The People Behind Partners’ Club


Photo by Lorallye Partlow

Junior Devon Mullen strolls with Partner’s Club member Nick Cooper.

Written by Annie Gilbert, Kylee Harrell

With about 100 students, Partners’ Club is one of the most popular clubs at Woodgrove High School. The club started at Woodgrove in 2010 when the school first opened and provides teens a chance to create connections with the students in the Special Education department.

Teacher Barb Kabernagel has been working in the Special Education field for 25 years. In her eyes, the main focus of Partners’ Club is “to establish an opportunity for learning from each other and for learning to accept people’s differences.” One point that Kabernagel finds important for students to know is that  “we are all people.”

Photo By Lorallye Partlow
Partners Club member Grant dances around with Juniors Billy Hughes and Nick Matyes.

While she knows it’s a big expectation, one of the things she hopes to achieve is helping the students who cannot speak become more involved and to have the students join the club to become more comfortable with each other. She wants them to get to know these students on a more personal level.

“People have their own strengths. I think many people assume that just because someone is in a wheelchair they might not be able to move their limbs or that they aren’t able to communicate or express themselves.”

Partners’ Club members often provide the special needs students an entertaining break during their school day. Sophomore Claire Gieseman joined the club this year and wants to help the teens have a fun experience.

”I love how all the kids are so excited for Partners’ Club and all the out of school activities we do with them,” said Gieseman.  Gieseman’s sister is a member of Mrs. Lisa Barcenas’s class.

Photo by Lorallye Partlow
Partners Club Members Miguel and Justin exuberantly dance to prepare for the Partners Club Dance.

The students Barcenas’ classroom say they enjoy all the activities that are held during the school year. The two most popular activities in the class seem to be field day and the club’s dance.

Miguel Aramayo’s favorite school activity is P.E. so it came as no surprise  to his teachers when he said that he liked the dance the yearly dance best out of all the activities.

Many of the student are also involved in other school activities.  Student Dominic Lovingood plays the oxcart in the school band, and Dennis Macy is passionate about working at the Mountain View cafeteria.

9th grader studen, Tori Miron is excited to attend the next Partners Club dance, and so far this year, her favorite thing to do in school is PE.

For most of the students the dance is a perennial favorite and club members try  to make it a magical night for all of them. by having a pre-dance get together.