In an effort to make the Homecoming Court more inclusive, ASB added two Life Skills students, Jeffrey Gottlieb and Giancarlos Flores, to Homecoming Court this year.
The Life Skills program is offered by the Special Education department and focuses on building life skills for students with cognitive-deficits, as well as providing the students with opportunities for community-based learning and off-campus vocational work.
According to Junior Vice President Talar Sarkissian, ASB aims to have the Life Skills students participate in all the Homecoming Court activities, including events in the quad, creating a video for the Homecoming Dance school assembly. They will also be sitting in the cars during Homecoming Parade.
“They’re just amazing people,” Sarkissian said. “The two seniors we actually have selected…show a lot of the skills that we look for in someone who should be on court or recognized at Mountain View.”
The students were chosen by their Life Skills teachers and aides, according to Sarkissian.
Seamus Quillinan, a Life Skills teacher who works with both students, expressed his enthusiasm for the students to appear on court.
“They are students that really try hard, are great, love Mountain View High School, [and are]really good participants in our community,” Quillinan said.
Gottlieb and Flores are both seniors who will be graduating in the spring after their four years here at MVHS.
“They’re super outgoing, and they love Mountain View High School, and they are really hardworking students. Jeffrey is now in the pep band and goes to the football games, which is really exciting. He loves that, so he’s in front of the pep band and he rocks out with them. Mountain View High School is a big part of their lives…so it’s exciting for them.”
In coming to this decision, ASB held discussions within their class about how they could make Homecoming Court more inclusive.
Sarkissian said that Shareen Estremera, Senior PR and member of Spartan Buddies advocated to recognize the Life Skills students, since they usually don’t receive as much attention for larger school functions.
“Usually they’re not that thought about when it comes to things like Homecoming Court, and so it was just kind of a way to celebrate that group,” Sarkissian said.
“I see it as a sign as how our school is inclusive and thinks about different people and that shows we care about all students on our campus, not just high-achieving students, so I think that really shows the character of our school,” Quillinan said.
In addition, Quillinan emphasized the fact that ASB came forward with the decision, not the Special Education department.
“It wasn’t me going to them, saying ‘we should do this.’ It came from within. It came from the students, and that means even more,” Quillinan said.