05-17 Cayla Barnes

Ashland Elementary School students from Team Caring, Team Loyalty and Team Integrity pose with Cayla Barns and their welcome banners. Top right, Barnes is pictured with Selena Savage; Middle left; Scarlett Patten gets a close look at the Gold Medal; bottom right, Sydnee Hahn enjoys a special moment with Barnes. (Courtesy photo)

ASHLAND — Olympic Gold Medalist Cayla Barnes recently recently brought a powerful message about perseverance to Ashland Elementary School. She explained that she had originally been cut from the U.S. Women's Hockey team and emphasized that although she was initially disappointed, she continued to work hard as a member of the Boston College Women’s Hockey Team. This commitment to doing her best soon paid off when she received the call inviting her to rejoin the team and compete in South Korea.

Her message to the students also included advice on how to reach their own goals. She encouraged students to always believe in themselves and said, “You will need to find the drive to make your dreams come true. You will get out of life, what you put into it.”

In preparation for Barnes' visit, each team created a welcome banner for her. The students were thrilled to share their artistic skills with her.

Ms. Barnes spent time visiting classrooms, taking pictures with students, sharing her gold medal with them, and signing autographs.

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