The magic school bus

Cruisin’ down Rodrigo’s street


Friends and family combined // Everyone that knows and loves Rodrigo made it happen to be on that bus with him, and Rodrigo loved all of it. “I loved seeing fellow Hawks come together and put a smile on his face, which we certainly did. He never let us forget that it was his bus!!” said Miranda.

Kassidy Turner, Editor-In-Chief

On Monday, April 1st, Heath kids took a school bus to Rodrigo Martinez’ neighborhood. They met after school, boarded the vehicle, and drove to pick him up at his house.

But why would they do this? What makes Rodrigo special?

Rodrigo, a Heath student, was diagnosed with leukemia last semester. Ever since, Rodrigo hasn’t been able to come back to school, as he’s been in treatment.

“Rodrigo requested to drive around on a huge bus with all of his friends,” said senior Miranda Jones. “Some of the members of Best Buddies, PALs, and Student Council all loaded up one day after school, hung signs out of the window and cheered him on as we approached his house. We drove around the block singing songs and catching up with him.”

Rodrigo Martinez is a popular Heath kid, apart of the Special Education department. The lack of him on campus has been evident in each and every heart that knows him.

“Before he got sick, I would walk the halls going to PE with him and he would get high fives left and right from everybody. If I was having a bad day, he always knew how to make me smile,” said Miranda.

Rodrigo’s Bus was a last minute idea, but that didn’t keep the bus from being filled with those who know and love him.

“There was only one day to get the word out and fill up a bus to visit him, and students from all grade levels and faculty did just that. It was so cool to see how many people Rodrigo has impacted, and there was still many more that were not able to come. I really have learned through this experience to be intentional with my time with my peers, and cherish every moment that I’ve spent and will spend with Rodrigo.”

For some, being on that bus with Rodrigo was a sacrifice. But for others, seeing Rodrigo is always number one.

“I had tons of homework later that night, but it did not matter because seeing him was my priority,” said Miranda.

As part of his wish, Rodrigo wanted the bus to be filled with tons of Heath kids, but he didn’t expect to see the bus filled with some of his teachers too.

“He was SO happy,” said Miranda. “He kept saying, “this is MY bus!” His first reaction was clearly overwhelmed, but he was so happy to see his teachers and give all of his friends high fives while walking down the bus aisle.”

Programs at Heath, such as  Best Buddies, PALs, and Student Council, make opportunities like this available to Heath kids. These programs allow relationships to be made and grown.

“I met Rodrigo my sophomore year through Best Buddies. I joined Partners PE my junior year and got close with him. We played basketball together, went to Best Buddies events, walked in the halls and talked on the phone occasionally. He always loved to take snapchats on my phone with the filters, so we would do that everyday walking to class together and it was the highlight of my day,” included Miranda.

All Heath kids are important in the eyes of others at Heath, but kids that go above and beyond to make others happy and feel included, like Rodrigo, are what makes Heath its best. Rodrigo’s bus is just one example of many.

“Kids like Rodrigo make Heath special.”