Over the weekend of March 11 and 12 two separate groups found themselves going to bells to enjoy the outdoors. Frankie Fisher and Brady McKinney (8th graders at Orchard Valley) sought to play some one on one pick up basketball but noticed Bunker Hill student Luke at the school. Frankie and Brady asked Luke to shoot hoops. Realizing that Luke might have different abilities, Frankie and Brady encouraged and support Luke in the shoot around while also teaching Luke some skills. Soon after Luke’s friend Aiden (who is also a Bunker Hill Bulldog) showed up and the four kids began a true inclusive game of practicing basketball shots and playing tag. To those who watched the four boys, it was an amazing act of kindness as two OVMS Panthers in the 8th Grade joined with two BHMS Bulldogs who happen to be in the specialized classrooms at the school.
What Frankie and Brady didn’t realize was that Luke was competing in a March Madness Tournament at the school. It was a school wide assembly and the Bulldogs hadn’t had this event since March of 2020. To celebrate the event, Mr. D’Ostilio and Dr. Muscelli invited Frankie, Brady, and their families to the game to celebrate them and make the honorary Bulldogs for the Day. Mr. D’Ostilio conveyed this story to the entire student body, celebrated Frankie and Brady, and then Dr. Muscelli explained an exhibition game that was about to occur.
Luke’s team had made it to the semifinals. Luke with his teammates Jihad Hamilton, Julian Robinson, Ryan Tresch-Mazzariello, and Chris Bachich were facing off against Jake DiRidolfo, Jake Schumacher, and Isaac Parra. Luke participated in the exhibition event and as the game progressed, the team of Luke, Jihad, Chris, Julian, and Ryan were victorious and Luke exceeded everyone's expectations as a result of the importance of inclusion and kindness. Luke not only worked hard but had his team mates and others who genuinely adjusted their play to meet Luke and Aiden where they were to help both experience success. It just shows how all students can enjoy genuine comraderie as we celebrate that we are more same than different.
We are so proud of our Bulldogs Luke, Aiden, Ryan, Chris, Jake S, Jake D, Issac, Julian, Jihad and our honorary Bulldogs Frankie and Brady for recognizing the Bulldog Mantra. First, "we respect those around us and realize we’re all connected as we celebrate our differences. No one regardless of title, age, experience, ethnicity, gender, identity, talent, appearance, or religion is better than the other." Second, "a life of purpose is one that is rooted in the service of others. We give of ourselves completely to ensure someone else has a positive experience, is cared for, is loved and is treated fairly." #Bulldogs4Life