A prom date they’ll never forget

Park Vista cheerleader gives special ed friend a sweet ‘promposal’


Some of her friends tried to talk her out of it.

Her parents were proud but wanted her to be certain.

Park Vista High School cheerleader Mikal Bartosik would not be deterred.

“I’ve already gone to two proms,” the 17-year-old Boynton Beach senior said. “I wanted him to have the same feeling.”

So on Friday morning, Bartosik walked into the special education classroom of her friend, Jonathan, 18, who’s on the autism spectrum and presented him with a “promposal.”

Inside a red box, a huge cookie cake spelled out “Will You Go to the Prom With Me?” in white icing.

In a video her friend took, Jonathan (whose last name was not released by the Palm Beach County School District) can be seen screaming and jumping for joy until Bartosik asks with a laugh, “So does that mean ‘yes?’”

“It was like something you see in movies,” said Jeanne Ladner, the school’s speech pathologist and cheerleading coach. “I cried.”

“JMR,” as Jonathan is known at school, and Bartosik became friends last year when the cheerleader started hanging out with a group of special ed kids at lunch.

When other students criticized her for sitting with “those weird kids,” Bartosik got angry, then flew into teaching mode.

“I told them they just have different social issues, different ways of communicating,” she said. “Besides, once you get to know them, they’re not that different and they’re way nicer than kids without disabilities.”

Taking one of the special ed boys to the suburban Lake Worth school’s prom was something she’d been thinking about for two years, Bartosik said. She became more serious about the idea when she realized that none of Park Vista’s special ed students attended last year’s prom.

“Last year, I had a boyfriend when prom came around so I thought I should go with him since it was his senior year,” she said.

This year, she didn’t want to go with some random guy. She knew JMR wanted badly to attend the April 9 prom.

“Personally, I think this is going to be the most special prom for me because I’ll be making someone else happy,” she said.

Bartosik is also a top athlete at Park Vista, where she runs the 100-meter hurdle. Last spring, she became the school’s only girl to go to the state finals in track. In the fall, she’ll head to Florida Gulf Coast University to study either nursing or special education.

She insists this is no charity date. She describes JMR as sweet and friendly and very social, so he’s fun to be around.

And she certainly isn’t tossing on any old dress that night.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m not getting a crappy dress and just winging it,” Bartosik said. “I’m going all out for this boy. I’m going to make him look really good.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Sportcaster, former NFL player Ahmad Rashad selling Gardens home
Sportcaster, former NFL player Ahmad Rashad selling Gardens home

Former Minnesota Viking and NBC sportscaster Ahmad Rashad has put his Palm Beach Gardens home on the market, realtor.com reports. Rashad is listing his 3-bedroom, 4 1/2-bathroom house in Frenchman’s Creek Beach & Country Club for $740,000. The home has a two-car garage and a pool that’s surrounded by thick landscaping for privacy, but the...
NEW: 1 dead, five injured in crash near Palm Springs, road closed
NEW: 1 dead, five injured in crash near Palm Springs, road closed

One person is dead and five are in the hospital after a crash near Palm Springs Thursday evening, according to Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. Crews were called to a multiple-vehicle crash near Melaleuca Lane and Congress Avenue at 5 p.m. Several people were trapped inside a vehicle that was on fire, according to Capt. Albert Borroto, the spokesperson...
Mark your calendar for these 2018 meteor showers
Mark your calendar for these 2018 meteor showers

There are plenty of meteor showers to enjoy this year, reports Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini. Mark your calendars and keep checking in for the latest forecast. The Lyrid Meteor shower will peak over the weekend but the sky might not be ideal. RELATED: Download our free WHIO weather APP to stay informed  Lyrids: Active April...
Palm Beach developer admits to lying to bankroll Vero condo project
Palm Beach developer admits to lying to bankroll Vero condo project

A 74-year-old developer who operated from offices in Palm Beach faces a possible five-year prison sentence after admitting to a federal judge on Thursday that he submitted phony documents to banks to keep an oceanfront condominium project in Vero Beach afloat. Once facing eight counts of bank fraud, George Heaton pleaded guilty to a single charge of...
Cerabino: In immigration debate, Florida’s Rubio should find his voice
Cerabino: In immigration debate, Florida’s Rubio should find his voice

This would be a great time for Marco Rubio to start talking about his parents again. I’ll admit, I’ve grown weary over the years hearing the junior U.S. senator from Florida find a way in speeches to include the biographical detail that he comes from humble beginnings. “I live in an exceptional country where even the son of a bartender...
More Stories