Cleveland Public Schools teacher receives off-road wheelchair

A Cleveland Public Schools student goes to extraordinary lengths for his teacher.
Updated: Feb. 24, 2021 at 9:37 AM CST
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CLEVELAND, Minn. (KEYC) - Ryan Reineke’s gratitude for his teacher, Joel Boehlke, extends beyond the walls of Cleveland Public Schools.

“We transferred Ryan here in the middle of last year. He was having troubles at school and he came here and he was happy after school. He came home smiling, he was a different kid. All he did was talk about Mr. Boehlke,” says Michelle Schultz, Ryan’s mother.

Reineke says he was motivated to give back.

“Over the summer there was an incident where he almost rolled over in his old electric wheelchair because he got stuck,” says Reineke.

Ryan started a GoFundMe, raising $20,000 alongside the Cleveland community, securing a Midwest Track Off-Road Wheelchair for Mr. Boehlke.

“For a 17-year-old to decide to do this all on his own, not having to be prodded or anything, to just come along and do this, it’s quite the deal, especially in today’s world,” says Bryon Schultz, Ryan’s father.

“When he told me that he was doing this, I thought ‘boy, this is a wonderful thing that you’re going to do,” Lisa Pope, Cleveland Public Schools teacher.

“It’s an amazing feeling to have this happen but it doesn’t surprise me that these things happen because we do have such good people here. It’s a great learning community,” Scott Lusk, Cleveland Public Schools Principal.

Mr. Boehlke’s new chair has an attached snow plow among other features that will make everyday tasks more accessible.

“Going around the block won’t seem as such a monumental task anymore,” says Joel Boehlke, Cleveland Public Schools Teacher.

The chair brings with it a return to normalcy as well for Mr. Boehlke.

“My wife and I liked going to state parks and enjoying that before I got hurt. I can do that again. It’s a big change, it’s a positive change. And all I can say is ‘thank you Ryan’,” says Boehlke.

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