Through triumphs and challenges, best friends win royal homecomings

ORLAND PARK, Illinois — Two best friends since the age of three who have been through so much together were honored as Homecoming King and Queen at Sandburg High School last week.

Seniors Selena Schuster and Timmy Matykiewicz have gone to Homecoming together every year, even though it was canceled in 2020 because of COVID-19.

The duo originally met when they were three years old in Park School’s special education program.

“I ended up putting her on a bus and next is senior year,” said mom Amy Matykiewicz.

Schuster and Matykiewicz were both born with cognitive impairments, and their parents say the two mirror each other.

“They don’t realize they’re different, we work so hard not to make them different, make sure they’re involved in regular activities,” Matykiewicz said.

One activity that has been in her life for the past six years is baseball. Both Schuster and Matykiewicz play in the Tinley Park Bobcats Challenger League.

“They started in seventh grade and were always on the same team,” mom Jen Schuster said. “This program is great because it’s about volunteers who give so much to the kids, they get uniforms, a backpack, they help on the ground.”

While playing in the Fall League, the idea of ​​helping Schuster and Matykiewicz win Sandburg High School royalty was born. Best friends are already quite popular at school.

“When we’re out in the community, all these people are like, ‘Hi Selena, hi Selena,'” Schuster said.

They weren’t allowed to put up signs in the hallway, but social media was up for grabs. So the family created flyers and put them online.

“The biggest thing for the families is that they also have siblings in school and they all know each other,” said Matykiewicz.

Sooner than later, the campaign caught wind in the student body ahead of last week’s vote.

Nearly 400 votes were cast by the Sandburg seniors, and Schuster and Matykiewicz were crowned homecoming queen and king during a school assembly at the football field last Friday.

“She had the biggest smile I’ve ever seen all weekend,” Schuster said.

Because Matykiewicz had other siblings at the school, he was able to be crowned by his “bigger but younger brother” Austin.


“It was a sweet moment for me and I was proud of her,” Matykiewicz said.

Both Schuster and Matykiewicz set the dance floor ablaze as Sandburg’s new queen and king.

“It was amazing, they looked gorgeous,” said Matykiewicz. “She wore a pink sparkly dress. You have brought a lot of happiness and joy to many people.”

Next, after senior year, the duo will continue at the Southwest Cook County Cooperative Association for Special Education. Since 1959 it has been her job to prepare students competently for life and work. Through triumphs and challenges, best friends win royal homecomings

Grace Reader

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