As I was at Avon Park High School on Friday to present the aviation program to the incoming ninth graders, I was treated to a special event. Before the school day started, the whole student body, drumline, cheerleaders, color guard, faculty and staff lined the sidewalk creating a corridor of cheers and applause as the Special Stars students were escorted to the bus taking them to their competition. It was impressive, genuine, heartfelt and an unequaled statement of support and caring.

In a world where there is so much divisiveness, hurt and tension, it was nice to see the students, faculty and staff come together to show support and caring for others in such a unique way.

When I asked about it, I was told it was a tradition and “it is what we do here at Avon Park.”

Later in the morning, the eighth graders were challenged to think “RED.” Show Respect, become Engaged, and be Disciplined as they prepare for high school.

The current student body, faculty and staff are leading by example. Well done!

John Rousch