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Vestal Honors High School Alum and Hero

"She was the strength in our family," said Sue Connors, sister of Mary Sherlach.

She was a sister, a wife and a hero.

"Driving up there, knowing that if anything was happening in the school, Mary would be in the middle of it, and she was," said William Sherlach, Mary's husband. 

On December 14 2012, Mary Sherlach gave the ultimate sacrifice.  The Sandy Hook Elementary School psychologist died protecting students from a shooter.

On Thursday, the Vestal School District honored the 1974 Vestal High School grad, adding her picture to the Hall of Fame in the schools hall way.

"There's been other awards but I think this one hits home for many because of the fact that it is her high school and it was a very big part of her life," said Sherlach.

"She was a power house.  She was very popular.  She was in band, she was in color guard.  She was in--I just found--out she was on the year book committee, didn't know that," said Connors.

It was the school where she bonded with a classmate who would later introduce her to her husband.

"Mary saw Bill and thought it was a great opportunity to come out and meet Bill through me," said John Simek, Mary's high school classmate.

Now, it's a school where her picture will hang to inspire students.

"I would hope that people that see this would take an interest in maybe mental heath and have her as a role model," said Connors.

"There's nothing probably tougher than the decision Mary had to make and you know these kids are making tough decisions all the time and just look to her for courage.  She can be another source.  She is for us," said Simek.

Her legacy really is not just what happened that morning, but her legacy is all the kids that she worked with.  The ability to make an impact on the world in any of your pursuits--if you're dogging at it and work at it then you get passionate about it and anything can happen," said Sherlach.

**Ali Warner Fox 40 HD News**

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