By Wade Coggeshall
AVON — AVON — Brennan Hadley isn’t your typical high school senior.
This spring, while peers will seek prom dates and be busy wrapping up their high school diplomas, Hadley will already have hers. She’s graduating Dec. 20 with an honors diploma from Avon High School.
Starting in January, she’ll be a freshman studying athletic training at Indiana State University in Terre Haute. A four-year varsity cheerleader at Avon as well, Hadley has a spot on ISU’s co-ed cheerleading squad waiting for her when she gets to campus.
“I’ve taken all my (Advanced Placement) classes, so I have all the credits I need,” Hadley said after cheerleading practice one day recently at Avon High School. “I feel like I’ve done everything I can here. I’ve worked hard to get to this spot. Taking the harder classes has definitely pushed me through.”
Hadley’s been cheerleading since kindergarten, when her mother heeded a teacher’s advice and enrolled her in a program.
“It’s a way for me to express myself,” Hadley said. “I like cheering and having people cheer back.”
She said it was always her goal to cheer in college too.
“I feel like I should be (on the sideline) at all times,” Hadley said.
It should help make her transition from high school to college easier, especially since it’s happening in the same school year.
“I’m ready for the change,” Hadley said. “I know it’s going to be different and I’m going to have to adjust and make new friends, but I think being on the cheer team will make me more social and help me make friends, so I can adjust quicker.”
For someone majoring in athletic training — with plans thereafter to study physical therapy — Hadley’s suffered few injuries in her cheerleading career.
“Knock on wood, hopefully it will stay that way,” she said, adding she’s always been physically active. “I love to get out and do things. I don’t like sitting at home. I’m one of those people who always feels like she has to be doing something.”
Hadley also played tennis, but had to give that up in order to graduate early. One other activity she hopes to continue at ISU is a program called Peer Pals, in which students mentor the developmentally disabled. Hadley is president of Avon’s chapter, which she joined at a friend’s prompting.
“It’s great to put smiles on their faces,” Hadley said of Peer Pals. “I’m not sure they have such a program at ISU, so maybe I’ll just start one there.”
Of all the people at Avon High School, she says she’ll miss her coaches and teachers the most.
“It’s a really good school,” Hadley said.