At 11 years old, one local girl could not read, write or even speak.

Sophia Reynolds, Columbus, was attending the Indiana School for the Deaf, but her teachers had deemed her unteachable, unreachable and likely suffering from an intellectual disability. The best course of action, they said, was to remove Sophia from general education classes because she would never be able to succeed in that environment.

But Sophia Reynolds’ grandmother, Vickie Reynolds, also of Columbus, saw something in her deaf granddaughter that no one else did — potential.

Although she could not speak in sign language and had already raised four children of her own, Vickie Reynolds chose to step into the role of parent once again and became Sophia’s guardian, vowing to give her a life of success, regardless of what her teachers said.

Today, Sophia, who is now 16, is an honors student at Columbus East High School, a former member of the East swim team, a talented art student and a dancer at Dance by Design.

For more on this story, see Tuesday’s Republic.

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Olivia Covington is a reporter for The Republic. She can be reached at or 812-379-5712.