With a touch up here and there, the Community Wellness Trail was rechristened Sept. 8 at the New Lexington City Schools campus.
Dedicated to the memory of special needs teacher Mike Buscemi, the trail rededication was a joint effort of New Lex Schools and Perry County Board of DD. “We like to think outside the box,” said DD Board President Kevin Yuchasz. “This is an effort to help people (involved with DD) transition to everyday activities.”
The track, which begins near the front entrance to the Elementary school and weaves through the campus, was graded and widened with inclines lowered to allow for better wheelchair accessibility.
“Everyone in the community is encouraged to participate on the trail,” said school district nurse Molly Dupler. “When thinking of this trail I think of Mike, he encouraged all of our kids to participate in physical fitness. I can imagine him bringing his group here.”
Buscemi was an adaptive physical education teacher at New Lexington, “He had a special connection with his students and they felt special,” said New Lexington Elementary Physical Education teacher Dani Lamonica. “He took their physical disability and made it a strength.”
Buscemi’s parents, wife and daughter were on hand at the unveiling of the new track, along with teachers, school officials and students, who opened the track with a walk in his honor.
“What better way to get the community, students and staff involved in physical fitness?” Dupler asked. “I consider this trail a trail of the heart, and Mike’s heart will be remembered here every day.”