Katie received her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Georgia in Athens and was a music and theatre arts educator for 12 years. Her teaching career included experiences in public, private, and charter schools in North Carolina and Georgia, working with students from early childhood through adults. In 1998, Katie received a Grammy Award for her performance as a vocalist on the Classical Album of the Year. In 2015, Katie received her Master of Science degree in Instructional Technology and began working as an instructional designer at UNCW. Katie lives in Wilmington with her husband and two young daughters, and the entire Deese family is involved in local community theatrical and musical endeavors.