West ninth grader literally received the sweetest Snowcoming Dance proposal
By Allison Trampe, Current Staff
Austin Jug never expected to be at the center of a high school dance. Austin, you see, is in a wheelchair.
“I recently got asked out to my first high school dance ever,” Austin said.
Austin, a West ninth grader, has cerebral palsy, which is a disorder of movement, muscle tone, or posture. He also has OMA, a visual disorder. He was surprised when Lexi Isaac, an East junior, asked Austin to the WBHS Snowcoming Dance on Feb. 27, especially because she did so in a big way.
During Austin’s fourth hour class, Lexi came in with two big posters that combined letters and candy bars to spell out, “Hey Smartie pants… Take 5 to hear me out. This may be a bit Nerdy, but I’d be an airhead for not asking. We’ll have a Good & Plenty time and Mounds of Fun. Don’t Chuckle or Snickers at me, but you’d be a Lifesaver and a Sweetart if you would Razzle and dazzle to Snowcoming with me! No Twix, just say yes, or yes!”
“Okay!,” Austin exclaimed. His reaction was captured on video, which can be seen below.
“She made me a poster and I returned the favor by getting her a corsage,” Austin said.
Lexi Isaac is an ISICS student (student helper) for Dawn Goralski, a special education instructional assistant at WBHS. Lexi’s only duties were to help Austin from his classroom to the elevator and help him get his lunch. However, she did not stop there.
“She stayed with him for lunch every day and sat and had lunch with him,” Goralski said.
This is where a beautiful friendship bloomed. “We’re besties,” Austin said.
Lexi and Austin had talked about going to Snowcoming before.
“I asked him if he was going to ask somebody or if he had a date already, and then while we were down at lunch we were joking around and laughing and talking about if I asked him to the dance, and then that gave me the idea to make him a huge poster and officially ask him,” Lexi said.
However, for Lexi, it was not just about the photos that would be taken or the big way she asked him, but it was about making Austin happy.
“I couldn’t think of a day when he wasn’t smiling or laughing, and to be able to have the honor of asking him and getting to see how truly happy he was when he saw the poster just topped it all off,” Lexi said.
The night of the dance Austin and Lexi were taken there by Patty’s Kids, which is a program that transports special education students to high school dances.
“Without Patty’s Kids, Austin wouldn’t have been able to go to the dance,” Goralski said.
While Lexi is not the first student to ask a special education student to a dance, she really helped Austin, who is new to the high school.
Sometimes it is hard for Austin to make friends, according to Goralski, but when asked why people should be friends with him, Austin said, “Because I’ll be their friend, too.”
Austin plans to go to the dance again whether or not he gets asked. Next year he plans to ask Lexi to go with him.
Patty’s Kids has been around for 25 years and has helped special education students go to the dances every year. The program was originally run by teacher Patty Brown, who passed away in 2005. Since then Goralski has run Patty’s Kids, but she has recently announced that this year will be her last as the adviser of the program.
(Photographs and video courtesy of Dawn Goralski, special education instructional assistant.)
3 responses to “Mounds of Fun”
Awesome report Allison! Thank you for writing about this special moment.
You really captured a great story Allison. Loved the detail in your writing – it made me feel the impact of the friendship between Lexi and Austin. You’re a very good writer and storyteller.
It was a great night and he was smiling big every time I saw him!