A little boy once asked Dave Leedy to pick him up and literally fly with him.
Leedy was amused by the youngster's request, but he doesn't don a superhero's cape and tights to fly around like Superman.
To him, the real superheroes are those who do things for others without expecting anything in return.
They are people such as Norwalk resident and EHOVE student Lisa Heidelberg, the daughter of Drs. David and Susan Heidelberg. He proclaimed her a superhero Tuesday by presenting her with a certificate and superhero shirt.
Leedy, a motivational speakers who has worn many hats over the years, encouraged the EHOVE student body to be superheroes themselves. His hour-long speech was part of EHOVE's Support Our Supereroes Student Appreciation Day.
Toward the end of the address, Leedy called Heidelberg up and proclaimed her a superhero for putting forth extra effort in school and the community.
Heidelberg said she had no idea Leedy would single her out in front of her fellow students. Leedy knew from the moment he walked in. He said he had asked EHOVE faculty to pick a student who goes above and beyond the call of duty and who is a good person.
"It took about a second for them to select her," Leedy said.
"That should make you feel very special," Leedy told Heidelberg after his speech.
"I do," she responded.
Among other things, Heidelberg served as a student council representative, participated in SkillsUSA, a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled work force.
The cosmetology student said she felt like a normal kid before Leedy's speech. Now, she said she feels people realize her efforts.
"It feels good to actually have a purpose," Heidelberg said.
In addition to helping others, Leedy implored students never to settle for mediocrity in their own lives.
"EHOVE is not based on mediocrity folks but excellence every day," said Leedy, speaking faster than a speeding bullet. He requested that EHOVE students look up not to a bird, not to a plane but to life in general. Be enthusiastic and live every day to the fullest, he said.
Leedy, now happily married with three children and seven grandchildren, was just the opposite as a youngster. He said he was the smallest boy in his school of 1,800 students, sat in the back of the class and never participated in discussions. When his strict teacher demanded students stand, he did so with his head down.
One day, she asked him if he wanted to play any school sports. Leedy said he was too little.
Fine arts? No talent, he responded to his teacher.
She told him short people have succeeded in wrestling, so why didn't he go out for that?
He did. And today, Leedy still remembers the day he raised his hand in victory after a match.
"The greatest thing this woman gave me was courage," Leedy said.
By doing so, she made a difference in his life, said Leedy, a former public school teacher who was named teacher of the year twice.
EHOVE students, meanwhile, tried to make a difference in the lives of family members of those serving in the Milan-based 192nd Quartermaster Company in Milan. As part of Support our Heroes Student Appreciation day, they raised close to $500 to aid family members.