Where Are They Now? - Katie Copeland

“GCISD set a standard of excellence that I still expect of myself years after graduation. I knew I was capable of doing great things and that I had a responsibility to give my best to improve our community and our world."
-Katie Copeland
 
Meet Katie Copeland, a 2003 Colleyville Heritage High School graduate, lawyer, wife and mother of two. Where Are They Now recently got the chance to interview Katie, to learn more about her life after GCISD. 
 
Katie Copeland, CHHS Class of 2003Tell me a little bit about your life after high school graduation. Did you go off to college (if so where) or did you go straight into the working world? What are you doing currently?  

“After CHHS, I went to Texas A&M University in College Station and obtained a Bachelor in Business Administration in Marketing. Upon graduation, I went to work for Sewell Lexus of Dallas, then became an insurance adjuster at Liberty Mutual, which eventually led me to law school. I graduated from Texas A&M School of Law in Fort Worth in May 2014. During law school, I reconnected with an old high school friend, Chris Copeland, and married him. We now have two daughters, Quinn and Poppy. I am now an Attorney at a large Texas law firm called Naman Howell Smith & Lee, PLLC. I practice in family law and civil litigation defense. I love serving the Tarrant County community and I am currently the Secretary of the Board of Directors for Texas Center for Arts + Academics, which operates and supports the Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts, Texas School of the Arts, Texas Dance Conservatory, and Texas Boys Choir. I also love volunteering with Junior League of Fort Worth and First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth.”

 
What was your favorite high school memory and why?

“I love all of the excitement that went into the pep rallies. I always enjoyed dressing up for the theme days and being exposed to all of the other clubs and sports at the school. I loved the thrill of performing as a cheerleader at those pep rallies.”

 Katie CHHS Cheerleader
Who was your favorite high school teacher and why?

“It’s so hard to pick just one! I was always academically challenged by my teachers and I enjoyed them all. My deepest connection is with Terri Kitzmiller, who teaches Leadership class. I learned so much about myself, my goals, and helping my community in that class.”

 
In high school, did you know what kind of career you wanted or what you wanted to study? Did your mind change anywhere along the way or did you stick to those plans?

“No, I had no specific career in mind, but my teachers made me believe that I had the potential to do great things. I developed a love of learning at CHHS, which drove me to law school four years after graduating from college, even though I had a pretty good career at the time. I turned that love of learning into a career where I get to help people solve legal problems and make their lives look more like they imagine it can.”

 
Katie at the 2002 CHHS Theatre banquet with, now husband, Chris Copeland
If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give your high school self?

“I would tell myself to get involved in theater or debate. I was so busy with other activities that I never pushed myself to develop my interests in the performing arts or debate, which are currently my passions in life. (I also would tell myself to pay closer attention to Chris Copeland, my future husband.)”

 
What advice would you give to a student preparing for college or the working world?

“Believe that you can accomplish your goals and make a plan every day for at least one thing you can do to get closer to achieving that goal. Success is tenacity every single day mixed with taking time to be kind to yourself and rest.”

 
What role did GCISD play in your success in the real world?
“GCISD set a standard of excellence that I still expect of myself years after graduation. I knew I was capable of doing great things and that I had a responsibility to give my best to improve our community and our world. GCISD also taught me how good it felt to set difficult goals and to achieve them. The thrill of accomplishing difficult tasks still drives me today.”