There have been two stories about Worthington students that have gotten a significant amount of publicity over the past week. Both stories are of students who have significant disabilities that have overcome the odds and have shown great courage.
On the Sunday, August 26th SportsCenter, ESPN profiled Colonial Hills student Matt Woodrum. The feature titled “Run With Me” explains Matt’s journey from birth to Colonial Hills’ field day last spring where a You Tube video of Matt’s determination and the spontaneous support of this classmates has been seen by over 1.4 million viewers (See my earlier blog entry Coach Blaine).
Earlier this week the Columbus Dispatch ran a feature on Worthington Kilbourne High School student Alex Hendricks. Goalie Alex Hendricks, is the youngest member of the U.S. Paralympics seven-man soccer team, and was paralyzed on his left side in 2008 from complications during a medical procedure.
Both Alex and Matt are living examples that determination and grit can overcome about anything. As educators in Worthington we’re proud of both of these students and their families. I’m personally proud of the numerous teachers and other Worthington staff members who encourage, challenge and support not only Alex and Matt, but all Worthington students. Obviously, I’m also incredibly thankful that we live in a community where students are taught to support one another and that the Colonial Hills students modeled this behavior for students all over the country to see.
Worthington is a great place to live. It’s a great place to raise kids. This morning my entire family gathered around the television to watch the SportsCenter feature on Matt. Not only was it fun to see kids in Buckeye gear and our hometown, it provided an opportunity to discuss working hard, never quitting, and supporting one another.
I’d like to thank Matt and Alex for providing that example for my own family and now for the entire nation.