Special Education

Special Olympics

General Information

GCCISD offers training and competition for eligible Goose Creek and Barbers Hill students in the sports of golf, softball, volleyball, bocce, flag football, bowling, track, table tennis, basketball, soccer, track and cycling. These competitions are offered through Special Olympics Texas. Competition is provided for all ability levels, ranging from individuals with severe to those with mild intellectual disabilities. Athletes not ready for team play can compete in individual skills while more skilled athletes may compete on traditional or unified teams. Traditional teams are teams made of all athletes with ID. Unified teams are teams/doubles made up of athletes without intellectual disabilities participating alongside athletes with intellectual disabilities. By participating together and socially interacting, we unite the two groups in an environment of equality, respect and acceptance. Competitions are held at local, area, regional, state, national and international (World) levels.


There is no cost for a GCCISD or BHISD student to participate in the program . The district provides coaches, uniforms, equipment, transportation to and from competitions, and some meals for the athletes. GCCISD also provides after school transportation from all Jr High and High schools to the after school practice sites. Elementary students must provide their own transportation to and from practices. BHISD provides transportation to all after school practices, for all BHISD athletes, from all of their schools. Student/athletes can earn letter jackets, can take team pictures at the end of each sport season and can attend the annual, spring sports/awards banquet. Athletes who have been in the program and graduate, are allowed to come back and participate, however they are responsible for their own meals, entry fees or any other expenses incurred at events.     

Unified Sports

Unified teams/doubles are made up of equal numbers of athletes with ID and athletes without ID (partners). GCCISD has offered unified teams/doubles in all of the sports at one time or another. Unified teams are created depending on a number of factors and are decided yearly from sport to sport and from season to season. Partners are selected from area schools, families and the community. Partners must submit an application and they are selected by the Special Olympic coaches. Partners fall under the same rules/guidelines as the other athletes. Persons wanting to participate as a partner must fill out a Partner’s Application Form, Volunteer A Form and a Volunteer Minor form (if applicable). Forms must be turned in to Chuck Russell at Alamo Elementary or by Email at Crussell@gccisd.net.

For the past 20 years, we have coordinated a community unified league each fall in either Softball or volleyball. This league involves over 100 people (athletes and partners) with many of the partners and athletes coming from the community. Information on the league goes out each fall. Persons interested may contact Chuck Russell at Crussell@gccisd.net.



Competition for Special Olympics begins at local levels (in Baytown), area level (Houston), Regional, State, National and international (World Games). Athletes must compete at lower levels to advance to higher levels. Area competitions are offered in every sport. State competitions are offered 3 times a year: 1.Fall Games (softball, flag football, golf, bocce, aquatics), 2. Winter Games (Volleyball, table tennis, bowling, weight lifting), and 3. Summer Games (track, cycling, soccer, basketball). When attending state Games, which normally last for 3-4 days, athletes may only enter one of the sports offered at the games. The district pays all expenses for the games for all GCCISD student/athletes who qualify to go.

National and World Games Competitions

As stated above, Special Olympics offers competition at local, area, regional and state levels. Athletes that compete at state become eligible to apply for and attend National and International (World) Games. The National Games are held in different states and usually last about 7-9 days. They are held every 4 years, usually the year before the World Summer Games. The Special Olympic World Games are held every 4 years, are held in different countries and usually last 10- 14 days. The World Games are divided into Winter and Summer Games, alternating every 2 years. Each State is given a sports quota (several teams and individual slots) for each of these games and athletes who have attended state competitions in those specific sports may apply to the state office. There is a cost to attend these games, usually about $500 each for Nationals and $2000 each for World Games. Athletes and teams must fundraise for these competitions. Goose Creek athletes/teams/coaches have be fortunate to have been selected to attend the 2006 National Games in Iowa, the 2010 Nationals in Nebraska, and a soccer team will be attending the upcoming 2014 National Games in New Jersey. Athletes/teams/coaches were also selected and attended the 1995 World Games in Connecticut, the 1999 World Games in North Carolina, the 2003 WG in Ireland, the 2007 WG in China, and one athlete went to the 2011 WG in Greece.

Coach Stacy Saxon

Head of Delegation


Stacy has taught in the Goose Creek Special education dept. for over 20 years. Stacy currently teaches Life skills at Ross Sterling HS. She has been involved in Special Olympics as a partner and a coach for 27 years. Stacy played as a partner at the 1995 World Games in Connecticut and has coached teams at several National Games and at the 2003 World Games in Ireland and 2007 World Games in China.

Coach Elizabeth Phillips


Elizabeth has taught in special education for 22 years. She currently teaches a life skills class at Sterling High school. Elizabeth has been a Special Olympic coach for 22 years. She has coached athletes at numerous National Games and at the 1999 World Games in North Carolina.

Coach Chuck Russell


Chuck has taught in special Education for over 30 years. He currently teaches Adapted PE at Barber Hill. He has been a Special Olympic coach for 31 years. Chuck has coached athletes at numerous National Games and the 2004 and 2007 World Games in Ireland and China.
Coach Mike Earnest
Mike is a parent of a Special Olympic athlete and has been on the GC Special Olympic coaching staff for 22 years. He works for TX---. Mike has coached teams at several National Games and the 2003 World Games in Ireland.
Coach Ken Jones
Ken is a parent of a Special Olympic athlete and has been on the Goose Creek Special Olympic coaching staff for 21 years. He is employed by Liberty ISD. Ken has coached several teams at National Games.
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