Students by day, superheroes forever

Noah Wood looked at the poster of himself as Superman standing on top of a skyscraper and touched it gently with his hand.  

Wood was one of several Queensbury Middle School students who became superheroes this week thanks to Best Buddies and a little Photoshop magic.Teen girl shows poster to boy

Queensbury High School photography student Ella Pardy, president of the high school’s Best Buddies program — an international organization that promotes inclusion and one-on-one friendships — spearheaded a project to turn photos of these special students into their favorite caped crusader.

She joined Best Buddies because she has a cousin who has dyspraxia and autism. 

“He’s nonverbal and he has a difficult time with a lot of things,” Ella said. “But he’s so very great, and I love being around him.”

boy dressed like SupermanThe students chose their favorite superheroes, and Ella took the pictures and used Photoshop to make them into characters like Superman, Spiderman and Loki. Hunter Elmore asked to be a doctor in his photo. 

The idea came from Best Buddies advisor Amanda Breheny, who had read an article about a professional photographer who took pictures of kids with special needs.

“He dressed them up in superhero costumes, and they forgot about their disability, and they felt like real superheroes,” Breheny said. Boy dresses like doctor

The posters went home with students on Thursday. Copies of the posters will also be hung in the hallways at Queensbury Middle School.