The third grader was born in China and was adopted by the Hinesley family four years ago. When she arrived in the United States, she could only speak and write Mandarin, her mother, Cathryn Hinesley, told WTNH.
The girl quickly picked up English after arriving.
"Sara is very motivated and a disciplined student," Cathryn Hinesley said. "She excels really at about anything she tries.”
Sara will formally receive the award on June 13, the last day of school. She’ll receive a trophy, $500 cash and $500 for her school, St. John’s Regional Catholic School in Frederick.
Last year's honor also went to a student without hands: 9-year-old Anaya Ellick of Chesapeake, Virginia, according to previous Cox Media Group reports.