Mathew Bartholomew is just weeks away from graduation from Lindbergh High School. He has a 3.8 GPA, scored a 34 on his ACT and has been accepted to the Missouri University of Science and Technology to study engineering. He scored advanced on his End of Course exams in Government, English, math and science. He’s reached these notable accomplishments while taking several honors and Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses.
If that was the complete story, Mathew would be more than deserving of praise for such a successful high school tenure. When you hear about how his high school tenure began, those accomplishments become that much more inspiring.
When Mathew was a freshman, there was concern about his lack of communication with teachers and peers. In the second semester of freshman year, Mathew started receiving SSD services with a diagnosis of autism. Since then, Mathew has become a fixture in school activities and leadership opportunities.
“When he first came into my class, Mathew was unable to ask his peers questions and made very few comments,” Cindy Vincent, an SSD speech/language pathologist, said. “His only outside activity since middle school was orchestra.”
Now, Mathew is a member of the Trading Card Club, has a part-time job at Schnucks and participates in the Fred Saigh Leadership Program.
“I was almost in tears when I watched him maintaining very social and meaningful conversations with his peers in class,” Vincent said. “I am honored to be his teacher and to have watched him become this outstanding individual.”
Mathew’s dedication to finding opportunities to engage with peers, development of leadership skills and his scholastic achievements have made him a role model for his peers.