Student Spotlight – Christian McGrath
At the tender age of 15 months, Christian McGrath was adopted from China. He is now 15 years old and in the 11th grade at Center Academy’s Riverview Campus. His favorite subjects are math and science, because he believes that “concrete concepts are easier to comprehend”. His favorite teacher is Ms. Guidry who helped him through introductory Chemistry when he almost failed the course. Thanks to her assistance, he pulled through. “She’s patient and will present the concepts as many times, and in as many ways as necessary, until you fully understand,” he said.
Because of Center Academy’s small student body, Christian believes that it’s much easier for the staff to understand each student on a personal level. That helps in many ways, from aiding learning to conflict resolution. “Individualization” is another thing that makes Center Academy stand out. Unlike the “sink or swim” method that public schools adopt, a Center Academy student will be placed in a class deemed the best fit for his or her current academic level in each subject.
Christian lives with his mother and one cat, and is hoping to adopt another one soon. He participates in a bible study and youth group at St. Stephen Catholic Church. He is a member of their Squires Circle and has earned the rank of Swordsman. In his spare time, you might find Christian roller skating, playing his guitar, playing games on his computer, or feeding the homeless and needy with Kay’s Ministry in Tampa.
Christian has had the great privilege to speak with Vietnam Veteran Sam Gorgoglione, who delivered a presentation on Operation Turnkey, and hopes to one day meet someone who has similar experience as Mr. Gorgoglione.
Christian has already completed 31 college credits at Hillsborough Community College with a GPA of 3.6, while maintaining a high school GPA of 4.18. At the end of June, he traveled to Boston and received an Award of Excellence from the National Congress of Future Scientists and Technologists, and was inducted into the society of Torch and Laurel, a program for highly gifted high school students to achieve their maximum potential in college.
After graduation, Christian plans to major in Mechanical Engineering, and hopes to attend Florida Polytechnic University.
Without question, you, your family and teachers must be very proud of your accomplishments, Christian! Thanks so much for sharing your achievements in this month’s Student Spotlight!