For the first time, two students who are graduating from Lancaster High School, have yearbooks they can read. The two seniors are visually impaired, and one of their teachers made sure they each received braille yearbooks, which they can cherish for the rest of their lives.
Dan Fruck is one of those seniors. As he walked the halls of the school, one of the last times as a student, he lit up the building.
“No way Robinson, you ain’t catching me buddy,” he jokes with one faculty member.
He said he’s had a great experience at the school over the years, and has gotten to know many of the people in the building. Now, he can read what his classmates and teachers have written to him, in his senior yearbook.
“It was so touching to get the yearbook,” Fruck said. “Sorry, I’m getting emotional here, but it was just so touching.”
It was a touching gift that was headed by an Erie 1 BOCES teacher, Karen Galluch. Since October, Galluch has spent about 60 hours putting the braille yearbooks together.
“I went during February break, I took a whole bunch of pages, and when I had some time, I would do that. I would braille pages,” she said. “Whenever you found time, you would do it.”
Galluch had some help from other Erie 1 BOCES and Lancaster High School staff to make the two braille yearbooks. Karen Weickart, Tammy Velletta and Stephanie Collins helped put them together. Lancaster’s Yearbook Advisor, Katie Staszak, and Yearbook Business Manager, Rob Gross, also assisted.
The other yearbook went to Andrew Miles.
“I’ve used Braille ever since Kindergarten, so 13 years,” Miles said.
As News 4 filmed, Andrew sat and read the names of his fellow classmates from his personal yearbook.
“I was very pleased to get it, and it looked very amazing,” he said.
Galluch has known the two students since kindergarten. She’s a specialist in vision education and taught Dan and Andrew how to read braille when they were just kids. She’s prepared their braille material over the years, and taught them how to use a program that can transcribe words into braille, and the other way around. She’s helped set them up to be independent adults.
“They want to be independent, they don’t want people to help them,” Galluch said.
And when asked why she spent all that time creating these yearbooks for Dan and Andrew, she said it’s just what teachers do.
“That’s something I thought the boys would really need and want,” she said. “It’s what a teacher does.”
And both seniors have big plans after graduation. Andrew plans to go to ECC in the fall. He wants to be a historian one day. Dan is musically inclined, and would like to get into music therapy or massage therapy one day.
Karen Galluch plans to retire this upcoming December.