Delaware Christian’s Art overcomes adversity
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Delaware Christian School’s Caroline Art hasn’t decided on a college yet, but is looking at schools in sunnier climates, including in Florida at Clearwater Christian College or Pensacola Christian College; Bob Jones University in South Carolina is also being considered.
“I’m a sun person,” Caroline explained.
“I have 10 blankets on my bed now,” she said, adding that her father gives her a blanket every year at Christmas.
Caroline can go two years before declaring a major. Her interests lie in either medical or law school. Her father is an attorney, who provides the impetus for consideration of law school.
“I love the law,” she said.
It was an earlier illness and the care from doctors that provided her interest in medicine. If she chooses a medical profession, she is debating a future as either a pediatrician or a heart surgeon.
Caroline has volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House since seventh grade, serving a meal once a month through her church. Becoming ill herself around the 9th grade, she can relate to the sick children there, she said.
Caroline was diagnosed with gastroparesis, a stomach illness for which there is no cure.
Caroline became sick her freshman year, and continued being ill until the start of her junior year, going in and out of Children’s Hospital.
Attending Delaware Christian since kindergarten, she has grown up with most of the small 25-member senior class, she said.
So far, senior year has been good, she said.
“I like it a lot,” Caroline said, adding she only has four classes, but uses the remainder of her school day working on the yearbook, homework and writing papers. She remains at school to drive her sibling and cousins home at the end of each day.
“Last year there were 10 of us here at the school,” she said of her extended family.
Christi Quist is yearbook advisor at the school and has worked with Caroline as a member of the yearbook staff for the past three years.
“This year, she is the student life editor,” Quist said of Caroline. “She is one of the most selfless people I know. She is always looking for ways to help others or encourage her fellow students. She is sincere and genuine, openly honest and caring. I rarely hear her complain, even though she had to battle her way back from poor health last year, and make up a lot of missing work, she did it with such a sweet spirit, never grumbling. She is a living example of what thanksgiving should look like.”
Science teacher Johanna McDonald is also impressed with Caroline’s determination to do her best in spite of all her difficulties and health issues.
“She is a hardworking girl and a very good student,” McDonald said. “I was impressed also with her as a junior high student — always enthusiastic and always top student. Then again, in 10th grade with her very sick and absent a full semester, she still asked for work to be sent home to keep up.”
McDonald said Caroline’s character has a quality of endurance and a “huge inward strength to accomplish what she needs to do”
“She is just so joyful,” the teacher said. “A normal student could get very discouraged with being sick so much.”
David Art has been Caroline’s history and government teacher since the seventh grade.
“I have seen her become a person ready to enter the world. She is a hard worker with a good sense of responsibility,” he said. “Caroline has a great sense of humor which has carried her through personal challenges. I would call her an ‘over comer’ as she has come out on the other side of a difficult-to-diagnose illness that at one point, just over a year ago, had nearly debilitated her. Caroline’s perseverance and personal faith in God carried her through as she worked at keeping up with school.”
Art said that Caroline, who is active in her church group, has a positive attitude.
“She has the type of personality that attracts other people, so she has a lot of friends whom, I believe, she has a positive impact on,” Art continued. “As Caroline’s uncle, I have considered it a great privilege to teach her these past six years, and as play director, I even got to work with her when she was in ‘Charlotte’s Web’ in the 8th grade. I have many fun memories with her in the classroom, as I hope she does. (Sometimes it’s hard to be the fun uncle and the history teacher) I will miss her smiles and funny anecdotes she brings to school as she graduates.”
Trying to catch up again in school from her recent illness, Caroline is not sure if she will be able to participate in all that she wants to this year. On her list are the school play, basketball, softball and volleyball.
Right now she is helping with her father’s recovery from recent knee surgery. With an entire knee replacement and off work until February, her father will need 24 hour a day care, Caroline said.
But she is still keeping up on her college applications, and advises others to do the same as well.
“Don’t completely slack off,” she said of her advice toward senior year. But she adds that it is important to “have fun and make memories.”
Caroline is the daughter Andrew and Julia Art of Lewis Center.