Dustin DuCharme is not an ordinary student at Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School, because he leads with his heart.

As a result of his hard work and dedication to everything he is involved in, this amazing person was highlighted by Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) on their website.

DuCharme became a SOTX athlete in 2001 and has received countless honors, awards, ribbons and medals since his first competition more than a decade ago. He competes in bowling, track and field, flag football, basketball and bocce in the Golden Triangle area.

But, he said bowling is his favorite event.

During the LC-M football season, DuCharme was a trainer. He helped to make sure the players had water to quench their thirst and cool them down in the scorching Southeast Texas heat. He also had the immense pleasure of being one of team when he lead the team through the inflated bear and banners onto the football field as the fans cheered. He smiles as he talks about those days and anxiously waits for the next football season. But, he was not done yet as a member of the team. He also goes out into the center of the field for the coin toss.

The football team along with fellow students are in support of his accomplishments and things they can do to honor him. Three football players started a campaign to have DuCharme as the next Homecoming King. Those who were on the ballot asked for their name to be removed or for the votes collected for themselves to be given to their friend, Dustin Ducharme.

As Homecoming night grew closer, DuCharme’s family grew increasingly excited. To allow his entire family to be a part of the excitement, Dustin’s brother, Kevin, was flown in from Arizona.

DuCharme was announced as Homecoming King at the game and the crown was placed onto his cowboy hat. As he walked off the field, he put his arms into the air for victory was his during these shining moments. To this day, the crown has remained on the cowboy hat.

Following the announcement, DuCharme went back to his trainer duties ready to work for the team he loved.

His love of football has continued with a recent flag football game between LC-M and another school with special needs students. DuCharme was no stranger on how the game was played since he has started many years before, at age five, when his father, Tony, coached Little League football. The players he played with then are now on the LC-M football team. During the flag football game, each special needs student paired with a football player. The special needs students were the only ones allowed to score and pull the flags.

DuCharme is also a Meet in the Middle participant where he works with other students on various projects. His accomplishments aren’t just limited to competition.

While at school, he helps his fellow students bake cookies which are sold to students and staff as a fundraiser.

“I love school, “ DuCharme said.

The ambitious 12th grader has plenty of hobbies, including learning job skills as a Pizza Hut employee and, of course, competing alongside his fellow SOTX athletes at Games.

‘We are very proud of him and very proud of the school,” said his mother, Sherry. “Dustin has friends wherever he goes.”

She added, the students have been really supportive and thoughtful, for which she wll be forever grateful for making her son’s high school years unforgettable.

Pictured: Dustin DuCharme, of Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School is the 2012 Homecoming King. Demi Sheppard is the Homecoming Queen.