Top of the Class of 2013: Mesa's Westwood High School - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Education News

Top of the Class of 2013: Mesa's Westwood High School

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Posted: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 5:46 pm, Wed May 22, 2013.

About 568 graduates will receive diplomas this year from Mesa's Westwood High School.

We do not have Valedictorian/salutatorians.

With only 75 percent of seniors reporting, we know students have received:

$16 million in scholarships and grants; and

$5 million in student loans and work studies.

We have a female student that has been appointed to the Naval Academy, other students going to Stanford, Dartmouth, Yale and other Ivy league schools.

Student of note: Sarah Mason.

Not long into the fall semester of her junior year, Sarah Mason began having tremors, balance issues, and visual problems.

Sarah was in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. She was also the Senior Drum Major.

Due to neurological encephalitis, Sarah was in a wheelchair from October through December of that year. Her doctor recommended that she drop out of school to recuperate. But Sarah had other ideas.

Her mother said that because Dr. Jacob Davis, who is the IB director, the band members, Sarah’s counselor and all her teachers have been so incredibly helpful and flexible, Sarah has been able to stay in school and not miss out on her junior or senior years. The band members pushed her onto the field for games and the band booster club purchased railings to put on the podium so she would have support while climbing to the top.

Sarah missed all but 10 days of second semester her junior year. She still has to rely on using a cane, but through the continued help of her neurologist, physical therapy, and her wonderful teachers, she has been able to continue with band, IB, and is graduating in the class top 20.

Sarah will also be a speaker at graduation.

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