Kathryn “Ryn” Sanders, 17, is the daughter of Lt. Col. (retired) Troy and Shannon Sanders.
Ryn was born at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio and moved with her family eight times until her father decided to retire and reside in O’Fallon. Although Ryn has not been a life-long resident of O’Fallon, this is where Ryn has really grown up. After six years, this is the first place Ryn has felt comfortable calling “home.”
Along with being part of a wonderful community, Ryn feels blessed to have been educated in the O’Fallon school districts. Attending Fulton, Carriel, and O’Fallon Township High School, Ryn found herself with teachers who pushed her to expand not only her mind but her passion for history and literature. Academically, Ryn has had the opportunity to participate in honors literature and writing courses, as well as advanced courses in mathematics.
In addition to these achievements in academics, Ryn is also an active member of the OTHS choir program. She participated two years in freshman and concert choir, and three years in OTHS’s award winning show choir. Ryn was selected to perform as court jester in Honors Chamber Choir her junior year. She now has the privilege to serve as the 2017 Madrigals Chamber Lady for her senior year at OTHS. Being a part of the choir program has been a huge part of her life in O’Fallon, teaching her the importance of responsibility, teamwork, and friendship.
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Aside from her involvement in choir, Ryn is also an active member of the theater program at OTHS. Every year, Ryn has had the opportunity to participate in each fall play and spring musical in the capacity of an actor or as a crew member. During her time in theater, Ryn realized the value of collaborative art. One of Ryn’s favorite shows to work on while at OTHS, has been “PIPPIN!” Ryn also has had the privilege to participate in Indiana Wesleyan University’s 24 Hour Theatre Project four years in a row. In addition, she is a two-year member of OTHS’ International Thespian Society.
Although the arts are incredibly important to Ryn, she strives to make sure that she doesn’t spend all her time there. This past year, Ryn had the pleasure of being a part of OTHS’ lacrosse team. She found that being a part of a team was of vast importance in creating a bridge to other students outside of theater arts. Participating on an OTHS sports team gave her additional self-confidence, and she learned to develop the values of true sportsmanship.
Ryn has taken the time out of her busy school schedule to volunteer at her church teaching children in the Sunday school programs, vacation Bible school, and assisting in leading worship with the children’s programs there. She is currently working three jobs and helps families with child care needs.
Ryn plans on attending the University of Mississippi after graduation. Throughout her high school career, she has found that she has a passion for creativity and performing. She hopes to be able to incorporate these traits in her future career by double majoring in creative marketing and musical theater.
After living in so many different places, Ryn fully believes that you need to bloom where you are planted. O’Fallon isn’t just her home, it is where she grew up and became the young woman she is today.
About the Miss O’Fallon Pageant
Date: Friday, July 28
Place: O’Fallon Township High School Milburn campus auditorium.
Time: Doors will open at 6 p.m., and the pageant will begin at 7 p.m.