• Last modified 789 days ago (May 19, 2022)


It’s a special day
for a special student

Staff writer

Though every parent at Hillsboro High School’s 2022 graduation will be bursting with pride, perhaps Bruce and Kimberly Jost will be a bit more so as they watch their daughter with Down syndrome walk the stage.

Ella Jost, 18, has been a Hillsboro student since preschool.

Relatives are coming from as far away as Africa to see Ella’s walk, her mother said. After the ceremony, the family will throw a party and celebrate.

Like many high school girls, Ella enjoys school.

“I like seeing my friends,” she said.

She enjoys activities popular with her friends, like singing, reading, and spending time at the swimming pool.

Ella is part of a Going Adventurous Places group, a girls-only school activity funded by a private donor.

Through GAP, she’s been able to go to places such as Tanganyika Wildlife Park and done a service project for Mennonite Central Committee.

Ella’s favorite classes have been reading, science, horticulture, art, cooking, and math. Of them, cooking was the best.

In middle school, she liked bowling.

Ella works in the school library every day and helps with school drama presentations by moving props and opening and closing the curtains.

Dressing up and going to prom was a huge highlight of her senior year.

“Ella loved prom,” her mother said.

“I like to dance,” Ella said.

She likes cooking at home. One of her favorite things to cook is cheesecake.

“And my dad eats it,” Ella said.

She has fun playing with her family’s Labradoodle, Pippa, and spending time with her sister, Talia.

She likes poring over school yearbooks, playing games, and volunteering at Schaeffler House Museum. Her favorite games are Mousetrap, charades, and Twister.

She’s looking forward to wearing cool clothing and tank tops this summer.

She also looks forward to a week at summer camp. She leaves for camp next month. One thing that makes summer camp fun is seeing old friends and meeting new ones.

“I like the water slide,” Ella said.

Other summer pleasures include working at the swimming pool, where she inventories concession stand items, sorts money, and delivers money to the city office.

She’ll help with Summer Food 4 Kids at Trinity Church again this summer.

Ella will be able to take classes until she’s 21.

Next school year she will have a work internship through the school, and the following year she hopes to participate in Project Search, which partners developmentally disabled young adults with employers to teach them job skills.

Looking at life after all her schooling, she thinks she might like to work at Pizza Hut and live with friends.

Last modified May 19, 2022