Student Overcame Learning Obstacles to Become School Valedictorian
When this Indiana student was diagnosed with OCD, his Individualized Education Program (IEP), combined with hard work ethic, helped him go above and beyond in his academic success.
My son, Alex, is counting down the days until graduation when he can finally celebrate two major milestones: graduating from high school and speaking on behalf of his senior class as valedictorian. Alex has worked tirelessly for this achievement. He has received all A’s in every class—including a subject he has always considered his least favorite: math. And while Alex has always been extremely gifted in his academics, his road to success wasn’t always this easy.
At an early age, Alex was diagnosed with OCD. And, before this diagnosis, we were told that he had an additional math learning disability, which made getting the help he needed a struggle.
Despite these early diagnoses, Alex quickly learned how to adapt to these changes, thanks to the Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) given to students with specific learning needs. The program has been a game changer for Alex, by providing him with the best tools for his educational growth.
As Alex has become more accustomed to his learning style over the years, he uses the accommodations offered by his online school less and less. However, Alex is always grateful to have the resources when necessary.
Alex has worked hard to get where he is today. I have learned a lot from my son’s success, but one thing I am particularly proud of is his drive and sense of determination. He has pushed to excel in all his class subjects, including ones where he has struggled the most, such as math.
There’s no doubt that a contributing factor to Alex’s success is his communication with his teachers. I noticed Alex’s communication skills when he first enrolled in online classes many years ago. And I’ve been consistently impressed by how active he is when it comes to asking questions. Whenever Alex is confused about something in class or needs clarification about an assignment, he sends an email to his teacher right away. And when I say Alex asks a lot of questions to teachers, I mean a lot of questions. His tenacity has certainly paid off. He's strengthened his relationships with his teachers and improved his learning experience as a whole.
Alex’s teachers are amazing. They have always been quick communicators, which is particularly beneficial to online students—and one of the reasons we have found such great success at his school, Indiana Gateway Digital Academy (INGDA).
Almost at the finish line, Alex looks forward to attending Indiana State University (ISU) next fall, where he plans to apply his love for English and creative writing toward his pursuit of a teaching degree. In addition, Alex would like to complete a minor in music composition, to fulfill his passion for music history.
I am excited to see where Alex will go next, especially considering he is a bit like a renaissance man—unconfined by only one interest. But for now, I am looking forward to Alex’s in-person graduation on June 4th, where I can celebrate him and his school community.
To learn more about Indiana Gateway Digital Academy, visit https://ingda.k12.com/
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