Baltimore Sun June2, 2004: Two students show two kinds of success

Atholton: The high school valedictorian and a classmate with Down syndrome shine in different ways at graduation. By Tricia Bishop Sun Staff Originally published June 2, 2004 They sat side by side in the front row, each wearing a green cap and gown, each a portrait of success – in his own way. Atholton High School valedictorian David Reshef graduated yesterday with a perfect grade point average. He received multiple awards and plans to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology after finishing work over the summer on his groundbreaking concept for using computers to diagnose malaria. Sitting next to him at the graduation ceremony, held at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, was Michael Waschak, whose grade point average was never calculated. He’s going to work at a fast-food restaurant busing tables after graduation while attending classes at Howard Community College, where teachers will continue the education he got in high school – teaching him life skills, such as grocery shopping. “Both are success stories on just very different levels,” said Mary Brzezinski, a work-study coordinator at Columbia’s Atholton, who has spent the past few years teaching Waschak how to overcome his shyness and talk to people’s faces rather than their feet. Continue reading

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