According to the Epping High School Facebook page and a press release from the Special Olympics, Monday morning kicked off with the student body assembled to announce that the school had received national recognition from Special Olympics as a Unified Champion School.  The school has demonstrated a commitment to inclusion by meeting the standards of excellence.  Only three other NH schools have received this honor:  Alvirne High in Hudson, Dover High and Gilford High School.

The Special Olympics was founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver in the 1960's as Camp Shriver in Maryland.

The camp was an instant success, much to everyone's surprise, except Eunice.  From their website:

The children swam, kicked soccer balls, shot baskets and rode horses under the summer sun. Perhaps most importantly, the young counselors, wary at first, began to see, as Eunice already had, that these children were not "difficult," "unteachable," "belligerent" and all those other stereotypes that had been ascribed to them. They merely wanted to have fun ... just like every other kid.

As the step-mother of a person with Down Syndrome, I know how true those words are.  People with special needs just want to be like everyone else.  Okay, maybe with a little more ice cream and laughing, but other than that, just like everyone else.

Congratulations Epping High!  Like Central High School in Manchester was to Audrey, your school will be so special in the lives of so many.