Skip to main content

Wickliffe majorette proves that anything is possible

Oct 23, 2017 11:27AM

By Donna L. Robinson

“If anyone has a dream like I did, work for it and achieve it. When you see a great opportunity in your reach, take it and don’t look back.  If you don’t, you’ll never know what you could be missing.”  No better words could be spoken by 14-year-old Rachel Sumrada, freshman majorette for the Wickliffe High School (WHS) Swing Band.

The very unique and special thing about Rachel’s achievements is that she lost her left leg at birth and was fitted with a non-movable prosthetic device at around 1 year old.  According to her mom, Barbara Sumrada, it resembled a doll leg.

Rachel developed an interest in twirling a baton at 3 years old while watching her older cousin as a majorette for the WHS band.  “She liked the sparkly outfits –– a lot,” smiled Barbara.

Barbara added, “Rachel tends to shy away from the attention she receives because she is an amputee.  The word 'inspiration,' although flattering, makes her uncomfortable.  She is adamant about sharing the spotlight with her fellow majorettes and band members.  I told her at the beginning, that she may get people’s attention at first because she is wearing a prosthetic leg, but she will hold their attention because she is a good majorette.”

Rachel started taking baton lessons in 5th grade through the Wickliffe Middle School L.A.B. afterschool program, then after three years moved into the majorette training class at Showstoppers School of Baton in Wickliffe.

Audrey Moore, owner/operator at Showstoppers, continues to be a positive influence on Rachel by challenging her to go further than she thought she could.  “She does not treat Rachel differently than anyone else…something Rachel has strived for,” said Barbara.

Moore said, “Here we concentrate on the skills needed to be a high school majorette. The bodywork required was more than challenging but Rachel was determined and found a way to conquer those skills.”

Rachel has really blossomed as a majorette in the band according to Barbara.  “She is proud of herself –– I can see it in her eyes. It has given her a sense of accomplishment and a desire to continue to get better.  For the first time in her life, she is part of a real team. I feel a sense of pure joy for her as I know how much this means to her. The sky is the limit with her…she continues to amaze me.”

Pamela Graves, band director for Wickliffe High School said, “The first time I met Rachel at tryouts, her smile lit up the room. She was nervous but her audition was wonderful. Band camp was when everyone got to meet Rachel.  She was right in there with the group working hard and having fun.”

Rachel’s energy and spirit have been on display for people to see. She recently performed at the Wickliffe homecoming game twirling fire batons as well as marched in the Columbus Day parade. She plans to join the flute section of the band when marching season is over.

Rachel said, “I went from football games, to the homecoming parade, to the LCMEA band festival and I have gotten to inspire others wherever I went.  Twirling means the world to me and I couldn’t thank the people enough who have helped me get this far.”

When asked what her goals are for her future, Rachel said, “I would like to teach twirling to kids with other disabilities so they can have as equal of a chance at being successful and happy as I am now.”

Education School News Family Inspirational Kids
  • Sensory Friendly Day

    02/25/2018
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    The Cleveland Museum of Natural History is excited to welcome those on the autism spectrum and th...


  • “Winnie-the-Pooh”

    02/25/2018
    02:00PM

    The Fine Arts Association’s Yarnell Youth Theatre Company presents “Winnie-the-Pooh” in the Corni...


  • Yoga for Tweens

    02/26/2018
    03:00PM — 03:30PM

    Yoga is a lifelong learning activity that children can use to help them focus their energy, reduc...


  • Teen Yoga

    02/26/2018
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    This yoga class will help teens relax and learn how to better handle stress.


  • Coding Club for Kids

    02/26/2018
    07:00PM — 08:30PM

    Kids in grades 1–5, bring your favorite adult for a fun hour of puzzles and games designed to tea...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Fish Fry

    03/02/2018
    05:00PM — 07:30PM

    The 19th annual St. Gabriel Parish Friday Fish Fry will continue through March 23 in the school M...


  • “Winnie-the-Pooh”

    03/02/2018
    07:30PM

    The Fine Arts Association’s Yarnell Youth Theatre Company presents “Winnie-the-Pooh” in the Corni...


  • Maple Sugaring Weekends

    03/03/2018
    09:00AM — 05:00PM

    Ever wonder how pure maple syrup is produced? Discover through hands-on demonstrations and crafts...


  • Third Annual Community Carnival

    03/03/2018
    11:00AM — 02:00PM

    In celebration of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, the Geauga County Board of Developm...


  • Make a Bluebird House Workshop

    03/03/2018
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    As early as March, bluebirds begin searching for a place to nest. They will readily accept manmad...


