It's the last day of school at Patrick Henry and one teacher and student are sad to be saying goodbye. Andy Middlen and Nicholas Perez developed a friendship this year during "Pro Time" and even found they had a lot similar interests.
"His smile, his personality always brightens my day. So it makes the day worthwhile," Middlen said.
As the school year comes to an end, Mr. Middlen and 8th grader Nicholas Perez are spending some quality time together today before the summer break.
Matt Holsen: Do you enjoy seeing him?
Perez: Yes. Because we're buddies.
Perez is part of the RISE program at Patrick. He and Middlen bonded during home room this year and got even closer after realizing how much they have in common.
"Star Wars, sci-fi, Deadpool and the Marvel movies. Him and I connected that way and a couple of months ago I found out that him and I have the exact same birthday. Which is kind of ironic. We've had a connection from day one. It's just blossomed since then," Middlen said.
On top of coaching Perez in basketball, the teacher brought in a friend recently because his favorite student wanted a new hairdo.
"It looks great. I think it actually looks better than mine now," Middlen said.
Not only do they have the same haircut, Mr. Middlen also provides the product and helps Nicholas style it every day.
Perez is pretty impressed with his new look.
"Because I look fresh," Perez said.
"If he wants to be like me, that's why I became a teacher. To make those influences and connections. It's those memories I'll have for the rest of my life," Middlen said.
Middlen plans on checking in on Perez in the future as the student heads to Washington next year. He's going to miss his buddy.
"Yeah, absolutely. We're bros man. I'm going to miss you man," Middlen said.
With a smile like this, it's easy to see why.
"It's just so contagious. It just always makes your day better," Middlen said.
Middlen and Perez's shared birthday is outside of the school calendar on August 14. The teacher brought in a cake earlier in the year so the two could celebrate together.
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