Spotlight on Students in Special Education


Saydria Ostler

Freshman Corwin Ammesmaki performs his “special dance move” at the Puma Pal Talent Show on Fri. Oct. 29th. Ammesmaki told the audience that he learned and perfected his dance move in one day.

On Friday, Oct. 29th, Puma Pals held two talent shows during 2nd-5th periods in the auditorium. The program featured and the audience consisted of peers from both Perry and surrounding schools. The first show was the high school show and had audience members from Basha, Casteel, and Chandler. The second show was the junior high show, with peers from Bogle, Anderson, and SanTan. 

There was a lot of work that went into this show. Special Education teacher Caroline Cook was the event sponsor. Pom Coach Tenneal Howard and her pommies choreographed an act for the students in special education. Dance teacher Fara Sadler as well as her Moveo captains also choreographed a dance. Junior Manhattan Tibbot choreographed a dance as well. Culinary teacher Angela Stutz and her Culinary 3 class prepared refreshments for the event. Both Partner PE and the boys on the football team are involved in the talent show. This show brought together a number of students with diverse interests. 

The peer facilitators have also been preparing for this talent show. Perry hasn’t hosted their Puma Pal talent show since 2019. “I’m really excited…this will be my first full year,” said junior peer facilitator Denise Ferrer. “I know Magi did a lot of planning and a lot of back and forth between administrations,” said Ferrer. The students in special education also share their peer’s excitement. “I’m very excited to see how everything is going to turn out,” said sophomore Cole Kostoryz. 

The students in special education are showing off a range of talents. “I’m doing stunts, like rolling on the ground and somersaulting,” said senior student Jeremiah Bobell. Kostoryz is lip-syncing to “Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains of Wayne with his friend Elliot Jones, who is also in the special education program. “I’m feeling nervous and excited,” said Kostoryz. 

Due to the unique nature of the special education classes within the district, the programs from different schools often host events together, making this talent show a multi-school event. While this is exciting for the students in special education, it only increases the COVID-19 risks, because students from multiple schools will be in close proximity. “The fear is that the peer facilitators have gone to homecoming, and there’s a lot of interactions with that. Some of the students cannot get vaccinated, so it’s a safety issue,” said Ferrer. 

Puma Pals next event will be a Friendsgiving in November. Best Buddies allows each student in special education a specific peer facilitator. November is a Friendsgiving in which the officer will bring the main dishes and the peer facilitators will bring the smaller snacks, and all the students enjoy a Thanksgiving-style meal.