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Timothy Motherway and Bethany Kinkaid Named Hometown Heroes

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At the April 16 meeting, the East Rockaway Board of Education was proud to recognize high school student Timothy Motherway and teacher Ms. Bethany Kinkaid as the April 2024 Hometown Hero Award honorees. The two were honored for their efforts and advocacy in support of students with special needs, including the creation of a viral video that uses humor and positivity to debunk Down Syndrome stereotypes.

Timothy Motherway is a seventh grader at East Rockaway Jr./Sr. High School who exemplifies kindness, humor and leadership in all aspects of his life. Timmy is an engaged member of the school community and always willing to offer a hand, smile and fist bump to anyone in need. He is a member of the school bowling team and chorus, and recently performed in the “East Rockaway’s Got Talent” show. Timmy loves to help others start each day on a positive note and can be heard daily as the host of the school’s morning PA announcements.

Ms. Bethany Kinkaid is a Speech and Language Therapist who has worked as a speech teacher at East Rockaway Jr./Sr. High School since 2012. She is a beacon of positivity and is tirelessly dedicated to enhancing the school community through her work in and out of the classroom, including one-on-one student support, professional learning committees and as a leader in the Sources of Strength initiative.

Although Timothy and Ms. Kinkaid’s positive impact on the East Rockaway community individually and as a team is well known, it was a viral Tik Tok video that inspired the school community to nominate them for Hometown Hero recognition. In effort to bring awareness to Down Syndrome, the two paired up to produce a video that uses humor and humility to dispel common stereotypes and prove that students with Down Syndrome share the same experiences that all students go through during their time in high school. To say this video is a success would be an understatement! To date, their video has garnered over 410,000 views and 29,000 “likes”. Timmy and Ms. Kinkaid have clearly gotten their message across to the community beyond East Rockaway. The video can be viewed here.

In recognition of their efforts to foster a more caring and inclusive school community and for their work to eradicate stigmas and stereotypes and remove boundaries for students of all abilities, the East Rockaway Board of Education is proud to bestow the Hometown Hero honor on Timothy Motherway and Ms. Bethany Kinkaid.

Date Added: 4/19/2024