The Pryor Times


January 25, 2014

Senior surprised by classmates

PRYOR, OK — A senior class ring is a source of pride for any high school student, but for Pryor High School senior William Scullawl, there is an added bonus; his was a gift from his fellow classmates.

“We were sitting by him during the Josten’s meeting about class rings and overheard him talking about wanting one,” senior David Guinn said.

“David and I looked at each other and then after the meeting we went to the library and started talking about it,” senior Tanner Smith said.

The duo sought the advice of teacher Yvette Barham and a secret mission was born.

Scullawl has been wheelchair bound since age four, when he was struck by a speeding car while crossing the Tulsa residential street between his house and his grandmother’s.

“He looked both ways before crossing the street,” his mother, Lisa, said. “A car appeared out of nowhere and hit him, dragging him more than 100 feet.”

Grandmother, who is a nurse, sprung into action.

“He was not breathing and she performed CPR and brought him back,” Lisa said. The accident left William with a brain injury and partially paralyzed.

Though faced with many challenges, William is known throughout the school for his thousand-watt smile and his sense of humor. He attends the co-op class at the high school along with several other students who face many different challenges. William was also a multiple gold medal winner in the Oklahoma Special Olympics for the past three years. He competes in several events, his favorite being the wheelchair races.

Guinn and Smith began secretly passing a bucket around taking donations to raise money for the class ring.

“Everybody pitched in,” Guinn said.

“The whole school supported the effort,” Smith added.

They managed to keep the secret even when measuring William for his ring size.

“They came to my room and they measured my finger,” he said in his trademark slow drawl. “They said it was for a math project.”

One student approached her dad, who works at a local car dealership, about the fundraiser and the dealership made a donation as well.

It didn’t take long to raise the money. In fact, they had more than enough.

“They paid for his class ring and then used the leftover money to buy three annuals for other Special Olympic students,” Barham said.

When the ring arrived, William was summoned to the vice principal’s office.

“I got called to Mr. Winton’s office and I was like, what did I do?” he said with a grin. “I thought I was in trouble.”

Mom said she was moved to tears.

“They called me and told me what was going on,” she said. “These kids have been so good to William. We hadn’t seen that before moving here.”

Co-op teacher Jennifer Wilson, who is in her first year at the school, said the support is widespread for all of her students.

“This school is a great place to be,” Wilson said. “You have neat kids doing great things for neat kids.”

She said students and teachers alike are often asking how they can help the kids in her class.

“We have students here that just have a true desire to help,” Wilson said.

While William loves school, he’s ready for graduation.

“I’m ready to get out of high school and go to college,” he said. “I have a list of many things I want to be. I want to be a wheelchair soccer star.”

For now, however, he’s fine with being at the top.

“I’m a senior now,” he said.

It has a nice ring to it.

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