After Battle Got National Attention, Emily Eyes Graduation
She had to fight just to attend her senior year of high school and graduate with her friends, but the good people of Montana had her back. Her battle with the Billings School Board ended up getting national attention on Fox News and elsewhere. Now, Emily Pennington is excited to graduate from West High.
For those who may not recall, Emily Pennington is a West High cheerleader who has Down Syndrome. As a result of the old school board policy, Emily would not have been able to attend her senior year due to the age-out policy previously on the books. After the old school board stonewalled the family for months, the family went public and rallied behind Emily and a change in policy.
I ran into Emily and her parents the other day at a track meet, and she is VERY excited to soon graduate from West High.
Her mom, Jana Pennington, sent me this update:
Jana Pennington: She has had an amazing year! She participated in a new class for her at West called build tech. She has built her Dad a collapsible chair and I have a great side table. She is using power tools for all her creations including saws, drills, and sanders. What a great skill to have! She has also volunteering in day care facilities in Billings including the YMCA and St. John's. She has realized she loves working with kids and will continue to do so after she graduates.
So what's next for Emily after she graduates?
Jana Pennington: After graduation she is going to look for volunteer opportunities in our community, hold a parttime job, and a help to family and friends in need. She was a varsity cheerleader this year and was able to cheer on her fellow classmates in all sports including football, volleyball, soccer, wrestling, and basketball. She loves sports and cheering her friends on to victory so this was a dream come true for her! She asked a friend to attend TWIRP, a formal dance where girls ask the boys and she had an amazing night!
She also had some other great highlights from her senior year that revolve around her love for America, and her love for country music. This year she was able to attend a Dierks Bentley concert, the Nile rodeo, and the PBR (Pro Bull Riding). Congrats to Emily and all the soon to be graduating seniors- you've all had to endure a LOT these past 4 years.
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