Fossil’s Kyle Emery to play with the NBA


Karen Manley

Kyle Emery poses in a Special Olympics jacket.

Karen Manley, Editor-in-Chief

Beginning on February 15, Fossil Ridge High School’s very own Kyle Emery will attend the eighth annual Special Olympics All-Star Weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina. Emery will compete against National Basketball Association (NBA) players among the eleven other Special Olympic athletes. These athletes are nominated and chosen from all around the globe.

Emery works at Fossil as a paraprofessional and interacts daily with students with special needs. Over the years, he has become very close with staff and students, evident in the various explanations of his coworkers. “Knowing Kyle, he’s just the most generous person with his time and he’s very helpful and caring and careful of the kids. He’s very loyal…Some days he doesn’t even want to leave because he cares so much about how things are here at school,” said a colleague, Lynn Gombos.

Emery’s caring and friendly attitude has left an impact throughout Fossil, not only on his colleagues, but his students too.

“He’s a wonderful, wonderful friend and colleague. My life here wouldn’t be the same without him. The kids love him,” said Cheryl Ball. “And he loves the kids” added Gombos, “He jokes around with them and he’s always happy to see them and makes them feel good…He really cares about them and it shows.”

Freshman Scout Grieves relates a lot to Emery, especially in the way of sports. “He’s a nice guy, a really fun guy. He’s helps me with basketball, football…He’s great,” said Grieves.

Emery was not only selected to compete in the Special Olympics for his good character, but also for his athletic ability. He has competed in all different Special Olympic sports for thirteen years. “I’m a fitness leader for all my teams so I lead stretches and get everyone training and getting ready for the events,” Emery explained.

A short documentary captured all this, which Emery’s coach and colleagues put together after he was nominated. Although Emery is unsure of who nominated him, he believes it was due to his “being a good role model to others and a good leader to other athletes.” To those who submitted his application, Emery said “I just want to thank them for the opportunity and it’ll be a once in a lifetime experience and something I’ll always remember.”

Student Hailie Jung stated, “I want him to go to the Special Olympics every single time because he’s a really awesome man, and he’s really awesome with the kids and he helps us out during school hours and everything. I want him to stay awesome.” She then added a comment about the best thing that he does, saying, “just walking around, saying ‘hi’ to me every time I see him.”

Laurie Miller, an employee in the Special Education department at Fossil, commented, “He’s deserving of getting an award himself because he’s always there for everyone else and it’s his turn to be recognized.”

Emery is looking forward to his trip, saying, “The thing I’m most excited for is to meet all the other athletes from across the country and play with the NBA players and meet lots of celebrities as well.”

Another colleague and former Fossil student, Kylie Chandler added, “When I was in high school he stood out to me as one of the paras who was just really really hard-working and really has the heart for what he does. Now working with him, it really solidifies that feeling I had when I was younger.”

Adam Waters commented, “He inspires me in everything that he does not only with the kids but with track and Special Olympics. He’s overcome some adversity in his life and it’s kind of one of those instances where he’s very inspiring and why are we complaining about stuff when there’s way more important things going on.”