Matthew Wurster of the Carle Place UFSD, who attends Nassau BOCES Carman Road School, earned the George Farber Outstanding Student Award for 2017. Wurster has demonstrated a variety of remarkable traits including talent, commitment, honesty, diligence, compassion and high moral standards. He was honored during the 10th annual awards celebration at Nassau BOCES Long Island High School for the Arts in Syosset.
Wurster has had monumental challenges in his life and has faced them with courage and determination. At the age of six, he was diagnosed with Duchen’s Muscular Dystrophy. A student at Carman Road School since the age of eight, Wurster is currently restricted to a motorized wheelchair. These challenges have not held him back; Wurster is flourishing.
An extremely involved student at Carman Road, Wurster is a member of the Hot Shots wheelchair basketball team, an active participant in Builder’s Club, a singer in the school chorus and a member of Boys Club. He helps out wherever he can, making classroom deliveries, assisting with the recycling program and returning trays to the cafeteria. Outside of school, Wurster works diligently at the Massapequa Town Hall. Wherever he goes and whatever he does, he brings his positive attitude with him, always ready with a compliment and an encouraging word.
Wurster is also known for some of his unique and uncanny talents. As a railroad enthusiast, he is an encyclopedia of information on the Long Island Railroad. Anyone taking the LIRR can ask Wurster, and he will inform them of the best train station from which to leave and name every stop along the way to their final destination. Tell Wurster your birthday and he’ll immediately respond with the day of the week on which you were born.
“Matthew is such a good representative of what Carman Road is all about,” wrote his award nominators, teacher Bill Jacobsen and physical therapist Dr. Angela Wakefield. “He does not say ‘I can’t.’ He does not allow his disabilities to hold him back or dictate what he can do. He is an incredibly focused and determined student, who is committed to helping improve both his school and community. In short, Matthew is simply a good person.”
“Matthew is a wonderful student,” said Susan McNulty, Carman Road principal. “He is such a hard worker. We have seen him mature and develop significantly in the time he has spent with us. It has been so great to see.”
For the past 10 years, outstanding students have been earning this award in memory of former Nassau BOCES Board President George Farber, whose passion for improving the lives of students was surpassed only by his love and care for them. Farber was the longest-serving board member in Nassau County, having served from 1971 to 2009.
He does not allow his disabilities to hold him back or dictate what he can do.
“These students exemplify the very best of Nassau BOCES,” District Superintendent Dr. Robert Dillon said at the awards ceremony. “Each of them embodies the true spirit of George Farber. They have shown kindness to other students, exhibited an excellent work ethic and demonstrated outstanding commitment. They have eagerly shared their knowledge and made contributions to their communities. Their collective stories are an inspiration to us all.”
—Submitted by Nassau BOCES