Education and Religion Come Together in Columbia
"She was spending a lot of time in another town, so it was really hard for me to get to know other parents," said her mother, Rosemary Christensen. She also worried about the commute when Katee started driving.
Didier Aur of Helias High School said they only had 12 students who commuted from Columbia to Helias.
It's not just the Christensens supporting the new school; families and businesses all over are donating their time and money to help out.
By fall of 2009, a 22 acre lot located on the north side of Gans Road, west of Highway 63, will be a high school.
Supporters of the plan are raising $10 million for the school.
"I've had people stop me after church, I've had people stop me after mass at school, people stop me in the parking lot and start asking questions like] is it really going to happen?," said Jon Bequette of the Catholic Campaign Committee.
Other private high schools hope the buzz will actually increase awareness of other educational opportunities.
"There's no question Columbia has a very good public school system but that doesn't mean it's the best experience for every individual child," said Trent Amond, of the Columbia Independent school.
"I think diversity of high schools will help community spirit," said Scott Williams of the Christian Fellowship School.
As for Katie, her spirit helped her make friends when she transferred to Rock Bridge. Though she will graduate before Columbia's catholic school opens, her mom says the school is a step in the right direction.