A SEVERE physical disability hasn’t prevented Frankston High School student Adam Goodridge from completing his Year 12 studies.
He inspires his classmates – and even his senior campus principal, Helen Wilson.
And, as a salute to his achievements, Adam has been presented with the school’s Optima Semper award reflecting the motto, ‘Of Best Always’.
Adam has had athetoid quadriplegic cerebral palsy since birth, due to damage to his brain while it was developing.
Even though he is unable to physically speak or write, he uses a speech device as well as a laptop to communicate with his teachers and fellow students and to submit his work.
The disability is no deterrent to Adam’s enthusiasm for school life: He participates in all activities, including sports classes, swimming sessions, weight lifting, presentation nights, the Year 12 formal and the valedictory dinner.
“He even took over a section of the dance floor with his moves at the formal!” Mrs Wilson said.
“Adam is a very conscientious student, always submitting his work on time to the best of his abilities – and he has a great sense of humour.”
A huge Richmond fan, Adam often has a bet with a year level coordinator when the Tigers play the Sydney Swans: if Richmond wins, the coordinator has to walk around in black and yellow for a day, if Sydney wins, Adam has to have red and white balloons on his wheelchair.
Adam has this year successfully completed English, Further Mathematics, Business Management, Accounting and Information Technology.
His passion is information technology, and next year he hopes to study for a diploma in Computer Systems or Information Technology at Chisholm Institute.
“I will be sad to see Adam leave the school – he has taught us all so much,” Mrs Wilson said.
“Most importantly, despite our differences, we all share the same goals and needs and a sense of belonging to a community.
“Frankston High School has provided Adam with a strong sense of belonging to both the school and his peer group who are very supportive and accepting of the wonderful young man that he is.”
First published in the Frankston Times