In 2011, while getting her Masters in School Counseling at WIU, Davenport West School Counselor, Stephanie Reagan-Iavarone was assigned to start a group that she felt was needed at the school she was currently teaching at.  “I talked to the Special Need’s teacher and came up with Falcon Friends,” explained Iavarone.  “We are a group that helps develop friendship skills for the special needs students and leadership skills for the general education students.”  


In addition to meeting after school to celebrate different occasions, The Falcon Friends are having their first fundraiser.  On November 7th, The Falcon Friends Bench Press Competition will be taking place at Davenport West High School.  This event also holds a special place in the heart of Iavarone as her father, Bill Reagan, was a former World Champion power-lifter.  Mr. Reagan passed away in July of 2013 and The Arc of Southeast Iowa Bill Reagan Scholarship Fund was started to support students intending to major in special education or social work, and individuals with disabilities pursuing post-secondary education.  “I just think this went perfect with what Falcon Friends is all about,” said Iavorne.  Proceeds from the Bench Press Competition will go to both Falcon Friends of Davenport West High School and The Arc of Southeast Iowa Bill Reagan Scholarship Fund.  “The response from both faculty and the community has been great,” said Iavarone.  “The money raised from this event will also help fund a field trip planned for the group next year.”  

With so much negativity going on lately in the news, The Davenport West Falcon Friends Club is a breath of fresh air.  It’s nice to see there is still a place for students to go where everyone is welcome.  And when asked what her students thought of the club, she said that the general education students feel good about it because they are making a difference in somebody’s life and when she asked a special needs student what they thought, they stood up and said, ‘I just love Falcon Friends because now I have friends.’”


The Falcon Friends Bench Press Competition is Saturday, November 7th at Davenport West High School, 3505 West Locust Street, Davenport, IA.  A rules meeting will be at 9:15am, weigh-ins and warm ups are at 9:30am, with the event starting at 10am.  Entry Fee and t-shirt is $15.  This is a RAW (t-shirt only) competition.   For more info on the event, call Davenport West High School 563-386-5500 ext. 320 for Stephanie Reagan Iavarone or e-mail [email protected]


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