  • “Winnie-the-Pooh”

    03/03/2018
    02:00PM

    The Fine Arts Association’s Yarnell Youth Theatre Company presents “Winnie-the-Pooh” in the Corni...


  • Guitar Workshop

    03/03/2018
    02:00PM — 03:00PM

    Learn the basics of playing the guitar with this hands-on program offered by Roots of American Mu...


  • Healthy Kids Day

    03/03/2018
    03:00PM — 05:00PM

    Children and their families are invited to join the Lake County YMCA, YMCA of Greater Cleveland, ...


  • Sensory Friendly Day

    02/25/2018
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    The Cleveland Museum of Natural History is excited to welcome those on the autism spectrum and th...


  • “Winnie-the-Pooh”

    02/25/2018
    02:00PM

    The Fine Arts Association’s Yarnell Youth Theatre Company presents “Winnie-the-Pooh” in the Corni...


  • Yoga for Tweens

    02/26/2018
    03:00PM — 03:30PM

    Yoga is a lifelong learning activity that children can use to help them focus their energy, reduc...


  • Teen Yoga

    02/26/2018
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    This yoga class will help teens relax and learn how to better handle stress.


  • Coding Club for Kids

    02/26/2018
    07:00PM — 08:30PM

    Kids in grades 1–5, bring your favorite adult for a fun hour of puzzles and games designed to tea...


  • Fish Fry

    03/02/2018
    05:00PM — 07:30PM

    The 19th annual St. Gabriel Parish Friday Fish Fry will continue through March 23 in the school M...


  • “Winnie-the-Pooh”

    03/02/2018
    07:30PM

    The Fine Arts Association’s Yarnell Youth Theatre Company presents “Winnie-the-Pooh” in the Corni...


  • Maple Sugaring Weekends

    03/03/2018
    09:00AM — 05:00PM

    Ever wonder how pure maple syrup is produced? Discover through hands-on demonstrations and crafts...


  • Third Annual Community Carnival

    03/03/2018
    11:00AM — 02:00PM

    In celebration of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, the Geauga County Board of Developm...


  • Make a Bluebird House Workshop

    03/03/2018
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    As early as March, bluebirds begin searching for a place to nest. They will readily accept manmad...


  • “Winnie-the-Pooh”

    03/03/2018
    02:00PM

    The Fine Arts Association’s Yarnell Youth Theatre Company presents “Winnie-the-Pooh” in the Corni...


  • Guitar Workshop

    03/03/2018
    02:00PM — 03:00PM

    Learn the basics of playing the guitar with this hands-on program offered by Roots of American Mu...


  • Healthy Kids Day

    03/03/2018
    03:00PM — 05:00PM

    Children and their families are invited to join the Lake County YMCA, YMCA of Greater Cleveland, ...


  • Maple Sugaring Weekends

    03/04/2018
    09:00AM — 05:00PM

    Ever wonder how pure maple syrup is produced? Discover through hands-on demonstrations and crafts...


  • “Winnie-the-Pooh”

    03/04/2018
    02:00PM

    The Fine Arts Association’s Yarnell Youth Theatre Company presents “Winnie-the-Pooh” in the Corni...


  • Ladies Night Out at Wildwood Cultural Center

    03/08/2018
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    It’s time to grab your girlfriends for something fun! This monthly date night will allow you to r...


  • Fish Fry

    03/09/2018
    05:00PM — 07:30PM

    The 19th annual St. Gabriel Parish Friday Fish Fry will continue through March 23 in the school M...


  • Maple Sugaring Weekends

    03/10/2018
    09:00AM — 05:00PM

    Ever wonder how pure maple syrup is produced? Discover through hands-on demonstrations and crafts...


  • Maple Sugaring Weekends

    03/11/2018
    09:00AM — 05:00PM

    Ever wonder how pure maple syrup is produced? Discover through hands-on demonstrations and crafts...


  • Strike It Big!

    03/11/2018
    11:00AM — 03:00PM

    Milestones Autism Resources, a local autism organization dedicated to improving the lives of indi...


  • Fish Fry

    03/16/2018
    05:00PM — 07:30PM

    The 19th annual St. Gabriel Parish Friday Fish Fry will continue through March 23 in the school M...


  • Railfest 2018 Model Train Show

    03/17/2018
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    • See 13 operating layouts in many different scales. • Buy, sell, and/or trade. • New and use...


  • Lake County YMCA East End is hosting a Youth Overnight for boys and girls ages 6-12 from Saturday...


  • Railfest 2018 Model Train Show

    03/18/2018
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    • See 13 operating layouts in many different scales. • Buy, sell, and/or trade. • New and use...