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Q&A: Senior Katrina Peacock shares how she lives out the Core Value of respect

As we prepare to celebrate the DSST Class of 2023 at Senior Signing Day on April 27, we are featuring how this senior class lives out the six DSST Core Values (Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Courage, Curiosity and Doing Your Best) at school and beyond.

Our first spotlight is on Katrina Peacock, senior at DSST: College View.

Her English teacher Tony Conte said, “Katrina both respects and commands the respect of everyone she encounters. Full of love and understanding, Katrina makes others feel valued and respected through her kind words, actions and positivity. CVHS will always use Katrina as a model for respect in the community.”

Read our conversation with Katrina on respect, close-knit community, and her future plans below.


Q: What are your plans after high school?
A: I got a full ride through Questbridge to my top choice: Davidson College in North Carolina.

I want to major in psychology because I want to help people with conflicts. I think the biggest problem in our world is people not understanding each other. We need to hear each other’s stories.

Q: You’re a QuestBridge Scholar! What was that process like?
A: I actually applied to QuestBridge last year for the 11th grade scholars program. That status would have helped me with applying to QuestBridge as a senior, but I got rejected. 

Now I’m going to get personal here. My dad passed away in July. He was my biggest supporter, so I wasn’t going to apply for Questbridge again since I was having a really hard time.

However, my mom, college advisor Mr. Wellum and my friends encouraged me to apply. I worked really closely with my AP Literature teacher, Ms. Cochrane, to write my college essay. That strong essay helped me become a QuestBridge finalist.

Q: Why do you think you were chosen to represent the DSST core value of respect?
A: Of all the core values, respect is something that I prioritize. Not only because it’s a DSST core value, but also because it’s a personal core value of mine. I try to think about respect in all of my interactions with others.

“Am I treating this person how I want to be treated? Am I creating an atmosphere with myself and with my peers where people are comfortable? Am I seeing other people’s perspectives and responding in a way that they feel valued?”

That’s just me and how I was brought up. 

Q: In which classes or clubs have you been able to exercise the DSST core value of respect? 
A: AP Psychology for sure. That’s where I learned the terminology for what comes to me naturally. And in Civics, too.

We’re learning about the “story of self.” I’ve learned that you don’t have to agree with everyone, but it’s important to hear their story. That’s how you connect on an emotional level and make your connection meaningful. 

I’m also the moderator of a book club with my friends. I make sure we’re having fun and that our discussions are respectful.

Q: Who in your life is a role model for how to be respectful?
A: My mom. She is a bakery manager. She has a heart of gold. There’s just something about the way that people gather around her. She exemplifies who I want to be and how I should treat other people.

Q: Tell us about the DSST: College View Class of 2023. 
A: College View is small. That’s what makes us special. I know every single person in my senior class by name. You look around and there are friendships that have so much love. The teachers care so much. Yes, we make jokes and have fun. There’s a lot of laughter here, but at the end of the day, we have a culture where we care about each other. We have respect and that’s why we’re unified.