Her 3.75 grade-point average is high, yes, but they all have at least the required 3.5. Every one of the students worked hard to pull the grades while participating in school activities and logging at least 40 hours of community service.
She is, however, the only one who has Down syndrome.
Rising to the occasion again: Student with Down syndrome inducted into National Honor Society at Blue Valley NorthAs she was called to walk across the Blue Valley North stage at Thursday night’s ceremony, her achievement was not singled out. Her name carried no extra weight on the program. She blended in.
“That’s the part of it that’s the greatest achievement,” said Nancy Pence, the faculty co-sponsor of the National Honor Society. “That she’s a part of this group.”
The society’s national headquarters doesn’t keep statistics on how many students with Down syndrome have been inducted into the elite honor society. But Sarah’s achievement is unusual enough that she is the first in Pence’s seven years as a sponsor, and the only inductee with Down syndrome that Carter Burns has known in more than 30 years of being a principal.
Unusual but not surprising to Sarah’s teachers. Or her parents.
They’ve watched their little girl surpass expectations all her life. She’s so social, she runs into friends wherever she goes. So good at memorizing facts, she’s a “Jeopardy” whiz. She’s been in three school musicals. She taught herself sign language.
“People would look at us like, ‘She can’t be doing that,’ ” said her mother, Pam Sherman. “She can. She did.”
Sarah never considers what she can’t do. She just knows what she can do.
“I learned from experience hard work does pay off,” Sarah said. “I feel if I persevere, the work will get done, and hard work does pay off.”
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