've had a foundation here at IWA that's set them up for success. The bonds of sisterhood have been an important one.

"We're going to the same school," Emily grinned. "When Kati has a game, I'll be there!"

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