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Remembering Leslie Sherman

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Twelve years have passed since the lives of 32 people were taken at Virginia Tech. One was a Spartan: Leslie Sherman.

Every year, we honor Sherman and the legacy she left for the WS community. Her former teachers, for example, still recall her love of learning.  

“She was hardworking, determined, and contemplative in regards to her work.  She was someone who didn’t draw attention to herself and wanted to learn for its intrinsic value,” said Maggie Tran, a former WS history teacher.

Sherman was especially fond of history, and the material she learned inspired her to push herself.

“For example, once she was at VA Tech she took to working in the school’s cafeteria because she had learned in her history classes at WSHS that Senator John L. Lewis worked in the cafeteria when he was in college,” said Tran. “ She wanted to feel that experience of earning money.”

Sherman also left an impact on her coaches and teammates, as she ran cross country and track.

“She wasn’t the fastest runner,” said WS math teacher and former running coach Wolcott Baird. “The thing I remember most about Leslie was that she had an infectious smile. She worked hard and was very bright.”

Sherman’s optimistic and hardworking attitude is remembered every year at the Leslie Sherman Invitational, a track meet where the Leslie Sherman award is given out in her honor.

“This award goes to an athlete at our meet that exemplifies what a coach wants from his/her program.  It may not be the best athlete, but it’s someone who maybe has put in a lot of time and effort and finally had a breakthrough, or is the backbone of the program in some other way,” said track coach Christopher Pellegrini.

Sherman also left another legacy–happy memories for those who knew her. Her love for history brought out her fun and positive personality, allowing her to connect with students and teachers.

“Probably my favorite memory of Leslie is either when she would come by my room after school and just talk and offer to help me. We would giggle and talk about who in history we thought was cute,” said Tran.

A passionate photographer, Sherman also left her artwork.

“My favorite memory of Leslie was when she gave me a photograph that she took of me coaching at a meet,” said Pellegrini. “I put it in a frame and gave it to my parents, who live in Florida, as a gift. This picture still sits on their mantel at their home.”

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West Springfield High School Newspaper
Remembering Leslie Sherman