Meet Sam. Sam is on the autism spectrum and has cerebral palsy. When he entered the ninth grade at Floresville High School in Floresville ISD, he was mostly non-verbal, but after four years of hard work Sam has made remarkable progress.
When teacher Stephanie Clarke met Sam two years ago, she recalls trying to shake his hand. “Sam looked away, but he extended his hand in my direction. I shook it but he didn’t make eye contact, and it was obvious he was hoping the handshake would be over soon.”
Mrs. Clarke is now one of Sam’s teachers. On the first day of class this year, Sam looked her in the eye and said, ‘Hello, I’m Samuel Roach. Pleased to meet ya!’ as he extended his hand. His handshake was firm and decisive. “He told me he had written 31 pages of a book over the summer, and then asked if I would like to see a picture of his car,” said Mrs. Clarke. “Sam produced a sketch of a 1985 DeLorean.”
Sam loves the movie Back to the Future; he also loves DeLoreans—the car in the film. Sam not only loves DeLoreans, he knows everything about them and hopes one day to own one.
Sam has transformed into a student who isn’t afraid to share his vibrant personality with teachers and classmates. In fact, he has brought so much joy to those around him that the school teamed up to make that DeLorean dream come true for just one day.
With the help of several teachers and staff, a gleaming 1985 DeLorean pulled up to Floresville High School the day before the town’s Peanut Festival Parade—much to the delight of Sam. He literally ran to the car and began to rattle off facts about every detail of the vehicle. He was overjoyed.
The truth is that as much as Sam has changed in four years, he’s also changed the people around him. They’ve been inspired by his hard work, growth, sincerity and kindness. Educators do great things for kids every day, but these teachers recognized what Sam has done for them, too. #IAmTXEd Floresville ISD