(Versailles, IN) – The South Ripley High School Champions Together Program, under the direction of sponsor Brenda Strimple, was recently notified that they have once again met all of the qualifications to earn a National Banner as a Unified Champions School.
First earning the National Banner in 2019, by meeting the qualifications again in 2023 South Ripley High School becomes the first and only school in the State of Indiana to earn the National Banner for a second time.
Superintendent Rob Moorhead commented, “Becoming the first school in the state to earn the National Banner for a second time shows that South Ripley is not only a local and state leader, but is indeed a national leader in the Inclusion Revolution.”
The Champions Together Program is a partnership between the Indiana High School Athletic Association and Special Olympics Indiana. The program provides opportunities for students with and without disabilities to compete together in various activities representing their schools.
According to specialolympics.org, “A Special Olympics Unified Champion School has an inclusive school climate and exudes a sense of collaboration, engagement and respect for all members of the student body and staff. A Unified Champion School receiving national banner recognition is one that has demonstrated commitment to inclusion by meeting 10 national standards of excellence. These standards were developed by a national panel of leaders from Special Olympics and the education community.”
On Monday, November 27, South Ripley High School held an all-school assembly along with students from the junior high school to celebrate this accomplishment. Representatives from the IHSAA and Special Olympics Indiana were on hand to join in the celebration.
Superintendent Moorhead went on to say, “This accomplishment does not happen without the tireless efforts of Brenda Strimple. Her passion for helping all students become involved in representing South Ripley is truly inspirational. It’s another great day to be a Raider.”
(South Ripley Community School Corporation press release)