The Student News Site of Liberty High School

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The Student News Site of Liberty High School

Patriot Press

The Student News Site of Liberty High School

Patriot Press

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The Rise Of Champions Together


Liberty High School is home to a wide range of clubs and programs. One of the most inclusive clubs is Champions Together. With 129 members, it is one of the largest programs in the school. Just five years ago, no one would have thought the club would have obtained the large population it has currently. 

Five years ago, the club was much different than it is today. At that point, the club was not even known as Champions Together. With a membership of a mere two people, the ratio was four champions to one buddy. At this point, it was still known as Adapted Physical Education. One of the first buddies at Liberty was Madi Serttas. “We didn’t even have a club yet, it was just known as adaptive P.E.,” said Serttas. It’s known as Unified P.E. now.

“It was their class, we were just there to help,” said Serttas. Mrs. Norman was still teaching the class at the time. She is one of the reasons it has grown so much today. Growing up in the Virginia Beach area, Mrs. Norman wanted to do many things and one of those was teaching. She did not want to just teach a normal class, she wanted to make a change. “One of the best things here at Liberty is how inclusive we are,” said Norman.

Madi was once a student here at Liberty going through all the normal classes until one day Mrs Norman talked to her about joining the Adaptive P.E. class. At first, she did not know what to expect going into something new. As soon as she stepped into the gym, she jumped into action. She was regarded as an excellent student… but in the gym at that exact moment, she knew she had found her place. Madi immediately took a leadership role, showing a lot of responsibility. Mrs. Norman said she felt like Madi was a miniature version of her whom she could trust to watch the class.

After Madi brought more attention to the program, more and more people joined. By the time she graduated, there were six buddies. Going through college, Madi wanted to be a teacher just like Mrs Norman. She is still taking classes today, but she is teaching here at Liberty with Mrs. Norman herself. When Mrs. Norman leaves, Ms. Serttas hopes to step into her position as the head of the Unified P.E. class. Until then, they are working together to run the class for the rising amount of students joining. 

At the start Madi and one other student helped run the class. Today the club has 90 buddies and 39 champions. Liberty has one of the best programs for Champions Together. So impressive that Liberty has even won awards like the ESPN Unified Champion Schools Award. 

Liberty’s Champions Together has come a long way. It is a cycle that keeps going and will live on for years to come. Mrs. Norman’s passion for change and acceptance will live on through every single one of the members. In the future, it will be my turn to come back and teach, and hope that I can touch the hearts and inspire others as much as those before me.

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About the Contributor
Noah Shamblin
Noah Shamblin, Staff Reporter
My name is Noah Shamblin I am a sophomore. I am a part of the football, wrestling, and winter and spring track teams. I am very involved in the school with multiple different clubs and activities.

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    Hannah JermacansMar 7, 2024 at 7:50 am

    I love that you wrote an article about champions in general, but I also enjoy the fact that you put an old perspective of someone who used to go here, I wish you could have gotten some of the things the buddies experience through working with champions!