Sally Sherrard placed the long, star-studded, black box on the table, opened the lid, fastened the purple cloak around her shoulders, popped on her magician’s hat and set up her props as the kindergarteners watched silently with awe and anticipation. Now 67, Sherrard began learning how to master magic from her father at age 13 and has been providing entertainment to children and Indian Head summer resort visitors for the past 35 years.
Sherrard is Waterford school’s wellness rock star. Her spirit, according to several of her colleagues, is pervasive. “Sherrard is very active, health conscious and strives to improve her mental, physical and social health daily,” said Roxanne Roberts. “Her way of sharing personal stories about her health-oriented activities are so inspirational and engaging that we all become motivated to try them. She has a can-do attitude and individualizes her discussions to make each of us feel that we too can improve our health. “This past winter she invited the entire school to a “Twist Party” to kick off VEHI PATH’s Greatest Hits Adventure.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Sherrard and her husband fell in love with the White Mountains during a hiking trip several years ago and ultimately settled in New Hampshire. Since then she has served as a pre-school teacher, a health club manager, a substitute teacher and came to the Waterford school a decade ago.
Over her lifetime, Sherrard has climbed several of the White Mountains. This past Christmas, she and her family traveled to the top of Mt. Washington on a snow cat, spent the night and hiked down the next day using crampons and poles. Every spring she plants a huge garden and is especially adept at growing basil and revels in preparing batches of pesto. Not one to sit still, Sherrard is the local coordinator for the Fresh Air Fund, performs with the North County Chorus, swims indoors during the winter months and enjoys walking after school, often with her best friend of 35 years, Kathy Bales, who also works at the school.
As we readily witnessed, she uses a variety of hand and facial gestures to engage her audience. While the kindergarteners were singing a song, Sherrard pulled a multi-colored scarf out of an empty can and then placed a miniature stuffed chicken in a canister, shook it up and voila – out came the chicken and an egg. “I like to give back and you can’t beat live entertainment and making kids think, which is what magic does,” she said. Retiring in June, Sherrard and her husband are looking forward to exploring a variety of national parks and forests in their spanking new tear drop camper. “Tomorrow, “she said “is promised to no one.”