Ryle HS Unveils UCS National Banner Award

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Ryle HS Unveils UCS National Banner Award

Six-Week Delay Doesn’t Dampen Spirits as Pioneering School Celebrates Success

People stand on either side of a banner that reads National Unified Champion School,Larry A. Ryle High School
Ryle UCS Liaison Jill Rosen joins Ryle students to unveil the school’s UCS National Banner Award.

Thanks to the one major snow storm of the winter hitting Northern Kentucky on their original date, the students and staff at Union’s Ryle High School had to wait an extra six weeks before finally celebration their Unified Champion Schools National Banner Award on March 1. But the wait didn’t put a freeze on the spirits of students, staff and administrators who gathered in the school gym to celebrate the school’s selection as a National Banner School.

The day included several speakers, including Unified pairs Logan Verax and Vincent Gallucci talking about what Unified programming meant to them, Averie Pergram and Alyssa Trame talking about the school’s Club U and Hannah Engel and Logan Gribben talking about peer tutoring. Also Emma Anthon and Maycee Geis led the school in the Inclusion Pledge.

A woman speaks at a podium while another woman looks on from behind her.
Alyssa Trame, joined by peer mentor Averie Pergram, talks to the assembly about her Club U Unified experience.

One of the highlights of the celebration was a video message congratulating Ryle from Governor Andy Beshear. A representative for Union Mayor Larry Solomon stepped in when the Mayor couldn’t attend the new date to declare March 1 Unified Champion Schools Day in Union.

The Ryle Unified Dance Team also gave a performance during the event.

Ryle Unified Champion Schools liaison Jill Rosen was presented an award by the school and all of the Ryle Club U members were introduced before the event closed.

The National Banner Award is a culmination of a long history of working to foster an inclusive school environment. In fact, among the attendees were Northern Kentucky Local Coordinators Mark and Debbie Staggs and their daughter Jennifer. Jennifer is a Special Olympics athlete and Ryle alum who benefitted from Ryle’s commitment to inclusion and peer mentoring programs even before UCS was adopted as an official program at the school.

Kentucky First Lady Britany Beshear and Governor Steve Beshear on a large video screen.
Governor Andy Beshear and First Lady Britainy Beshear sent a video congratulating Ryle High School.

Not content to rest on their laurels, Ryle students are part of the organizational team that will hold a Youth Leadership Summit in Northern Kentucky on March 22.

Congratulations to Ryle High School for their well-deserved honor.

See Photos from the Ryle Banner Presentation Ceremony

Recognition as a National Banner School is the highest honor Special Olympics affords to schools participating in the Unified Champion Schools Program. Ryle is one of two Kentucky schools to receive National Banner recognition for the first time this year and one of five Kentucky schools overall. Louisville’s Eastern High School joins Ryle as a first-time honoree this year while Bullitt East renewed the award it first won in 2019. Other Kentucky Schools to be recognized include Calloway County and East Carter High School were both named National Banner schools in 2018.

For more information about the Special Olympics Kentucky Unified Champion Schools program or about the National Banner Award, contact Karen Michalak-Parsley at [email protected] of 502-326-5002.

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