The photos and report are from Sam Brown, who along with Billy Edwards, both Special Education staffers at West Seattle High School, coach the WSHS Special Olympics Unified Sports teams. If you’re not familiar with Unified sports, she explains, “These are teams that are made up of both Gen-ed Students (Partners) and Special Ed Students (athletes) who compete with other schools in the state.” The big news, from her announcement that went to the entire school:
This last Saturday, WSHS took two teams of Partners (gen – ed students) and Athletes (special education students) to the King County Special Olympics District soccer tournament.
Our “Player Development” team took the SILVER MEDAL, losing to Mercer Island in a double overtime situation [photo above]. Our “Division 1” team [top photo] took the GOLD MEDAL, beating Chief Sealth 3-1 – this allows our D-1 team to move on to the Washington State Special Olympics Championship Games, vying for an opportunity to take first place in the whole state.
This may seem like just another team and another announcement of athletic success – but it is SO much more than that. West Seattle is so blessed to have gen-ed student partners who are willing to volunteer their time and energy to make these games happen. They are bridging the stigmatic gap here in our school between gen – ed and special – ed students, creating relationships and silently advocating for equity all across the boards. West Seattle is also blessed to have spEd student athletes who are hard-working, motivated and so amazingly ATHLETIC!!
Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of this group of students. We will be hitting the State Tournament the last weekend in May, waiting on location details.