Touchdown-scoring Myshrall to speak at educators forum
By Jacqueline Reis TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
WORCESTER — Patrick Myshrall, the 17-year-old St. Peter-Marian High School junior with Down syndrome who scored a touchdown against Doherty Memorial High School Oct. 21, will be the self-advocate keynote speaker at the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress Educators Forum Thursday at the College of the Holy Cross.
Patrick’s touchdown came in front of 1,500 fans during his school’s first home night game and drew headlines and television coverage for several days. His coach, Tom Henrickson, and Doherty coach Sean Mulcahy had agreed to have Patrick play if the game’s outcome wasn’t in question. The score was 33-6 when he took to the field, and Mr. Henrickson decided not to have the touchdown count.
Three of Patrick’s classmates will introduce him, and he will speak about what it means to be included in the classroom. The forum’s goal is to teach educators the best ways to include students with Down syndrome in typical classrooms. Patrick is the first and only student with Down syndrome at St. Peter-Marian. He attends regular classes with the help of an aide and learns at his own pace. In addition to football, his activities have included National Honor Society, the school track team and musical theater.
His mother, Kate Myshrall, is vice president of advancement at the Seven Hills Foundation, which offers support and services to 28,000 people with disabilities and life challenges. She has praised the coaches, Patrick’s classmates and school for embracing him, but Mr. Henrickson said Patrick is an asset to the team. “Patrick is here every day practicing,” Mr. Henrickson said earlier this week. “There’s good in everybody. A kid like this brings it out.”
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