Lakota student uses struggle with spina bifida to inspire his classmates

Those of the strongest character often are those who overcome the most.

Lakota Local Schools sixth-grader Landyn Bomar shows that daily.

Bomar lives with a level of consistent, physical pain most have never experienced, but despite that struggle the Cherokee Elementary student has risen to become a leader in encouraging his classmates.

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The wheel-chair bound Bomar recently was named one of six students in Southwest Ohio, Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana to be recognized as a “Hero Of Character” award during a ceremony by the annual award’s sponsor — The Character Council.

Earlier this month saw Bomar receive a standing ovation from his Cherokee Elementary classmates during a ceremony in the school’s gym.

The adulation and award are well-deserved, said Bomar’s former teacher who nominated him for the award.

“Landyn helped to create an atmosphere of kindness, tolerance, perseverance and joy that made my entire classroom a better place to be,” Lakota teacher Todd Overbeck wrote in his nomination letter to the council.

“These special qualities are difficult to teach to students. However, when there is a classmate who exemplifies these traits every day, his attitude becomes naturally contagious,” said Overbeck.

Overbeck said most days Bomar overcomes a five to seven out of 10 level of pain as a result of his battle against spina bifida.

“Through it all, he never complains and always tries his best to be joyful,” he said.

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Before the council’s Oct. 25 awards dinner, Cherokee Elementary Principal Valerie Montgomery organized a special recognition of Landyn as part of the school’s first quarter achievement awards assembly in the school’s gym.

“This young man exemplifies everything I aspire to be with his character, courage, strength and kindness,” said Montgomery, who attended the council’s event. “His smile lights up a room and makes Cherokee and the world a better place.

Lakota Schools Superintendent Matt Miller said one of the district’s students winning a regional, character award is indicative of the emphasis the 16,500-student school system places on character building among its students.

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“Character education is an integral part of Lakota’s curriculum, but the best lessons are taught by students who model the way for their classmates,” said Miller.

He described Bomar as being “an incredible model of persistence and positivity at Cherokee Elementary and for that, he is most deserving of this award. We are very proud of him.”

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