Mt. Washington School Named One of Top 5 Nationally
Mt. Washington, Ky., hosted the Worldwide Leader in Sports on Wednesday, Oct. 30, when ESPN came to town to present the school with its Unified Champion Schools National Banner Award. The award is the highest honor presented by Special Olympics to schools participating in the Unified Champion Schools program. Bullitt East earned the visit from ESPN for their presentation by being selected as one of the Top 5 National Banner Award winners in the country this year by Special Olympics and ESPN, which serves as a national partner for the Unified Schools and Unified Sports programs.
The presentation was made during a school assembly where all 1,500 Bullitt East students packed the Chargers’ gym. ESPN radio and TV personality Mike Golic Jr. led the assembly, which included speeches from Bulitt East alumni who helped start the Unified Champion Schools program at the school and current members of the Bullitt East Unified Club. The day included video presentations from the Unified Club as well as from Special Olympics Chairman Tim Shriver and University of Louisville Men’s Basketball Coach Chris Mack. Before the banner was unveiled, Bullitt East took on Louisville’s Fern Creek High School in a Unified Basketball game, showcasing one part of the school’s Unified Champion Schools activities.
Golic Jr., who starred as a center on the Notre Dame football team before starting his broadcasting career, took note of what Unified Sports has done for the school.
“Being a part of team sports for so long and knowing what it’s done for me and my family, and now seeing what it’s done here at Bullitt East, I think it’s powerful,” Golic Jr said in a press conference that followed the presentation. “I think it’s a reminder of the parts of sports that are so great.”
Dignitaries who helped celebrate Bullitt East’s accomplishment included Mt. Washington Mayor Barry Armstrong, who declared it Unified Champion Schools Day in the city; Lieutenant Governor Jenean Hampton; State Representative James Tipton and new Special Olympics North America President Tony Wylie, who was making his first trip to a UCS banner presentation and came away impressed with the Bullitt East student body.
“You guys set the bar,” Wylie said after the event. “It was electric. It was authentic. It was very moving. You can see why they’re being recognized.”
Unified Champion Schools receive National Banner recognition for reaching milestones in Unified Sports, whole school engagement and youth leadership and demonstrating the sustainability of their program. Bullitt East became the third Kentucky school to earn National Banner status, following Calloway County and East Carter High Schools last year. The Chargers are the first in Kentucky to win National Top 5 honors.
Thank you to everyone who helped celebrate Bullitt East’s achievement. We are all proud of what they have accomplished!
For more information about the Unified Champion Schools program or to find out how your school can take part, contact Karen Michalak-Parsley at 502-695-8222 or [email protected].