A Little Eagle with big dreams

Vinemont student meets his local hero

(Photo from Facebook)

CULLMAN, Ala.- Vinemont student Caden Crawford had one huge dream this school year and the Cullman County community wanted to help make it come true. On May 27, Caden’s mother, Megan Crawford shared a post on Facebook celebrating Caden’s completion of the third grade that included a video of Caden speaking about wishing to meet and spend time with Cullman County Superintendent Shane Barnette. 

The past school year, Caden developed a fascination with Dr. Barnette. Each day, he would excitedly run to his mother to inquire eagerly if there had been any All-Calls, calls sent to all students, from Dr. Barnette and if he could listen to the recording. Megan gladly kept every recording on her phone so her 9-year-old could listen to his favorite local celebrity.  

The next day after Megan shared the video of her son, she received a call from none other than the man himself, Dr. Shane Barnette. He told Caden that he would be overjoyed to take him for a picnic with Happy Meals from McDonald’s at Sportsman Lake Park. This, of course, left Caden elated, so his mom decided to make another video and post thanking Dr. Barnette, along with the people of Cullman County, for making sure that her son had his opportunity to meet his favorite person. 

When June 3 rolled around, Caden was ecstatic to get ready to go and had spent hours preparing all the questions he had been waiting to ask. When it was time, Caden and his mom drove to Sportsman Lake to meet Dr. Barnette who had already picked up Caden’s favorite from McDonald’s. McDonald’s was kind enough to pay for their entire meal and even sent Caden a special “Swag Bag” containing a special McDonald’s crew T-shirt and toboggan, a pair of McDonald’s socks, a McDonald’s gift card and other goodies. 

While at the park, Caden was able to talk about some of his favorite things with Dr. Barnette as they enjoyed their lunch. He discussed his extensive knowledge of county road numbers, school buses, and of course, had loads of questions of all sorts. Dr. Barnette gifted Caden his very own E5 T-shirt, along with another Cullman County T-shirt, some candy and a Hot Wheels school bus, which he absolutely loved.  

“It was a pleasure getting to have lunch with Caden. While he was excited, the true blessing was mine. Caden is a wonderful young man that has such a positive attitude. I am looking forward to us connecting again soon,” said Dr. Barnette. 

Caden made sure to tell Dr. Barnette all about watching him on YouTube and listening to his voicemails. In return, Dr. Barnette shared with Caden that he would love to show him around his office in a couple of weeks, and even where he makes the infamous All-Calls. He also mentioned that they might find a bus for Caden to be able to visit. Dr. Barnette made a note to brag on Caden about graduating third grade with his Eagle Award.  

When asked about the experience, Caden’s mother Megan Crawford said, “Thank you so much to Dr. Barnette for taking time out of your busy schedule to have lunch with Caden. It meant the world to him, and he will forever remember it. That shows what kind of leader we have for our school systems. It shows he genuinely cares about the students of Cullman County!”  

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