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Sam Coons and Allison Heib to Continue Friendship After High School


He walks into his class, long sleeve grey shirt, paired with blue jeans. His hazel-brown eyes widen behind his glasses as he meets eyes with his life long best friend. A smile comes across both of their faces. Sam Coons meets with Allison Heib, as the two sit down at their table and begin to talk about their other friends, movies, teachers, sports, vacations, just about anything that comes to mind.

The pair have gone to school together since they both attended Henderson Elementary School, and have been best friends ever since. During the average school day, the pair have both math and English courses together, as well as taking Career Based Instruction (CBI) trips, such as shadowing workers and learning the basics of a job in an institution, such as Old Hickory Country Club or at McCallister’s Deli. These trips are taken in order to prepare the students for a possible career after they are done with school.

“They go to different sites in the community and work alongside the employees,” special education teacher Juli Smith said. “It gives them experience and skills that they can use after graduation.”

As Sam and Allison go through the last weeks of their high school career, they will have to prepare to go their separate ways. After they graduate, Sam will attend St. Charles Community College to attend the Adult Life Prep Program (ALPP), as Allison will be attending Community Living Incorporated program, where she will have the opportunity to do volunteer work as well as engage in recreational and leisure activities. Despite the separation, the pair are planning on continuing their friendship into college and beyond, though Allison has described that she cares more about Sam’s future than her own.

“I do [want to stay friends after graduation],” Allison said. “I said over again, [but] he said ‘don’t worry about my future, worry about your future.’”

The pair have been described as having a big brother-little sister type of relationship. They both tend to know what each other need, as Sam looks out for Allison and comforts her when she needs it, and Allison helps keep Sam on focus, as she reminds him what needs to be done. The pair have been together for years, so when one of them needs encouragement, the other is often there to provide for the other.

“They’ve been together so long, they just know each other is going to be there,” Smith said. “They each have moments where they each need encouragement, and they provide that. One example is during the pep assembly, you could tell she was nervous, and he put his arm around her to give her some support.”

The two have made numerous memories during the duration of their friendship, such as going to movies together and bowling. However, one set of memories stand out for Allison above the others.

“[My favorite memory with Sam is] dancing at school dances,” Allison said. “We always do movies and other stuff too.

Sam, on the other hand, has a similar favorite memory to that of Allison’s. Sam’s favorite memory was being crowned Snowcoming king this past February, with Allison standing right by his side as Snowcoming queen.

“When we got the black sash and went up the stairs, we stepped up and Dan Borrelli said that he and Audrey [Baker] were going to be king and queen,” Sam said. “And he said ‘Sam, you deserve this.’ When Dan and Audrey gave us the crown, my parents were there and we had a great time.”

As they grow closer to the end of high school, Sam and Allison have made it a goal of there’s to remain in contact after graduating. They are planning on hanging out over the summer and having a good time, just like they have over the years, as their friendship continues to blossom from its elementary school roots.

“Allison is just a sweetheart, I mean, she’s my best friend,” Sam said. “I think I might have her over at my house. We like to do Wii Bowling because she likes bowling. Sometimes we just listen to music, sometimes we’ll have a slow dance.”

As the end of their four years at FHN draws nearer, it is evident that the pair have made an impact on special education teachers, especially Smith. As the pair go onto graduate and go into their separate programs, their presence at FHN is one that has made an impact and will be missed among the teachers and administrators of the school.

“They’ll both be missed after they graduate this year,” Smith said. “They’ve been part of our program and they have both made it fun for me to come to work everyday.”