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A local student’s musical talent has been recognized from among dozens of gifted children in the state.
Matthew Pinkham, 11, a student at Morningside Elementary School, was named the 2013 Nicholas Green Distinguished Student by the Kentucky Association for Gifted Education. Each of 174 districts names a student representative, and the Distinguished Student is chosen from the pool.
Pinkham was selected for his musical ability. He has been playing guitar since age 5, after a diagnosis of Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, a temporary condition that makes one’s legs particularly susceptible to fractures. It left him fairly immobile and in need of something to occupy his time, said his mother, Rebecca.
“We never would have known he had a musical ability had he not gotten sick,” she said.
Matthew has gone on to perform regularly and will join a three-week Teen Nation Tour in the spring.
Rebecca was approached about her son applying for the recognition, which requires letters of recommendation and an essay that discusses the identification and use of the applicant’s talent. Matthew has used music to raise money for several organizations. The upcoming tour also promotes an anti-bullying message.
Matthew and his mother submitted the application last fall, and hadn’t thought much about the award until they learned of his selection a few days ago.
“Just a big smile lit up my face,” Matthew said when he learned the state association had chosen him for the recognition.
He will receive the award Feb. 5 in Lexington, along with $500 for college from the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority. He will perform at the ceremony.
He also will take part in a Feb. 13 ceremony proclaiming Feb. 18-24 as Gifted Education Week in Kentucky in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort. He will perform there as well.
Matthew said he is glad the gifted association wanted to recognize him for his abilities in the creative arts.
“I like that someone appreciates it,” he said.
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or firstname.lastname@example.org.