Skip to main content

McCormick Turns Loss of Smell into Children’s Book

NHA Communications Team  |  October 26, 2023
The thought of writing a children’s book was intriguing to Sarah McCormick, so she drew from her personal story to encourage others.
When she was a kid she realized she couldn’t smell, so her mom took her to the doctor, who said she either didn’t have an olfactory bulb or it didn’t work. Later she discovered that is linked to Kallman Syndrome.
McCormick, an IT dynamics business analyst team lead at the Service Center, turned her experience into something she hopes helps others who might feel different – a book called “The Skunk Who Couldn’t Smell.”
“I am excited to share my personal story with the kiddos and I hope it encourages them to accept their uniqueness,” McCormick said.

McCormick reading to students.

In the book, Smellarella, the youngest of a family of skunks based on McCormick’s family, discovers she can’t smell and learns to embrace her uniqueness.
The process of working with an illustrator and editor started in February, and it was a lot of back and forth. McCormick chose from a few artists, received samples sketches, and narrowed down her choices from different iterations of the skunks. She collaborated on the details, such as the color of each skunk’s ears and the color scheme for the Skunkerton logo.
McCormick said the best part was seeing the illustrations come together. The early drafts she saw had the words on the page but were small and weren’t formatted. Once she saw the finished product, it was gratifying to see her vision come to life.
“Having it in your head how it’s going to look, but when you see it come to life and read them on the page … seeing it all come together was pretty cool,” she said. “It feels like a very long but short six or seven months.”
Now that the book is out, McCormick is trying to get enough publicity to write another book featuring the Skunkertons. The book is available for classroom orders, and the website has a matching game for the skunks and printable coloring pages.

At the Service Center, McCormick is well versed in going back and forth with clients, similar to her experience with her book editor. She gathers requirements, helps with testing, and works with developers to tailor fields and specifications for various systems. She said the Dynamics Team has made great strides recently by making customers happy, making sure they get what they need, and ensuring that they love their systems as much as she and the team enjoy putting them together.
“It’s really cool to see in two years’ time we’ve made a 180-degree turnaround,” she said. “Everyone loves our team now.”
Keep up the excellent work, Mrs. McCormick!

About National Heritage Academies:
National Heritage Academies (NHA) is a network of over 100 tuition-free, public charter schools across nine states, serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. For more information, visit

Find a School

We have 100+ schools in nine states. Find schools by zip code or by state to learn more about us or schedule a tour!

Find a School