The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

June 19, 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
Top News
  • Man charged in meth case

    A Clinton man has been charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine.

    Timothy W. Atkinson, 35, 1419 Honey Lane, was arrested Sunday after Clinton police executed a search warrant at his residence.

    April 23, 2014

  • Judge denies guilty plea withdrawal

    A Clinton County District Court judge has denied a man's attempt at withdrawing a guilty plea.

    Eric R. Hook, 45, 900 S. 10th St., was sentenced last week to no more than five years in prison for willful injury causing bodily injury, a class D felony. He also was given a sentence of no more than two years in prison for domestic abuse assault, second offense, to be served concurrently.

    April 23, 2014

  • Medication drop boxes available

    Although no formal event is planned in Clinton County for Saturday’s nationwide Medication Take Back Day, area officials are reminding residents this week about permanent drop boxes aT area law enforcement agencies.
    Unused or expired medications can be disposed of during normal business hours in the lobbies of four police departments in Clinton County — Camanche Police Department, 819 South Washington Blvd.; Clinton County Sheriff’s office, 241 Seventh Ave. North; Clinton Police Department, 116 Sixth Ave. South; DeWitt Police Department, 606 Ninth St.

    April 23, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

    April 23, 2014

  • 4-23-14 Clinton Middle School Forum Photo 2 Leadership Team field concerns from parents CLINTON -- Progress on the new Clinton Middle School continues to move forward and as the deadline for completion draws nearer, school district officials and staff members are interested to know how the community is feeling about the project. What th

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Iowa State says data breach could affect thousands

    The Social Security numbers of nearly 30,000 people who enrolled at Iowa State University over a 17-year period were exposed in a data breach, school officials announced Tuesday.

    Five information technology servers on the Ames campus were hacked, and those servers contained the Social Security numbers of people who took certain classes at the school between 1995 and 2012, ISU officials said in a news release. There is no evidence that any of the personal files were accessed, the school said, and the records didn't contain student financial information.

    April 22, 2014

  • Iowa woman arrested after child falls from window

    A Manchester woman has been arrested after her toddler fell from a second-story apartment window.

    The Manchester Police Department says 27-year-old Stacy Neuhaus was arrested Monday in Iowa City. She faces charges of child endangerment. Court records do not list an attorney.

    April 22, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cats outsmart the researchers

    I knew a lot had been written about dogs, and I assumed there must be at least a handful of studies on cats. But after weeks of scouring the scientific world for someone - anyone - who studied how cats think, all I was left with was this statement, laughed over the phone to me by one of the world's top animal cognition experts, a Hungarian scientist named Ádám Miklósi.

    April 22, 2014

AP Video