Looks Bright: Ockerman achieves HHS milestones

Published 11:50 pm Friday, March 13, 2015

By Katie Becnel

Editor’s note: The following is the third of a 10-week series, “Senior to Senior,” where a River Parishes high school 12th grader profiles one of his or her peers.

HAHNVILLE — Coming into her senior year, Sarah Ockerman never imagined all the milestones she would face.

Ockerman, daughter of Blaine and Barbara Ockerman of Paradis, was chosen for Senior Salute by Hahnville High administration and voted HHS’s 2014 Homecoming Queen.

But it was the other smaller events of the school year that tugged on her heart.

“My last band camp was my favorite,” Ockerman said. “I really enjoyed meeting new freshman. Being able to be a mentor and a role model was a big encouragement to me.”

She served as a kickoff mentor, as well as being a member of the Art Honor Society, cross country and track team, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Beta Club and Talented Art.

Ockerman credits her parents, as well as her faith with helping her reach her dreams. Her parents’ love and influence helped her stay grounded, and she counts on their support through anything she seeks to achieve.

She attends the First Assembly of God in Des Allemands, is a member of the One Way Youth Group and volunteers for the church’s Children’s Church and nursery.

“I’m thankful to be able to be a role model to girls and young women,” Ockerman said.

“If I can make ladies realize their worth, that’s the biggest accomplishment of this year in my opinion. In the future, I want to pursue more opportunities in women’s ministry. Overall, I give all the glory to God. Without Him I’d be nowhere near this position today. I can’t ever thank Him enough for allowing me all of these opportunities and humbling me while doing so.”

Being named Homecoming Queen was a dream of Ockerman’s since her freshmen year. She remembers sitting in the bandstands during football games, dreaming about her senior year and homecoming and set out to create her own place at HHS.

“It was important to me to be who I am and stand by my principles,” she said.

Fellow students appeared to like what they found in Ockerman, who is fondly nicknamed “Sunshine” by band directors Eric Gueniot and Michael Danigole, two people continually touched by her optimism and good heart.

Ockerman also won the popular vote of HHS’ student body to represent their ideal queen for her school’s homecoming, proving her caring and loving nature is felt schoolwide.

“Sarah is definitely one of my oldest friends,” fellow senior and drum major Katie Schouest said. “I’ve known her since we were in elementary school, and she really hasn’t changed a bit. Then and now she’s been honest, thoughtful, kind, truly one of my best friends. I wouldn’t be who I am today without her help along the way.”

Ockerman’s interests during her HHS career included band, talented art and P.E.

“Through band I’ve grown and come away with a new family,” she said. “You spend four years with the same people in your class and meet so many others. Talented art has broadened my artistic ability so much, and I’m grateful to experience such a creative class. P.E. boosted what everyone needs: confidence and growth in whatever aspect.”

To HHS incoming freshmen, Ockerman challenges them to take advantage of as many opportunities at school as they can.

“Through these extracurricular activities, you find out who you truly are and find people who are so similar to you along the way,” Ockerman said.

Ockerman balanced extracurricular activities with dedication to achieving her best in honors courses.

She was awarded magna cum laude, the DOW award and many more accolades. After graduation, Ockerman plans to attend Nicholls State University and major in dentistry.

When asked to sum up her years past, as well as her hopes for the years to come, Ockerman fondly quoted Proverbs 31:25: “She is clothed with strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future.”