Student Journalism at San Rafael High School

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Off the Leash

Off the Leash

You May Not Know It, But Ezra Cole is a Dancer

A profile and a podcast

At 1:30 on a Wednesday afternoon in the special education classroom, as “Thriller” by Michael Jackson blared, a dance party took place. At the center of it all was Ezra Cole. With the biggest smile on his face, he boogied till he couldn’t any longer.

If you walk around SR during any passing period you’ll most likely see Ezra. When you lock eyes he’ll pick up his pace to come to say hi. Standing around 5’8” with puffy black hair and a unibrow, Ezra is a very comforting figure. He is never negative and is one to introduce himself to any group of people. He does not care about the result, and as long as he gets a fist bump, high five, and smiles from all around Ezra Cole is a happy kid. 

Ezra has been a student in the special education department for 2 years. Throughout his time here Ezra has made an impact on the community of San Rafael and has brought good vibes into the school. He takes part in school activities like PE and Rallies and is known by most. His infectious smile is seen across the gym and can lighten a day in an instant.

His teacher, Mr. Mitchell, elaborates. “Ezra brings a sweetness and kindness, no matter who you are or any disability, he is such a sweet kid.”

Mr. Mitchell, along with being his teacher, is a basketball coach. He incorporates this part of his life into his class and his players. Every year, he puts together a special education basketball clinic, where players on the team play basketball and games with kids who have special needs. “It’s a great way for players to share their love for basketball and an awesome opportunity for parents and kids to give back to the community,” said volunteer Kimberly Rider. (Full disclosure: Kimberly is my mom and volunteers her time because of my involvement with the team.)

I was able to attend Ezra´s 18th birthday lunch in Corte Madera, and the special education school dance where he danced the night away. His family is more than kind and loves for Ezra to get involved and to spread his joy among others. In these events outside of school, it seems that Ezra likes to express himself with his body. 

A man of few words, you won’t hear him go off on a tangent or give you a piece of his mind but he will move his body to the sweet sound of Michael Jackson.

Interviewing Ezra was unique. He didn’t like talking about himself which made discovering who he is as a person more difficult. Single-word answers made me realize that Ezra finds comfort in body language and crisp high-fives or firm fist bumps. With him not being able to express himself with words it was important for me to learn about who he was from others as well.

Mirabelle Treves is a teacher’s assistant in Mr. Mitchell’s class. She witnesses the best days and the most challenging days in class. She said, “Ezra is always smiling and playing around with the other kids.” 

His classmates, like him, have special needs. One of those kids is Daniel. He told me, “Ezra is nice, and a great friend.” 

Daniel has Down Syndrome and in the past has been somewhat of a rabble-rouser in school. Daniel has made great strides in the new school year. Now he obeys the rules in Mr. Mitchell’s class and is friends with almost everyone including Ezra. Their relationship is always funny as it’s never perfect but always sincere. 

Not every day is rainbows and unicorns though. On occasion, Ezra can get stubborn and hard to work with. When this happens it is usually short and Ezra will return to his fun-loving self. I have noticed him in awesome moods and not-so-great moods, but whatever the day brings, Ezra is another San Rafael High School student that you can look forward to seeing every day.


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  • B

    Bela TempleDec 5, 2023 at 3:36 pm

    This is a great piece about Ezra! It shows how everyone has good days and bad days but it’s a matter of continuing with positivity like Ezra. Great job on getting people who love his personality and positivity.

  • P

    Parks ThommesNov 28, 2023 at 2:53 pm

    This is a wonderfully written article about an awesome kid!

  • S

    Sarah PledgerNov 28, 2023 at 2:03 pm

    Great work James, you capture him so well