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Max’s teacher nominates him for Character Counts Award

By April 3, 2013Sports

Could NOT have said this ANY better!   What a GREAT teacher who is obviously worthy of being in the presence of “Miracle” Max!

Massimilliano Marangella

Upon entering my classroom, every person who joins us is greeted enthusiastically by my student Max. He brings so much positive energy to our classroom each and every day and is a beloved member of the student body here at our school. Max is a student whose peers respect and admire him and he holds a special place in our staff’s heart. He is a person who simply encourages you to smile and see the beauty of the world as he does. He absolutely deserves the Character Counts Award because he resonates all the traits that the character counts program stands for.

To understand Max a little better you must first understand that Max is a medical miracle. His “second home” is John Hopkins in Baltimore, MD where he receives treatment for a rare tissue disorder. He has had over 40 surgeries and procedures in his 11 years of life. He understands challenges and hurdles better than any 11 year old should and continues to prove his strength and determination not to have to miss out on anything in life. For example, just before Christmas, Max underwent his 41st procedure and while still coming out of sedation confirmed with his doctor that he would be able to be back to school before break so he wouldn’t miss out on our class’s holiday party. He simply loves life and tackles each and every day with extreme gusto and drive. He hates the moments he has had to sit on the sidelines, and every opportunity he has to participate he does so without restraints.

Having been a patient so many times in his life, he understands the challenges of being a patient in the cardiac ward, and gives back selflessly with his family alongside him at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. He delivers presents to the children, and goes in to volunteer to keep company with them and do his part to cheer them up. He has the most positive energy, and the greatest sense of humor of any child I have ever met. You simply cannot help but smile when you are around Max because he brings it out of you. He does his part to help others around him and inspire others by openly sharing his energy with them.

He is respectful to others in class as well as in his sports teams he plays on. He is the biggest cheerleader of others successes and relishes in recognizing greatness in those he is around. He celebrates accomplishments with sincere joy and enthusiasm and builds others up with recognizing their good qualities.

Max’s days are packed from school, to sports, to therapies and doctors appointments and never does he ever let that negatively effect him in school. He is always responsible for the material he is assigned and will do his best on every project and activity before him. He works tremendously diligently and is successful because of his hard work and determination. Due to his physical limitations, homework often takes him significantly longer than for his peers, however he never complains and always shares the highlights of what he has learned in completing the activity. He is trustworthy too, for instance, when he needs a weekend to complete an assignment, you can be certain that come Monday, it will be turned in promptly without even having to ask.

Max exemplifies this award in every way possible and is truly a Character Counts kid. His heart according to medical doctors might be in need of repair, but his heart that reflects his soul is more complete and complex than any child you would ever meet. He is admired for who he is, what he has overcome and powered through and the way he treats and interacts with those who are lucky enough to know him. One can only hope to be lucky enough to know a kid like Max in their lifetime!

Crystal Funkhouser

6th grade teacher

Quartz Hill Elementary