December 9, 2022

Seekonk's Hurley Middle School Recognized as Special Olympics Massachusetts Unified Champion School

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Seekonk -- Superintendent Dr. Rich Drolet and Principal Alexis Bouchard are pleased to announce that Seekonk's Hurley Middle School has been recognized by Special Olympics Massachusetts as an official Special Olympics Massachusetts Unified Champion School.

Special Olympics Massachusetts honored Hurley Middle School's commitment to inclusion by awarding the school with a certificate and banner for its continuous efforts to provide opportunities and activities for all. The school was honored for embodying what it means to be a Unified Champion School through unified sports, inclusive youth leadership programs and whole-school engagement.

Back in the 2016-17 school year, Hurley Middle School and Swansea's Case Jr. High School partnered together to create a Unified Basketball program. Since the program's inception, it has continued to grow within the Massasoit League under Coach Melissa Skodras' leadership with approximately six schools participating each season.

Last year, Hurley Middle School expanded its programming to include Unified Bowling and Bocce was added to the school's list of Unified Sports this year. HMS will be hosting its first-ever Unified Bocce meet this fall.
This year, Hurley Middle School has also established a Unified Club to participate in various activities, and facilitate inclusive schoolwide events with Ashley Armoush serving as the club's advisor.

In addition to sports and clubs, over the years Hurley Middle School has also held “Warrior Pride Acceptance Days," a day in which staff and students are encouraged to wear blue in support of inclusion. On this day, morning announcements are also shared related to the importance of inclusion and fostering a welcoming environment for all.

"At the Hurley Middle School, our staff and students have been committed to ensuring that no child feels left out, especially those with disabilities, by engaging with one another through activities, sports and more," Principal Bouchard said. "By building these connections, we have been able to foster and grow an open and inclusive environment that truly welcomes everyone. We are honored to be recognized and we look forward to continuing the work we've started."

As part of this recognition, Special Olympics Massachusetts will provide resources and tools to support Hurley's commitment to inclusivity. The toolkit includes important dates, reminders and fun items to assist staff with beginning the school year as a Unified School Champion.

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