Katherine Yvonne Santiago
Katherine Yvonne Santiago
Retired Army First Sergeant Katherine Yvonne Santiago, a native of Westland, Michigan, and current resident of Cement City, Michigan, served 20 years in the Army, including numerous distinguished tours during a career on active duty. Santiago was born in Detroit, Michigan, and is a 1980 graduate of John Glenn High School in Westland.
She enlisted in the United States Army and entered active duty as a Private on Tuesday, September 23, 1980 at the age of 18 in the Detroit Military Entrance Processing Station. 1SG Santiago completed basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina with follow-on training at Fort Gordon, Georgia.
The President of the United States of America by an act of Congress presented Santiago the Legion of Merit Medal for exceptionally meritorious service for the period Saturday, November 1, 1990, to Sunday, October 31, 2000, while serving with the 56th Signal Battalion at Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico. She was further honored by the Army, who awarded her the Meritorious Service Medal, three Army Commendation Medals, and four Army Achievement Medals for her service to the United States of America. She served as an Information Systems Chief, and completed the Master Fitness, Communications Security Course Instructor, First Sergeant Army Academy and the Warrant Officer Basic Courses. 1SG Santiago qualified with expert weapons marksmanship and earned the Army Driver and Mechanic Badge. Kathee was honorably discharged from the Army upon her retirement at Fort Campbell, Kentucky on Tuesday, October 31, 2000. Santiago served overseas at Korea, and Panama, with two tours in Germany in addition to Puerto Rico. She served stateside at Fort Lewis, Washington and Fort Campbell.
Santiago graduated from Pierce College in 1996, Spring Arbor College in 2004, and Concordia University in 2009. She recently retired as the elementary principal at Addison Community Schools and previously served as the information technology teacher for 14 years.
Santiago is a member of the American Legion, and volunteers as a Students Against Destructive Decisions Advisor, High School National Honor Society Advisor, High School Class Advisor, Honor Guard Advisor, Yearbook Advisor, Coding Club Advisor, Robotics Advisor, Addison in the Morning News crew Advisor, Key Club Advisor, Student Council Advisor and the Addison Middle/High School PTO President. Kathee married Robert Santiago of Guayama, Puerto Rico; they have two daughters. Santiago received the “Nick Smith” Military Person of the Year Award in 2010, as well as the American Legion Teacher of the Year Award in 2015. Kathee and Robert were inducted into the Hillsdale County Veterans Hall of Fame in 2011.