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Strong English and communication skills distinguish this week’s Summit Award winner, Grace Henderson.
Employers in today’s economy are clamoring for college graduates who possess exceptional speaking, writing and listening skills and Henderson is a step ahead of many of her peers. During her junior and senior years she has worked on the Sheridan High School newspaper, The Ocksheperida. Currently, she is a features editor of the Ock which involves interviewing fellow seniors and composing feature articles. She feels that her work on the school newspaper has improved her ability to create and compose.
Henderson has been an avid reader, explaining that she comes from a family of readers with a home containing wall-to-wall books. She has read many of the classics, including Shakespeare, Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” and Bronte’s “Wuthering Heights.” Among her favorites is Mark Twain’s, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” While many of us have “bucket lists” consisting of travel destinations, Henderson’s “bucket list” identifies numerous books she intends to read in her lifetime.
She is particularly fond of her AP English literature class which is covering a number of the classics, and she is discovering facts about female writers who published under male pseudonyms due to social mores of the time. Her broadcast journalism course is also of great interest to her as she is learning how to tell a story in visual terms. Filming a documentary for an end-of-the-year film festival is a challenging final project in that class. Michael Clift, who teaches English and journalism classes at SHS and who supervises students working on the Ock, knows his student, Henderson, quite well. He provided a heartfelt accolade in describing who Henderson is and how she is perceived by many at the high school by stating, “First and foremost, her name (Grace) sort of says it all…few of us are privileged enough to be named after what characteristics we best represent.” Clift further reflects that Henderson possesses “a sense of generosity and kindness” and he depicts her as an “attentive and ideal student.”
Henderson has maintained an impressive 3.89-3.90 GPA and has received academic letters. Her coursework included Advanced Placement classes and GATE English classes, together with a diversified number of other courses. Henderson feels that the AP classes motivate you and give you the incentive to work hard. During the summer of her sophomore year she was selected to attend the University Of Wyoming’s High School Institute in which she attended college classes in Laramie for three weeks. Henderson’s communication skills are also enhanced by her musical ability, and she has participated in orchestra all four years at SHS. She began playing the violin at age 6 and mastered the viola as she grew older. During her sophomore and senior years she was a member of the All-State Orchestra.
Another significant accomplishment occurred in Henderson’s life when she was in the sixth grade. She was involved in “Kid Witness News” (KWN), a “global hands-on video education program” designed for elementary and secondary students and sponsored by the Panasonic Corporation. Henderson was among a group of Sheridan County students in Teacher Dana Wyatt’s sixth-grade class who participated in this program and was awarded two of the six national awards for videos they filmed and wrote concerning environmental awareness. Henderson was chosen among a select group of students to present their videos at the national conference in New York City that year, which she describes with enthusiasm as one of the most thrilling experiences in her life. The KWN endeavor left such an impression on Henderson that to this day she volunteers in Wyatt’s classroom to assist the younger generation with their projects. This humble senior is planning to attend UW with the goal of obtaining a master’s in secondary education and becoming a high school English teacher. She is the daughter of Patrick and Brenda Henderson.