Glendale Students Flock Together for Special Needs Student Athletes

Students at Glendale High School flocked to the school gym Thursday for a special sporting event that honored the school’s special needs students.

A Glendale student participating in the 2019 Flock Olympics kickball competition.

The first-annual Flock Olympics featured Glendale’s special needs students competing in a variety of athletic events. Students packed the gymnasium Thursday morning to cheer on the athletes. A student group sold tickets to the event to raise funds for Special Olympics and raised over $1500.

“Student Athletic Council is working together with Special Olympics to put this event on to help with inclusion and make sure the whole Flock comes together to help these kids,” Glendale student Morgan Schafer told OI. “I’m just so happy to be a part of it. We’ve had a huge turnout and I’m so excited that this can go on.”

The event’s genesis came from Glendale’s Halle Jungmann, who told OI the idea hit her after being elected to the schools’ Student Athletic Council.

A Glendale student participating in “sockeyball”, part of the 2019 Flock Olympics event

“I have always love working with students who have special needs,” Jungmann told OI. “When I was elected to be on the student athletic council, I thought that this would be a perfect fit to not only to promote athletics but inclusiveness at Glendale as well. A team of three other students and myself have been working since then to make this event happen!”

Glendale Principal Dr. Natalie Cauldwell told OI what the community saw today was is the DNA of the students at Glendale High School.

“What people need to know about Glendale High School is we take the Flock very seriously,” Dr. Cauldwell said. “We say the Flock is a family. So our whole student body is kind of programmed that when someone’s in need, we jump in and help out. So I think the support shown today by our student body is indicative of the kind of students we have at Glendale High School.”

Glendale students packed the gymnasium for the event.

Cauldwell also noted how the event was created and organized by the students without prompting from school officials.

“Student voices are so important here at Glendale,” Cauldwell said. “This generated from their passion and compassion for students that might not have opportunities that they do, and they wanted to step up and do something.”

“If we have students that step up and want to lead and do something of this magnitude, they have our full support.”

Jungmann told OI the students are working to take the idea district-wide in 2020, discussing with students at other high schools and adaptive PE teachers how they can expand to all high schools.

Here’s a video of the introduction of all the athletes:

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