(Pictured: Canon-McMillan High School sophomore Quintin Weismantle.)
During the 21-22 school year, Borland Manor Elementary School students and staff experienced what is called “Mikayla’s Voice”. “Mikayla’s Voice” develops and coordinates unique and innovative programs that allow children with and without disabilities to work and play together. These programs are designed to showcase children’s talent and creativity as they demonstrate successful inclusion in education, art, and sports and recreation.
Michael Resh and Kimberly Resh, Mikalya’s parents, led the November assembly that introduced Mikayla’s Voice. Typically, this assembly also includes a student speaker who helps engage the students and make the content relatable. In the spring, the program continued at Borland Manor Elementary with the “Wheels of Friendship” interactive art project which is now displayed on the walls in the upper hall of Borland Manor.
During the implementation of the program, Kimberly Resh asked Becky Lieb, Director of Special Education at Canon-McMillan School District, if she had any students who may be good student speakers at other schools during assemblies as they wanted to expand from the one student speaker they currently had, Holden from Mt. Lebanon. Canon-McMillan High School sophomore Quintin Weismantle immediately came to Becky Lieb’s mind.
When asked why, she stated, “Quintin is bright! His positive personality is contagious; not to mention he’s super funny.”
Quintin says he loves being a part of Mikayla’s Voice.
“I have Down Syndrome. I want to share that it is not a disability, it’s a different ability. My goal is to tell Mikayla's story and my own life story and to spread kindness.”