March 29, 2018

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Sarah Henderson Named VSU College of Education and Human Services Top Graduate

Sarah Henderson

VALDOSTA — Sarah A. Henderson of Adel, Georgia, is the recipient of the Spring 2018 President’s Award for Academic Excellence for the James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services at Valdosta State University.

The President’s Award for Academic Excellence is presented to the graduating student with the highest grade point average in each of VSU’s five colleges — James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services, College of the Arts, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration.

VSU will celebrate its 225th commencement on Friday, May 4, and Saturday, May 5.

Henderson will serve as the official banner carrier for the James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services during the undergraduate commencement ceremony at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 5, on the VSU Front Lawn. She will graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Education, with a major in special education and a focus in early childhood special education general curriculum.

“I am extremely grateful to receive this honor of leading my fellow graduates into the commencement area,” she said. “We have dedicated so much to this moment in our lives, and I am elated to be given the privilege of representing the James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services.”

As a student at VSU, Henderson was a member of the Baptist Collegiate Ministry, where she served as Worship Band leader during the Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 semesters and as a small group co-leader during the Fall 2016 semester.  

Henderson’s commitment to academic, research, and service excellence on campus, in the community, and around the world resulted in her being named a Zell Miller Scholar and a member of VSU’s Dean’s List four years in a row and earning the 2014-2015 Cook County Educational Foundation Scholarship and 2014-2015 Frances Wood Wilson Foundation Inc. Scholarship. She was named leader of the New Life Baptist Church of Adel Youth Band during the Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 semesters. She volunteered with the Massee Baptist Church of Adel Youth Group on Sunday evenings during the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semesters and with CrossPointe Church of Valdosta’s Busted Up Bike Shop during the Spring 2018 semester.   

After graduation, Henderson plans to move to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she has accepted a two-year teaching position with Teach For America, a nonprofit organization committed to enlisting, developing, and mobilizing the nation's most promising future leaders to grow and strengthen the movement for educational equity and excellence. She hopes to eventually return to school to pursue a graduate degree “so that I can increase the impact I have on my students,” she said.

Henderson is the daughter of Gregory and Kimberly Henderson.

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