Sarah Krause was a student in every sense of the word. She danced to Westerville North High School every day. She couldn’t wait to get to science classes and could barely contain her enthusiasm about learning everything she could about chemistry and geology. She was a founding member and president of the Science Olympiad Team, where Sarah and her friends came up with the slogan, “Science Olympiad: Where it’s Cool to Be a Nerd.” She even used a periodic table at dinnertime as her placemat. Sarah asked questions beyond her years and her inquiring mind and passion for learning launched her to the top six percent of her class, academically. She served as a mentor to incoming freshmen. She also loved bunnies, Wicked and playing the viola. The self-described Orch Dork and Science Geek had a zest for life. She lit up every room she walked into and looked for fun in everything she did. She was brilliant. She was nice. She was funny. And on Monday, September 13, 2004, at the tender young age of 16, she died.
After experiencing flu-like symptoms, the junior was taken to Children’s Hospital where puzzled medical experts labored to save her. Her cause of death was listed as toxic or septic shock, but the underlying cause still remains unknown. Left behind to mourn her tragic and sudden passing were her parents, John and Betsey Krause; her sister, Anna; maternal and paternal grandparents and other relatives; and a host of devastated friends and educators.
A tree was planted directly outside the office of the late Curt Jackowski, then principal at Westerville North High School. He wanted it to be placed “where he could see it.” Most recently, “Sarah’s Shed” has been constructed on the school grounds. Some have wondered “who Sarah is.” Now you know.
In memory of their precious daughter, the family established the Sarah Krause Memorial Science Grant to support projects and experiences in Westerville middle and high schools. All three high schools and two middle schools have benefited. Approximately $30,000 later, that fund is coming to a close, but the impact it has made on students and staff will be realized for years to come. Over the years, money was given directly to students in the form of college and program scholarships; for in-classroom enrichment activities; for equipment to enrich the science curricula; in support of Science Olympiad and Robotics Teams; and for staff training in support of STEM education.
When the fund was first established, the Krause family said, “We want to promote a love of science in Sarah’s memory. She would have liked that.”
To learn more about Sarah, please visit www.SarahKrause.com