No school ever wants to hear that a student has passed, especially a student that brought such joy to everyone around him. Joey Banks was a senior here at Addison Trail and passed away on Aug. 23rd. Joey will never be forgotten by the endless hearts he touched in his lifetime.
Joey was known for his abundance of confidence and smarts.
“He enjoyed doing presentations, he would work with his assistant Mrs. Miller to create the presentations. He was confident- very smart,” said Amy Weltin, of the Special education department.
No matter who was asked about Joey, everyone has the same takeaway of his character.
“Everybody loved Joey,” said Maryann Miller, Weltin, and Patricia Hochheimer. Joey was a member of the Best Buddies club, where he was beloved by everyone. In his classes, he always lit up the room. He always had fun with others, always smiling and laughing. He brought happiness to everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him.
Weltin described her fondness toward Joey, and the impact he had on her life.
“The biggest takeaway I have about Joey: Joey is the type of kid I got into special education for. Someone that I could help, but really he provided me with so many life lessons. He is every teacher’s dream student because he cared and he wanted to learn, and he accepted help. He is just the student I picture when I look back to why I wanted to get into education. He is the student that brings me the most joy. He is so missed within our department,” explained Weltin.
While some did not get to spend as much time with Joey, his selfless nature could be felt no matter how close you were to him.
“He was always happy, always caring. Always wanting to know how you were doing. I would say that was the biggest takeaway about knowing Joey. He was always more concerned about others than he was about himself,” said Julie Johnson, the head of the special education department.
Joey would always ask people about themselves and their life.
“I will always remember our one-on-one conversations during ATR where he always made a point to ask how I am and how my family is doing. I will forever remember his kind heart. It was a gift to know Joey Banks,” said Joanna Simousek.
Joey spent time with many different staff members, but Miller was with Joey the most. Miller was Joey’s assistant since his freshman year here at Addison Trail. Joey struggled with many health issues over the years, but that never stopped him from seeing the world through a bright lens.
“He taught me that if he can look on the bright side of things and not be sad, then certainly I can, ” said Miller.
One of the most important things to remember about Joey, despite his disability, he was just like any other kid at AT.
“I think that some people were intimidated by the chair and maybe thought, ‘This kid can’t move, maybe he can’t talk.’ But he really was just like everybody else. Smart, he was humorous, he was funny,” told Miller.
No one has a negative thing to say about the amazing person that was Joey Banks. He touched the lives of everyone he could in the time he had.
“He’s just the most awesome person I have ever met,” said Miller.