The ESE Wing Of Happiness

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Have you ever been in the back of Westside High School?

Does anybody really know goes on back there?

Some say it could be described as the wing of happiness.

Multiple classes full of students with disablites occupy the wing, which is near the cafeteria and the gym.

Westsidevoice.org reporters spent several weeks shadowing students Alex Bruner, Joshua Chapman (pictured above), and Michael Hamlett (pictured above.)

Bruner, a 15-year-old freshman, likes to draw cool pictures and play video games. Bruner has a few classes that he goes to. He starts in homeroom, then goes off to Mrs. Johnson for social studies. Next there’s Mrs. Gregory’s class, where he likes to watch movies. Finally he goes to gym, where he likes to play baskettball.

“I love to be at school with my friends,” said Bruner.

Joshua Chapman, an 18-year-old senior, has science, English and life skills classes, where he learns to cook, clean and do laundry. He also has social studies and gym.

Most of the classes have 10 to 15 students, who will brighten your day, according to teachers and visitors.

When you come to see them, they automatically greet you with a smile and big hello, visitors said.

Like Chapman, who likes gym, drawing, math and cooking. His favorite color is red.

“I like school but I can’t wait to graduate,” said Chapman.

Michael Hamlett, a 17-year-old senior, who loves to watch TV, also has a few classes with Gregory and Johnson.

Gregory teaches science. Hamlett likes to write in Johnson class.

“I am ready to graduate but I love school.” said Micheal.

“Working with students with autism is the most humbling, yet fullfillling experice ever. It keeps us grounded. We teach them and learn from them,” said Mrs. Freeman, a former teacher of the year and the wing’s site coach.

“It’s a wonderful to hang out with them,” she said. “I would like it if other people would visit us and spend more time with us.”

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The ESE Wing Of Happiness