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This Eagle Scout and 3-point Shooter Gives His All


Kyle Bueche has done exceptional things. As an eighth-grader he was recognized by peers for his fabulous three-point shot in basketball. Now, as a junior, he has earned the top rank in Boy Scouting.

Kyle, who has Down syndrome, works hard on everything he does, from sinking shots on the Byron Center High School Special Olympics basketball team, to dedicating hours to a service project, said teacher Tom Mertz.

He earned his Eagle Scout rank in early November, joining just 4 percent of scouts who earn the highest rank attainable in Boy Scouts of America. To achieve that rank, scouts have to earn at least 21 merit badges and complete an extensive service project.

For his project, Kyle built three wooden bike racks with a crew of workers for the community: one at Highpointe Community Church in Byron Center, where he attends with his family; another at Byron Township Hall and a third at Byron Center Museum.

Kyle Bueche gives a fist bump to teacher Tom Mertz
Kyle Bueche gives a fist bump to teacher Tom Mertz

“I feel like our church needed a bike rack because very few of us ride our bikes to church,” Kyle said. “Now more people can ride their bikes to church, to the township and the museum.”

Kyle, who is Scout Troop 250, joined Cub Scouts as a first-grader. His favorite scouting activities are camping, gardening and learning how to compost.

He began working to earn his Eagle Scout badge last spring. His work involved taking on a leadership role as chaplain, opening up prayer at the beginning and end of scout meetings and working as assistant patrol leader to keep Scouts informed and prepared for activities.

Kyle Bueche wanted to add more bike racks to Byron Center
Kyle Bueche wanted to add more bike racks to Byron Center

A Can-Do Attitude

Mertz said Kyle always gives it his all.

“It’s really not surprising that he achieved this goal,” Mertz said. “Kyle is the kind of person who goes after things in life. … He’s really been an inspiration to me as a teacher to see him accomplish such a big goal.

“I think that’s a good learning point for all students because it doesn’t matter what your ability level is. With hard work and determination you can accomplish big things and he proved that to me.”

“The greatest thing about Kyle is he has such a positive attitude,” added special education teacher Jeremy Zeiler. “He’s one of the kids other kids can look up to for working hard and trying hard no matter what challenges you have.”

At school, Kyle is a friend to all, with a good sense of humor and “a real desire to do well and make other people happy,” Mertz said. “He is one of the most social people I know and he has genuinely good heart. He’s quick to give a kind word. He always cheers my day up.”

Kyle responded to that. “Because he’s a good friend,” he said, offering Mertz a fist bump.

Asked about his plans for the future, Kyle said, “That’s easy to answer. I’d like to go to college.”

He hopes to attend Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois or Spring Arbor University in Michigan, to major in special education, social work, pastoral ministry or photography.

Still Sinkin’ Threes

Kyle caught the attention of many when he served as team manager for the Team B Boys Basketball team in eighth grade. He was sent in to play during games against Holland and Rockford. Kyle sank two three-point shots against Holland and one against Rockford.

As for his three-point skill, Kyle has continued to hone it. “I’m making deep threes like Stephen Curry does.”

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National Eagle Scout Association

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio

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