Aledo ISD announces Special Olympics Delegation
December 14, 2021
The Aledo ISD launched its Special Olympics Delegation with a special press conference kickoff event today, introducing the Bearcat Grit team with opportunities for athletes and volunteers to make this partnership a success.
“Special Olympics is something our community has asked about doing for years, and we are so grateful for our Special Programs department for taking on this tall task to make it happen for our students and community,” Aledo ISD Superintendent Dr. Susan Bohn said. “We know our students, staff and families will be excited to cheer on our Special Olympics student-athletes, and I can’t wait to continue the tradition of athletic success!”
In its first year as a delegation, Aledo ISD will participate in track and field and cheerleading for students in grades 9-12 with plans to expand opportunities in the future. Under head coach Dustin Lloyd, an English teacher and football and track coach at Aledo High School, practices for the Bearcat Grit track and field team will begin the week of January 24, and the district will host a Special Olympics Track Meet on Friday, March 25.
Amber Birchmier and Debbie Fields will be the Aledo Excite! cheerleading coaches, and cheer season will begin this summer with community events and games in the fall of the 2022-2023 school year.
The district is actively recruiting volunteers to be buddies for the Bearcat Grit student-athletes. Volunteers are required to go through online training and to complete a background check, all of which is free. Volunteers must complete the application process by Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, in order to begin practicing the week of January 24. Athlete and volunteer recruiting for Aledo Excite! will begin later in the spring.
“We cannot wait to see this program grow as the district continues to grow,” AISD Director of Special Programs Rebecca Faulkner said. “We have already seen so much excitement from our student-athletes who always feel so welcome and included in our campus. It’s exciting to have this event just for them!”
This Special Olympics Texas Delegation comes on the heels of Aledo High School being named a Unified Champion School through Special Olympics Texas. Special Olympics Uniﬁed Champion Schools aim to promote social inclusion through intentionally planned and implemented activities aﬀecting school-wide change. A Unified Champion School has a school climate where students with and without intellectual disabilities feel welcome and are routinely included in, and feel a part of, all activities, opportunities and functions. More than 200 schools in Texas are currently participating in Special Olympics Champion Schools programming with more than 6,500 across the country.
“Being a Unified Champion School is a great honor for Aledo High School and is a testament to the environment and mindset that we’re all Bearcats,” Bohn said. “AHS is a special place where our students are so supportive of each other in everything they do.”
To learn more about the Bearcat Grit Special Olympics team and how you can get involved, visit www.aledoisd.org/specialolympics.