Central Crossing cheerleader's fantastic 'adventures' continue
Hannah Wackernagle has a lot to be excited about in the coming weeks.
Hannah, a junior at Central Crossing High School, is a two-year member of the varsity cheerleading squad and recently was voted junior class representative for the homecoming court, scheduled for the first weekend of October. She will be 17 soon as well.
When asked how she felt, Hannah said, "Pretty excited and happy."
"I like music," she said. "I love dancing."
Hannah also has Down syndrome.
"We live in Hannah's abilities," said her mother, Hollie Wackernagle. "We don't dwell on what she can't do ... Hannah's taken me on some fantastic adventures."
Hannah loves being the center of attention, her mother and sister said.
"She'll do cartwheels for the student section," said Lily Wackernagle, Hannah's sister, who attends Park Street Intermediate School. "Every song that involves singing, she doesn't miss."
Hannah said she'd like to go to Hollywood.
"I'd like to be on TV," she said.
In addition to varsity cheerleading, Hannah has been a member of a special-needs cheerleading team at the Cheer Center in Grove City for five years. The team performs exhibition routines at competitions at the Greater Columbus Convention Center about five to seven times a year.
Hannah also has been to Cheer Camp, where she was chosen as All-American honorable mention and went on to perform at Disney Land.
"I love Disney," she said.
Apart from cheerleading, Hannah is a three-year member of the school choir, works at Meals on Wheels as part of a work-study program, and is a Girl Scout and an Honor Roll member, her mother said.
"Hannah doesn't know she's different," she said. "Her being on varsity cheer has been the most amazing thing that could to happen to her."
Hollie Wackernagle said Hannah's high school years are likely to be the best time of her life because of her continuing needs, but Hannah has found complete acceptance and understanding from her teammates and the school.
"It didn't take them long to fall in love with her," she said. "The kids on the team are pretty awesome."
Hannah's friends on the squad and choir pushed for her selection to the homecoming court.
Her mother said Hannah always wanted to be queen of the school, but only seniors could be homecoming queen. She told Hannah she could be the junior class representative, which is sort of like being a princess.
Hannah's teammates started a campaign to get her on the court for the junior class, making fliers and taking to Twitter.
"Everyone loves her at Central Crossing," Hollie Wackernagle said.