Quitman school employees design special chair for fourth-grader

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For one Quitman Elementary student, a new mobile desk and chair was one of the best presents he could have ever received. Fourth-grader Angel Cortez was born with no arms and was in need of a smaller, mobile chair when switching classes throughout the day.  

QES Assistant Principal Lance Morrow and maintenance worker Chris Williams found spare wooden parts, a rolling cart and cushioned office chair to put together Angel’s new desk. In a few days, Williams constructed a seat for Angel to move to his classrooms more easily.

“He was very excited about being more independent,” Morrow said. “He’s a great kid. He’s a kid with a handicap, but you wouldn’t know it because he’s so independent.”

Angel has attended Quitman schools since pre-kindergarten. Before getting this chair, he made do with a large, immobile desk. 

According to Morrow, Angel is a quiet student, but he smiled when he saw his new chair. He was grateful for the gift and gave it the name “Billy.”

“He had no idea it was mobile and was excited,” Morrow said. “With him being able to move it, that really excited him.”

His mom also was excited about the new chair and thankful to Williams. She and Angel’s grandmother even brought Williams a cake to say thank you.

Sitting in his chair, Angel uses his feet to write, which, according to Morrow, comes out very well.

Teachers, administration and students were all excited for Angel to get a new chair. His fellow students help him out in the hallways and classroom.

“It made everybody happy,” Morrow said. “We want him to be comfortable. Him being comfortable led to him being more independent. He gets a lot more freedom to sit in different spots.”

QES showcased Angel and his chair in a new video series on its Facebook page titled “QES Spotlight.” 

The first spotlight was on QISD Food Service Director Vinnie Bass, and Angel was the first student to appear in the series.

“We always want to shine a good light on kids. A lot of times we find kids with hidden talents,” Morrow said

Morrow said the plan is to have bi-monthly feature videos on Quitman Elementary.

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