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MAHS grad Matincheck wins honor earned by special education students

Posted 7/10/19

The Capital Area Intermediate Unit Transition Council hosted the 21st annual Tom Buskey Awards at Harmony Hall Estate on May 16.

The Buskey Awards are given to select special education students …

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MAHS grad Matincheck wins honor earned by special education students

Posted

The Capital Area Intermediate Unit Transition Council hosted the 21st annual Tom Buskey Awards at Harmony Hall Estate on May 16.

The Buskey Awards are given to select special education students for their “hard work and dedication in overcoming personal challenges, leading towards successful transition to life after high school.”

One recipient was Sarah Matincheck, Middletown Area High School Class of 2019. She is the daughter of Scott and Lynn Matincheck, and was invited to speak at the ceremony.

She surprised her parents and teachers when she chose not to read her submitted essay. Instead, she delivered the following unscripted speech:

“Hello, everyone. I’m Sarah Matincheck, as you all know. And I want to dedicate this to someone. It may sound weird, but it will make sense as I go on though. Raise your hand if you’ve heard of Robin Williams. Keep your hand raised if you knew he was autistic. He was on the same spectrum as I am but he went through it differently. He embraced it.

“In a favorite movie from my parents’ first date, ‘Dead Poet’s Society,’ he taught in a different way. He taught in a different way, didn’t go by everyone else. He was unique, inspiring, creative, thought outside of the box for his character, which is why I like him and honor him.

“It’s a shame he passed away from suicide in 2017. And that’s why I wanted to take the time to honor him because he was a role model in a way. For his characters he portrayed, he was thinking outside the box, creative, unique. And he was also a hell of an actor.

“He helped me see that my disability did not mean I’d have an inability. I can embrace things differently. I do dance classes, I love to teach, and I want to be a teacher and a mother one day even. That’s my personal dream in life, and that’s why I owe it to him in a way. He helped me see that I can embrace my autism. I can’t fit in when I was born to stand out; out of the ordinary through everything. We’re like puzzle pieces, we fit in different ways: creativity, athletics, gifted and other ways. I’m not a freak, I’m just unique. That is my personal saying.”