Oskaloosa.com

CNHI/Southeast Iowa

June 18, 2013

Called 'Next Stephen Hawking,' teen is perfect on math exam

Physically challenged freshman visits classroom for first time to celebrate exam results

LEWISTON, N.Y. — There's a wall on the third floor of Lewiston-Porter High School dedicated to celebrating perfect scores on state mathematics exams.

A new name joined the growing list Tuesday, which brought a smile to the face of everyone involved. Matthew Minderler, a 15-year-old freshman at the school, scored his 100 on the Integrated Algebra exam a few days ago.

"I thought I did OK, but I was excited," Matthew said of learning his score. "I thought I got most of them right."

But Matthew's story isn't typical of teenagers his age. He'd never seen his classroom at the school before Tuesday's ceremony, never met his teacher face-to-face. He'd never had pointless conversations at lunch with his buddies.

Matthew suffers from Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a childhood form of muscular dystrophy, and has been wheelchair-bound since he was 3 years old.

"He was diagnosed at the age of one," his mother, Cathy Minderler, said. "We were told he had seven more years to live. He's doubled that."

He can barely speak and uses a ventilator system to deliver medicine allowing him to take deep breaths. His mother keeps him at home as much as possible to avoid coming into contact with germs and illness to keep him safe.

Still, while his body has betrayed him, his mind is as sharp as any other student's. Maybe even more so. And though he's hardly been in the building – he attended once early in the year to have his yearbook photograph taken with the rest of his classmates – a dedicated team of teachers helped ensure his intelligence shone through on his test.

Classroom teacher Jennifer Wanamaker, consultant teacher Vicki Way and home instructor Joyce Copeland made it their mission to provide their student with the best education experience possible. It's not an easy task to accomplish, so they reached into their bag of technology to find a way to reach Matthew in ways impossible only a few short years ago.

Text Only
CNHI/Southeast Iowa
  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 25, 2014

  • Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

    Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.
    But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

    July 25, 2014

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0724 OTT Tehel mug -T -M Resolution — Techel verdict reached

    DAVENPORT — The father of a slain Wapello County woman said he began to heal as soon as he heard the guilty verdict today. The jury unanimously pronounced Seth Techel, 23, guilty on charges of first-degree murder and non-consensual termination of a h

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona's prolonged lethal injection is fourth in U.S. this year

    Arizona's execution of double-murderer Joseph Wood marked the fourth time this year that a state failed to dispatch a convict efficiently, according to the Constitution Project, a bipartisan legal group.3

    July 24, 2014

  • Life and Times cover.tiff Life and Times

    Click here to go to the new Life and Times e-magazine.

    May 30, 2012 1 Photo

  • Honey Creek Resort recognized for recycling MORAVIA — Honey Creek Resort State Park on Rathbun Lake has been selected as having the best government recycling program by the Iowa Recycling Association.“Iowa’s Greenest Resort” received the award July 17 during the Iowa Recycling Association annu

    July 24, 2014

  • 0724 OTT Tehel mug -T -M Techel found guilty on both counts

    DAVENPORT — Jurors have found Seth Techel guilty in the 2012 murder of his wife, Lisa, and the couple’s unborn child.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police Brutality screen shot. Technology plays key part in battling police brutality (VIDEO)

    Allegations of police brutality are nothing new -- as long as there has been law enforcement, citizens have registered claims that some officers cross the line. But in the last few years, the claims of excessive force are being corroborated with new technology from cell phone cameras, police dash-cams and surveillance videos. 

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Facebook continues moneymaking trend

    Facebook seems to have figured out - for now at least - the holy grail for all media right now: how to make money selling mobile ads.

    July 24, 2014

Obituaries
Oskaloosa Shopper
Facebook
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Photo reprints