Meet Hunter, he is starting his fourth year at New Way Academy in Phoenix. Hunter is twice exceptional (2e) which means he is classified as gifted but also has learning disabilities. His learning differences were identified around age 5-6 after seeing his struggle with phonemic awareness and handwriting in preschool despite his gifted intellect. After looking at many schools, it was clear that New Way was the best fit for Hunter, given their small classes, reading specialists, multi-sensory teaching and the opportunity for movement while learning.
The level of support that Hunter receives at New Way for his dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD and Executive Function, simply could not be matched at a mainstream school. He receives 3-4 concentrated hours daily in his areas of weakness: phonics, fluency and writing. Boosted by learning using Assistive Technology, he is gaining the academic and life skills he’ll need for success in the future. Hunter was awarded Student of the Year in Reading last year (2018-19). This is notable given his severe level of dyslexia. His reading teacher said she chose him because of his love of books. He was previously the Most Improved Student of the Year during his first year (2016-17).
Hunter’s favorite subjects are math and STEM. For career he talks about being an inventor. He also has a lot of interests and hobbies in and out of school. He has been in six musicals between New Way Academy and Desert Stages Theater. His favorite credit to date is “Skipper” The Penguin in New Way’s Musical Madagascar last fall. Hunter also does parkour, swim squad, plays golf and loves snow skiing. He adores Siberian Huskies and wishes he could compete in a dog sled competition someday.
According to his mom, Heidi, Hunter is a Type A, extrovert with strengths in public speaking and presenting. She mentioned that New Way hones these skills by allowing Hunter to take on extra credit projects. He has also been selected to sit on a student panel for Q & A with prospective families. These are great opportunities that might not have been offered to him if he was at a bigger school with a larger student body. Heidi commented that being able to afford New Way is challenging. “I don’t know if Hunter could stay at New Way without the generous scholarships given to us over the last 3 years. We are grateful to Arizona Leadership Foundation beyond words.”