Wilde Lake's family affair Student-athlete: Wilde Lake's Katie Troutman, who will have earned 12 varsity letters by the time she graduates, is thrilled to be following in her father's footsteps by attending Yale.

January 18, 1998|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

It was Dec. 15, 1997. The time was 2 p.m. Mary and John Troutman walked to the mailbox and found what they were looking for.

"We pulled out the mail, and there as a letter from Yale," said John Troutman. "The next thing we were doing was putting the letter up to the sun, and you could see looking though the envelope, 'Welcome to Yale' ."

Their eldest daughter, Katie, a Wilde Lake senior, was in.

Mary and John took out all the letters from the mailbox except one. A few minutes later, Katie and her sister, Annie, a sophomore at Wilde Lake, arrived home. They suggested Katie go to the mailbox.

"When I opened the mailbox and there was just one letter and my parents where there with cameras, well, I had a good feeling," Troutman said. "It was a larger than normal envelope. You could read through it. It said 'Welcome to Yale.' At that point I was pretty confident."

Troutman always has been confident.

"Even as a freshman, she had a lot of self-confidence," said field hockey coach Karen Doerrler, who coached Troutman for four seasons. "She's not arrogant at all, but self-assured. She knew who she was and what she wanted to do."

Said Troutman: "I think I've always felt I could rely upon myself."

Back to the mailbox. "I think my parents expected me to jump up and down," Troutman said, "but I just stood there with a ridiculous smile on my face. I was very happy."

"I started crying," said Mary Troutman, who works as a social worker at a Baltimore City elementary school. "I'm a believer that if you have dreams you work to make them come true. She wanted to do this, and she always had it in her mind."

Troutman, who will have earned 12 varsity letters when she graduates in May, was 5 months old when she first visited Yale in New Haven, Conn. Nestled in a baby stroller, her parents pinned a button on her that read: "Yale Class of 2002."

John Troutman, a successful builder/developer in Columbia, graduated from Yale with a civil engineering degree in 1965. In June 1980, Troutman went to her father's 15-year reunion. And every five years since, Troutman has gone to Yale with her father.

"I went there as a freshman," John Troutman said, "and I was scared to death. I learned to love the place and the people. I've always felt a sweet spot for that place, and I think I conveyed that to my daughters."

Troutman, an All-County field hockey selection last fall, flew to visit Stanford last May with her father. In July, they visited Princeton, Columbia and Yale. During the Yale visit, Troutman came back to her father and said, "This is where I want to go."

Troutman, who played three years of varsity basketball but is on the indoor track team this winter, applied early to Yale.

"I chose Yale because of the opportunities it will provide me with," said Troutman, who also has played three years of varsity lacrosse. "It really encapsulates everything I'm looking for in a school."

Troutman attended Glenelg Country School through eighth grade before going to Wilde Lake. It was during her middle school years at Glenelg Country that she started thinking seriously about academics and about Yale.

"Middle school was definitely where it started," said Troutman, who turns 18 Jan. 31. "I was incredibly driven to have everything perfect. Academically, I wanted to do the absolute best I could. I guess in high school that same attitude has remained."

Troutman, who was voted homecoming queen last fall, is in the top five percent of her class, has a 3.92 grade-point average and scored 1,490 on her SAT. She is taking four advanced placement courses.

Troutman is thankful to have received the education she got at Glenelg County, but she couldn't be happier with her choice to leave there and go to Wilde Lake.

"I feel very lucky to be in the Wilde Lake district to have gone to such a wonderful school," Troutman said.

Troutman has served on her class council, the debate team, choir and this year is president of the Student Government Association. But sports, she said, "probably has been the best part of high school."

"I'm a decent athlete who works hard," said Troutman, who captained the field hockey team last season. "Sports for me is basically for fun. It offers you a chance to push yourself and grow."

In two years, John Troutman will travel to Yale in June for his 35th class reunion. He doesn't expect his eldest daughter, who will be on her summer break, to be with him this trip.

"She sure as heck will have seen enough of the place," John Troutman said.

But Troutman might surprise him. "I'll probably end up going along just for old times sake, Troutman said. "We've got to keep the family tradition. I guess only time will tell."

Pub Date: 1/18/98

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