When James Glenn walked into North Rock Creek High School on his 16th birthday, he wasn’t expecting a band to be playing the Star Wars theme for him.
“I was surprised a lot, like I was really surprised. I’m gonna rate it a 10 out of 10,” said James, a sophomore at the school in Shawnee.
High praise it is from the Star Wars and Yoda fanatic.
Brandy Bond and her drama class at the school organized the surprise celebration for James’ 16th birthday.
“I’ve always wanted a birthday like this. They’re my good friends and they would do anything for me,” said James.
“James is one of the sweetest students I know. He comes into drama class everyday giving people high fives,” said William Lake, a sophomore.
It wasn’t always like that for James. He’s autistic and used to struggle socially. But coming to North Rock Creek gave James a new hope.
“I’m just crying this morning. We had not one person show up to his 13th birthday party and now here we are at 16 and he’s being welcomed in the door by Star Wars,” said James’ mother Michelle Glenn.
You don’t have to be a jedi to master the art of inclusion. Something the students here practice not just on birthdays. Those who know James said that has been key in his development.
“That’s all you want for your children is to be included and this school has just been amazing for that,” said Michelle.
“The other day when we were getting ready for the party, one of the students, who’s in class with him, said he’s the nicest human being I’ve ever met in my life, and he always has good things to say about people,” said Tim Russell, James’ paraprofessional/instructor.
If you ever wanted to know how to make someone feel special on their birthday, as Mrs. Bond’s class knows, this is the way.