This rockin’ friend duo at BEA is TNT, it’s dynamite
Kenny Schmit, a Blue Earth Area Elementary School student, and a Blue Earth Area Schools custodian, Justin Skaden, have created a very special bond that many teachers and teacher’s aides at BEA have noticed.
Just last year, when Kenny entered the school as a kindergartener, the two began to bond over high fives in the hallway.
Schmit has special needs as a student. Though Schmit lives with disabilities, this does not stop the young first grader from getting the most out of his elementary school experience. Especially when it comes to hanging out with his buddy, Justin.
“Kenny would be working with his teachers and doing daily walks in the hallway, and whenever Justin would see Kenny, he would give him high fives and talk to him and call him ‘Kenny-man.’ It was a really good relationship to see form over time,” says one of Kenny’s aides, Stacy Cole.
“The relationship that Justin has developed with Kenny goes beyond just teaching ABC’s,” says BEA Elementary School Principal, Melissa McGuire. “We teach and model social-emotional learning skills with our students. This speaks greatly to what we strive for, Inspire, Succeed, Excel. You can see they are a great example of being responsible, being respectful, being safe, and being excellent in and out of the classroom.”
Schmit is a part of Keli Enser’s first grade class, and receives special education with direction from his teacher, Sydney Handevidt.
“Kenny is such a hard worker and he is very willing to show us how much he learns,” says Handevidt.
As if on cue, Schmit, with the help of Stacy Cole, shared his new math skills of knowing what one plus one was.
Recently, Kenny has been working on a very special letter for his school friend Justin. They both enjoy rocking out to AC/DC together, giving high fives, and wishing each other a good day. His teachers worked closely with Kenny to write the letter for his friend Justin.
While waiting for a special classroom visit from Justin, Kenny expressed his excitement of seeing his custodial friend by bouncing in his wheelchair and getting his favorite songs ready on his tablet device with a smirk on his face that seemed to say ‘I’m ready to rock and roll.’
Skaden, who has been working at BEA for five years, says something just drew him to Kenny’s energy.
“Whenever I would see him in the hall, he would just kind of light up when he saw me, and we would rock out together and have a good time,” says Skaden. “Right Kenny-man?”
“I got you,” was Kenny’s response to his friend.
“I got you, too, bud,” smiled Skaden.
“You have a good weekend,” said Kenny.
“We’ve got one more day until the weekend, how about you have a good day,” Skaden replied.
“Ya,” smiled this very special BEA student. “You have a good day.”
Now, both Skaden and Schmit have good days quite often at BEA?Schools, since they now have made such an incredible, unique bond with one another.