Westside Special Olympians Recognized At Basketball Game


Adam Kamaleddine

A Special Olympian is recognized during a recent Westside basketball game.

On Friday, Feb. 14, Westside High School’s athletic department joined forces with Westside’s special education department to recognize athletes participating on the Special Olympics team. This included the Sparkles, Westside’s unified dance team, the Unified Bowling team and other Special Olympics sports in the school. Director of Special Services Kami Jessop said it was Superintendent Mike Lucas’s idea to recognize these athletes.

“Special Olympians are a big part of our school system and we want [students] to know how much we support them,” Lucas said.

According to Jessop, many individuals coordinated the event at the basketball game to ensure its success.

“Elementary principals Garret Higginbotham and Scott Becker, teacher Kari Wilson, Sparkles leader Katie Healey and cheer coach Marti McQueen all played a role in pulling this event off,” Jessop said.

Lucas said he wanted to highlight Westside’s inclusiveness through the event.

“We want to really emphasize that we are all on the same team of Westside Community Schools,” Lucas said. “We can all embrace, support and help each other [to] make Westside [a better place].”

Jessop said she was pleased with the results of the event.

“We were pleased to see so many turn out for the game and recognition,” Jessop said. “The students were full of enthusiasm and it was so great to see how proud and positive they were.”

Both Higginbotham and Jessop said they would love to host the event again.

“We would certainly do this again,” Jessop said.