Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Learning disability can't deter Center Academy student from perfect attendance

Darius Way, 19, will attend Beacon College in Leesburg.

Darius Way, 19, will attend Beacon College in Leesburg.

GIBSONTON — Darius Way had never missed a day of school when an illness threatened to ruin his perfect attendance streak in the ninth grade. His mom, Karen, recalls a night of restlessness that saw her son finally fall asleep at 5 a.m.

When his alarm went off an hour later, he awoke and started preparing for another school day, much to his mother's amazement. He made it through that day without becoming sick and three years later that tenacity paid off.

Way graduated from high school last week with nary a truant blemish.

"When he sets his mind to something, he just does it," Karen said.

Making the accomplishment all the more striking is that Darius overcame attention deficit hyperactivity disorder while enduring Asperger's syndrome to graduate from Riverview's Center Academy with a 3.0 GPA and earn a partial scholarship to Beacon College in Leesburg.

He played basketball and flag football, served as a student government representative and worked on the yearbook staff. He wants to major in human services.

The Plant City resident holds a blue belt in karate, plays in the US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer program at Brandon's West Florida Flames club and describes himself as "cool, respectful and gentle."

"In Darius' case, he was very focused on his work," said Vince Brady, his teacher for the past two years at Center Academy, a private school of 105 fourth- to 12th-graders with mild to moderate disabilities. "He never stops producing quality work."

Way's mother, a surgical technologist in Riverview, said she still needs help funding Darius' $22,000 college bill, but she remains a proud mom.

"It's a very happy feeling," Karen said. "I am really blessed to see him work very hard."

Dave Stone, the Center Academy director, said Way exemplifies the school's ability to not let students with mild to moderate disabilities fall through the cracks.

Eric Vician can be reached at ericvician@yahoo.com.

Learning disability can't deter Center Academy student from perfect attendance 05/29/14 [Last modified: Thursday, May 29, 2014 11:20am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Evening update: Tropical Storm Harvey forms in Atlantic, second wave follows

    Hurricanes

    UPDATE: At 8 p.m. the National Hurricane Center said a hurricane hunter plane had determined that Tropical Storm Harvey had formed with sustained winds of 40 mph.

    Three tropical waves are expected to strengthen as they move across the Atlantic Ocean. [Courtesy of the National Hurricane Center]
  2. Trump 'beautiful statues' tweets roil Tampa Bay's own Confederate debate

    National

    It started Thursday at 9:07 a.m., as it does so often these days, with a tweet:

    The Memoria in Aeterna Confederate monument stands in front of the old Hillsborough County Courthouse. Hillsborough County Commissioners voted 4-2 last month to move it to a private cemetery in Brandon before voting again this week to put a deadline on a public sector fundraising campaign to pay part of the cost. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  3. Rays waste repeated opportunities in 5-3 loss to Blue Jays

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Rays manager Kevin Cash made a case for urgency before Thursday's game, in both actions and words, making significant changes to the structure of the lineup and sincere comments about time running short.

    Trevor Plouffe of the Rays reacts as he pops out with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. [Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]
  4. Spanish PM voices solidarity with Barcelona

    World

    BARCELONA, Spain — Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says his country is mourning in solidarity with the city of Barcelona and other cities in Europe that have been hit by deadly extremist attacks.

    An injured person is treated in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 after a white van jumped the sidewalk in the historic Las Ramblas district, crashing into a summer crowd of residents and tourists and injuring several people, police said. [Associated Press]
  5. Confederate statue: Why Bucs, Lightning, Rays took a stand

    Bucs

    They didn't want another Charlottesville.

    Marc Rodriguez, a member of the "Florida Fight for $15" organization, stands in protest along with other activists demanding the Confederate  monument be removed from the old Hillsborough County Courthouse in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]