My name is Katherine Suzanne Maria Bittner, born of Norbert and Barbara on August 6th, 1991. I am the eldest of six siblings and was baptized and raised Roman Catholic since infancy. My closest sibling is my sister, Rachael, followed by four younger brothers; Nathan, Daniel, Matthew and Peter. Since I was old enough to do so I have helped my mother, a Pediatrician, to care for and raise my younger siblings, especially when she went back to work during my high-school years. This responsibility created in me a great seriousness and sense of accountability for younger children and gave me the skills I needed to care for my siblings. It also gave me a good work-ethic and prompted me to enter the work force at a young age.
My education has shaped my intellectual and emotional development profoundly. I went to St. Mark’s Catholic Grade school from first to fifth grade and was home-schooled during sixth grade due to bullying problems. At seventh grade I enrolled at Trinity School at River Ridge, a two-time Blue Ribbon Award for Excellence school, and my experiences at Trinity have shaped what I believe the ideal curriculum and musical program should be in high school.
I took piano for seven years in grade school, was involved in dance and gymnastics in middle school and played volleyball in junior high and high school. I took recorder in seventh and eighth grade and it has remained a personal passion of mine ever since. In high school I was involved in art, drama, Latin club, speech club, Chamber Choir and Concert Chorale and took voice lessons from David Jorlett. I participated in the state music competitions and received one excellence rating and three superior ratings. I also participated in the National Right to Life Oratory Contest and took first place at the regional level and fifth place at the state level. In college I have been involved in Concert Chorale, Concert Band, swing dance, art competitions, ministry, Jam for the Lamb, tutoring, and was named President of Chamber Singers in the fall of 2012.
Almost all of my work experiences have been involved with caring for and serving others. My first formal job at fifteen was as a junior counselor at Servant Camp, a church camp in Minnesota where I helped care for the youngest group of children at the camp. In 2007 at sixteen I took a long-term position as a dining and activity aid at Minnesota Masonic homes. That summer I also served as a PCA for a young woman with Downs-Syndrome and helped take care of her, received her at home from her summer classes, and fed her. After coming to Benedictine I took a summer position in 2011 at Interlochen Arts Acadamy as a counselor and lifeguard. I served St. Mark’s Lutheran church in Atchison as its choir director for the spring semester of 2012 and that summer I served as a cook at Prairie Star Ranch of the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas. Since the fall of 2011 I have served at Benedictine College as a music tutor and as a life-guard.
My interactions with children have taken place all around the United States. In Minnesota my work as a junior counselor, a mentor at St. Mark’s Catholic Church, and as a PCA all concerned children. In Kansas I have observed at Atchison High school, the Middle school, the Alternative High school, the Boys’ and Girls’ Club of Atchison, Atchison Catholic Elementary and the children in the choir at St. Mark’s Lutheran as well as when I served as a cook at Prairie Star Ranch. In Missouri I have observed at West Platte Elementary. In Columbus Ohio I have also observed at St. Mary’s Catholic Grade School, St. Francis de Salles High School, Our Lady of Peace Catholic School and Immaculate Conception.
As a person, I am an incurably artistic character who finds no greater satisfaction in life than in the creation and admiration of beauty. Since early childhood I have been involved in music, art, drama, sewing, pottery and every form of art known to civilization. My philosophy of life may be summed up as a search for beauty, pure and endless beauty. My faith is an integral part of my self-concept; so much so that neither can I remember a time without belief nor imagine a future without it. It shapes how I think, what I do and how I do it. Differences of opinion and world-view, however, are not hard at all for me to accept and work with; indeed I relish the opportunity and have had much experience working with diversity at Minnesota Masonic homes and at Interlochen Arts Acadamy. I consider music and teaching to be vocations to which I am called. I intend to devote my life to teaching music to people of all ages.