Parade Marshal Announced
The NBHS Student Council is honored to announce that Special Olympian, Mr. Jonathan Mies, will serve as this year’s Homecoming Parade Marshal.
Jonathan has been a part of New Berlin all his life, living just five miles south of town on the family farm. He attended preschool in Waverly. Later, he went to New Berlin for elementary school and then moved on to Franklin for junior high and high school. As a result, he has been a fan of the Waverly-Franklin-New Berlin football team (and other teams) for as long as he can remember!
Moreover, Jonathan has nieces and a nephew (Calyssa Richie, Eva Richie, Samantha Mies, Amber Mies, and Dain Richie) who are members of the WFNB teams, so Jonathan has been to many games as a spectator over the past several years.
Jonathan also supports churches and businesses in the area. He has been part of the Sangamon County 4-H and both the Sangamon Country Fair and the Illinois State Fair. As family friend and community member Lou Ann Loving once said, "I have seen this boy show sheep all my life." Additionally, Jonathan worked at the Travel Plaza at one time—however, he is currently employed at Steak 'N Shake near Meijer.
When Jonathan accepted the title of Parade Marshal, the Student Council members came up with some questions for him and his family:
What was it like for Jonathan to go to the Special Olympics?
“When only four male swimmers are selected to represent Illinois at USA Special Olympic Games, this was a dream come true. He became part of TEAM ILLINOIS in 2018. He met the team in November and corresponded with them all year. In April they practiced together, and then June 30th he was off to Seattle. Jonathan represented this area at the 2018 USA Special Olympic Games! Wow!
This meant being with new coaches, new teammates, swimming in a new aquatic center, having new team uniforms, flying together and having a chance to enjoy every moment with pride and dignity.”
How did it impact his life?
“It taught Jonathan that hard work for many years paid off. It taught him, if you don't succeed try, try again. There are times when Jonathan would be disqualified, or come in 4th or 5th at events. But, he doesn't give up and will try his best the next time.
He learned to appreciate his coaches and local teammates. They all encourage each other. He learned what it meant to have folks back home cheering him on. The signs, cards, parties, parades and everything have just been wonderful. He considers it a chance to be like an ambassador for Special Olympics.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver started Special Olympics 50 years ago and SO has made such an impact on so many lives. Jonathan wants that spirit to continue...Let me win, but if I cannot, let me be brave in the attempt.”
What is Pretzel Pride to Jonathan?
“To Jonathan, Pretzel Pride means doing your best on a team so the team can be its best. We want to be proud of the athletes from Waverly, Franklin, and New Berlin.”
Well, we are certainly proud of you, Jonathan!
The parade will take place on Sunday, September 23rd at 1:00 P.M. and will run from the Sangamon County Fairgrounds to NBHS.