Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Heart of Our HOUSSE

(from Courier and Press)
     I throw like a girl, couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with a ball, and am not known as being what one would call athletic. I was the kid who came in next to last during that awful mile run that seemed like three. Today in the news I heard a story blare from the flatscreen: "Indiana Department of Education Orders Sports Access for the Disabled." My first thought was, Yeah? So what? How does that change anything? I then realized that maybe all schools don't think alike.

     So many hours of our days are spent making sure that teachers are highly qualified and students are not left behind in the classroom. Indiana law also mandates that students with disabilities are given the same opportunities of their nondisabled peers - in other words, making sure they have a level playing field. What many don't realize is that many of these disabled students consistently level their opponents on the playing field! You may not even realize they are there at first because they are part of the team. It's not a big deal, they're just "one of us". Another player. Our homie. Except that it is a big deal. It's huge. Why else would the state feel the need to mandate these rules? Maybe North excels in more than just academics. Maybe we excel in ways that can't be judged by how many college credits teachers have under their belt.  Maybe, just maybe, our staff has a heart for kids.

   Being part of North alumni and staff is a tradition I hope to pass to my children. Some traditions, such as the days where students and staff gathered on Wedeking Avenue to grab an in-between class smoke,  are thankfully defunct. Others live on and I'm proud to call myself a Husky. The dedication of our coaches and support staff amazes me. These folks quietly make everyday efforts to  include all children, such as taking a disabled student home because he was slow and awkward in motor gross skills and missed the bus. These folks patiently practice drill and skill to students who are slower to process the game rules. They make sure disabled students are able to participate, even if it means not coming in first in the meet. To me, that is a winning team.

   So I respectfully thank each one who has made our house a place where all students are included. Who's in the house? The Huskies. The mighty, mighty Huskies.

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