'They just fit right in and that's my goal as a special education - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

'They just fit right in and that's my goal as a special education teacher'

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Kyle Davis Kyle Davis
Rebecca Flores Rebecca Flores
Rob Murillo Rob Murillo

SPOKANE, Wash. - Two high school students in North Idaho are shattering stereotypes of what it means to be in special education, becoming the first special-ed students to win "student of the month" awards at Lakeland High School, according to their teacher.

Freshman Kyle Davis won student of the month in October and 16-year-old Rebecca Flores won the award three months later.

Davis says glaucoma robbed him of vision in his right eye and all but 20 percent of the sight in his left one shortly after his birth.

The teenager uses a special computer to view his enlarged homework assignments on a monitor. Davis had earned a grade-point average of 3.0.

Flores has earned a perfect 4.0 despite a learning disability, according to her teacher Rob Murillo.

Murillo was once a special education student himself and used his experience growing-up to pursue a career in teaching.

"I had a pretty bad lisp that when I was little, you couldn't understand anything I was saying and that brought me to remember what those teachers did for me," Murillo said.

Murillo says special education programs have come a long way since the years he was taught in a storage closet. Murillo says he was teased growing-up and has seen school populations adjust to become more accepting of able students who learn differently from others.

"They (Rebecca and Kyle) just fit right in and that's my goal as a special education teacher," he said. "They're just regular kids."

The two students will be presented special plaques for their achievement later this year.

Rebecca says she hopes to pursue a career in art, perhaps drawing Manga comic cartoons.

Kyle is considering a career in science. He says his favorite topic to study is astronomy.

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