Members of the Grapevine-Colleyville ISD transportation department sped into action to give a special ride to a student, showcasing Superintendent Brad Schnautz’s “be the one” initiative.

The details

According to a news release, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD’s Special Education Services reached out to the district’s transportation team to see if they could help a student who uses a wheelchair and was part of the homecoming court make his appearance at the football game.

The student, Zakai Clay, has cerebral palsy and requires a wheelchair van to transport the 350-pound wheelchair, which the family currently does not have, the news release says. Clay has been a student in the district since kindergarten. He attended Bear Creek Elementary, Heritage Middle School and is currently a student at Colleyville Heritage High School.

“GCISD’s Transportation Services did not hesitate to not once, but twice, offer to help with one of the district’s special needs vans to transport the student for his special moment,” Director of Communications Rosemary Gladden said.

Since the homecoming game was canceled midway due to lighting Sept. 15 and just prior to the announcement of the homecoming court winners, Clay was crowned at the homecoming dance the following night.

The court will also be celebrated during the Sept. 22 football game taking place at 7 p.m. at Mustang-Panther Stadium, located at 2909 Ira E Woods Ave. in Grapevine. Grapevine-Colleyville ISD transportation staff will once again be helping with transportation for Clay, according to the news release.

Put in perspective

Gladden said that this was a unique situation with one of the district’s special education services coordinators reaching out to the transportation department to assist a student for a school-related event.

“If a family ever needs assistance with their student for school-related needs, they would reach out to the campus,” Gladden said.

She added that the transportation department’s response is an example of “being the one”—an initiative that Schnautz started off the school year promoting.

“One of the things that Dr. Schnautz emphasized at the beginning of the year to district leaders was to look out for opportunities where we can help one another and to 'be the one' for someone in need,” Gladden said. “In this situation, the transportation team and special education services were both great examples of 'being the one' for a student."

Quote of note

“That’s who we are as a district,” Schnautz said. “It’s what we do and how we carry ourselves. Go out there and be that ‘one’ for someone.”

'GCISD is like family'

When Jamie Foster, Clay's mother, heard about what the district was going to do to get her son to the homecoming ceremony, she cried, Gladden said.

“GCISD is like family,” Foster said. “The things that they have done to accommodate Zakai since he’s been in kindergarten, I just don’t have the words for it.”

Foster has established a GoFundMe donation campaign to help her pay for a handicap-accessible van for the family.

Editor's note: This article's headline has been updated to clarify staff assisted a student.