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"Gritty" Student of the Month

In November of 2009, her 6th grade year, Hailee suffered a serious head injury from a gymnastic accident. Ultimately a section of her skull was removed to allow the swelling to run its course. Hailee did start her 7th grade year on time although she laughs about not having any hair, the result of an additional surgery. Hailee has actually had 9 major surgeries at this point, with multiple doctor visits in between. Often wearing a helmet to protect her head, Hailee successfully completed OJHS and started OHS. Hailee navigated grades 9 and 10 participating in a full College Prep class load while continuing to require surgeries for the head injury. As a result of different medical issues, it was determined by the family and doctors that an independent study program would be beneficial to Hailee. Hailee has excelled at Valley Oak. According to her instructor, Mr. Greaves, Hailee completes her assignments and regularly works on additional assignments to accelerate through the program. Hailee is scheduled for concurrent enrollment with Columbia Community College this spring.

Hailee Cunha is an excellent example of a young person overcoming obstacles and exhibiting perseverance. Hailee does this with a ready smile and maturity not often seen at this age. Congratulations Hailee!