Irvington Class of 2009: Catherine Crinigan

Shivani Manivasagan, Staff Writer

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Catherine Crinigan, a graduate of Irvington’s Class of 2009, shares her journey through high school and college to her current life where she lives in Arizona as a dietician for Tucson Veterans Hospital, with her husband, a firefighter for the Tucson Fire Department.

Going through Irvington, Catherine was a typical high school student. She fondly recalls her statistics and history classes, and especially her involvement in sports. Catherine loved sports, and most of her profound memories from high school are her experiences in track and cross country. Sports nutrition and health became important to her personally, and her senior QUEST project was about whether people experiencing food insecurity could maintain a healthy diet. She pursued this natural interest in nutrition into her current career as a dietician.

Catherine’s family hoped to move to Arizona after her graduation. Though she looked for graduate school programs in other areas, she decided that Arizona State University was the best fit for her long term goals. Out-of-state tuition was costly, however, so Catherine decided to begin at a junior college in Arizona. At the time, this felt like an atypical path that she hadn’t prepared for.

Catherine experienced a big transition from high school to college in that Irvington had been a lot more academically rigorous than the junior college she began studying at. Because she maintained the same work ethic she developed at Irvington, college classes were easy. This made college life feel like a much better balance of work and fun, while high school had seemed like a constant workload of AP classes and extracurriculars. Catherine studied nutrition: after two years of junior college, she transferred to University of Arizona for her bachelor’s degree, and and went to Arizona State University for her master’s degree.

While taking the junior college path is sometimes considered atypical in the Irvington environment, Catherine says that looking back, it was one of the best and smartest decisions she has made. Smaller classes in a less stressful learning environment made it easier to develop a strong foundation of the basics, which gave her an easier time in classes after she transferred. It was easier to get good grades and a good GPA, all while saving a lot of money.

Catherine made meaningful friendships during her time at Irvington. She recently got married, and expresses her appreciation for four of her friends who were in Irvington’s cross country team with her who came from all over the country to attend.

“In high school and especially this stage of life,” Catherine says, “there is a lot of pressure placed on kids to ‘get somewhere.’” Her advice for current students is to enjoy extracurriculars that are meaningful to them because they could become lifelong hobbies. “Most importantly, remember to enjoy every stage of life and cherish high school experiences.”