In teacher Anna Howell’s class at South Pointe High School, every student in the class for students with profound disabilities is a friend.
The late Jeffrey “BoDean” Taylor was the epitome of a friend, his teacher and his family said.
So Howell’s class and their families all gathered Tuesday for what is now a graduation week tradition for the class — the “BoDean Bash.”
Taylor died earlier this year at age 21 after an illness, months after graduating in 2016 from South Pointe High. Howell, finishing her second year as the teacher of students with severe disabilities, had the graduation party honoring Jeffrey and all the students last year. She continued it in his honor Tuesday for the 2017 graduate, Bridgette Bradley.
Every student is invited – and their families, too.
“Jeffrey’s nickname was BoDean and he was wonderful,” Howell said. “The students are very close, and it’s important for them and their families to spend quality time together.”
Taylor’s family attended Tuesday, coming back to see the students that Jeffrey was in school with. Brianna Lovette, Taylor’s younger sister, is graduating Saturday from South Pointe High.
“Jeffrey made an impact on people’s lives,” Brianna said. “He changed their lives. He was loved and he loved others.”
Families with special needs children know that theirs is a bond among family members, Brianna Lovette said. The bond with teachers and other students is also extremely close.
The party Tuesday at Manchester Meadows complex included all kinds of food and balloons and pictures of Taylor in school and growing up. More, the party honored Bridgette Bradley, graduating Saturday.
“We all are excited to watch Bridgette cross the stage,” Howell said.
Michelle Bradley, Bridgette’s aunt, was thrilled that the party honored Bridgette Bradley and Jeffrey Taylor.
“This party is lovely – it means a lot to have a party in her honor,” Michelle Bradley said.
Even after students graduate, they and their families will always be invited back for the annual graduation party. The BoDean Bash.
“It’s now a tradition,” Howell said.