Profile of a CCISD Graduate, Part 6

Profile of a CCISD Graduate, Part 6
Posted on 05/31/2017
Matthew Churchman

Matthew Churchman can still remember just how excited he was when he first started kindergarten at North Pointe Elementary.

Growing up, he wanted to be just like his older brothers who were already at North Pointe, he said.

“They were always going on class trips, participating in chili cook offs, school dances and play dates after school,” Matthew said. “I counted the days until I was old enough to be a rocket and partake in field days and classroom parties.”

Every morning, Matthew said he would jump out of bed and eat breakfast as fast as he could so he could ride his bike with his brothers to school. Kindergarten was fun, but it was also a challenge and it’s when Matthew first realized he learned differently than the rest of his classmates.

“I realized my classmates could read and write better than me,” Matthew said. “Math was always easier for me, but reading and writing was hard.”

Each night, Matthew’s parents would practice his reading with him and when he couldn’t complete a sentence he would get frustrated, he said.

First and second grade were also hard and Matthew would often get anxiety from worrying the teacher would call on him.

But it wasn’t until third grade when things really began to change.

Matthew credits his third grade teacher Mrs. Schwanke with helping him to improve his vocabulary and spelling, and helping to identify that he did in fact have dyslexia.

“She taught me different techniques to help me with my reading difficulties,” Matthew said.

Mrs. Schwanke also helped to put Matthew in touch with dyslexia specialists and occupational therapists.

“She became my personal cheerleader and helped me rebuild my confidence,” Matthew said.

Which is one of the many reasons why he will never forget her or the other educators he has come across during his time in Clear Creek ISD, he said.

“Brilliant educators have taught me different techniques to learn, despite being dyslexic,” Matthew said.

Along with his successes in the classroom, Matthew also played on Clear Lake High School’s varsity water polo team.

After graduating with honors, Matthew will go on to Santa Clara University in California to study economics.

He hopes to put his passion for business and innate ability to work with numbers towards one day becoming a CEO for a company.

“I continue to work and prove to myself every day that dyslexia does not define the person I am or who I want to become,” Matthew said. 

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