Unified Champion Schools Updates

Unified Champion Schools Update Page

Welcome to the SONC Unified Champion Schools updates page! The purpose of this page is to keep our Unified Champion Schools well informed on upcoming events, requirements and resources throughout the year. This page will be sent out to all of our Unified Champion Schools once a month, but it is always live and can be found on our website.

Want to learn more about becoming a Unified Champion School? Check out our Unified Champion Schools overview page.

Unified Champion School: Highlight

2018 USA Games Youth Leadership Experience 

Rising Seniors Olivia Rudolph and Sydie Garrett from Wake Forest High School were selected to represent the state of North Carolina in the first ever Youth Leadership Experience (YLE) at USA Games. Sydie and Olivia participated in a number of leadership opportunities from acting as on-site reporters at competition venues to volunteering at the Young Athletes Festival!  “We loved the YLE experience! It was amazing and left us with lots of newfound knowledge on Unified Clubs. Specifically, we loved getting to hear other people’s ideas for fundraising and activities, getting to shadow Hasbro, and working with young athletes. We can’t wait to bring new ideas back to North Carolina!”

Unified Champion Schools: National Banner Recognition Program

A Special Olympics Unified Champion School has an inclusive school climate and exudes a sense of collaboration, engagement and respect for all members of the student body and staff. A Unified Champion School receiving national banner recognition is one that has demonstrated commitment to inclusion by meeting 10 national standards of excellence. These standards were developed by a national panel of leaders from Special Olympics and the education community.

The primary activities within these standards include: Special Olympics Unified Sports, Inclusive Youth Leadership and Whole-School Engagement. Banner Unified Champion Schools should also be able to demonstrate they are self-sustainable or have a plan in place to sustain these activities into the future. For more information check out the additional resources to the right. Questions about the 10 standards or application process email

Coaching Unified Sports Course


So much effort has been put into Unified Sports over the past couple of years, and we want to thank each of you for your continued support and dedication! As a thank you, we are offering an awesome incentive for anyone who completes the free online Coaching Unified Sports Certification. This free one-hour course will help you understand and implement Unified Sports in your school.  The updated course, which is hosted by Kevin Negandhi of ESPN’s SportsCenter, is offered at no cost for coaches and educators wishing to implement Special Olympics Unified Sports in their schools. Once you have completed the course, send a copy of your certificate to your Youth Initiatives Director along with your shirt size, and you will be sent a Unified Sports Coach jacket in return!

Unified Track and Field

2017-2018 Season

19 Unified Champion Schools
28 Certified Unified Track and Field Coaches
150 athletes and Unified Partners
12 Interscholastic Unified Track and Field Competitions

2018 Unified 4×100 Meter NCHSAA State Champions

Gray’s Creek High School

2018 Unified 100 Meter NCHSAA State Track and Field Top 7

Jason Carthon, Garner HS 11.93
Josiah Phillips, Sanderson HS 12.09
Andrew Esterly, Gray’s Creek HS 12.39
Jeremiah Bordeaux, Terry Sanford HS 12.60
Devonte Pierce, Gray’s Creek HS 13.08
Anthony Liszewksi, Gray’s Creek HS 13.25
Savion McKenzie, Douglas Byrd HS 13.30

If you have any additional questions or if you are ready to get started, reach out to your Youth Initiatives Director, or email

Unified Champion Schools Resources

Learn more about how to make your school an official Unified Champion School! Download a Special Olympics NC Unified Champion Schools Toolkit!

Unified Sports – A Student’s Guide: An overview that explains how students can bring Unified Sports to their schools.

Want to know who is participating this year? Find the full list of 2017-2018 Unified Champion Schools!

Calling all high school graduating seniors! Check out Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools High School Graduation Packet and see how you can stay involved in Special Olympics after you leave high school!

Contact us

Allison Stockburger (East)


Samantha Huffman (West)