Christopher Finch, 18, was recently chosen an NBC 5 Stellar Student.
The Neuqua Valley High School senior was recognized in December by the Chicago news station as “one of the Chicago area’s top student achievers,” and was featured on the morning broadcast.
“It is such an honor,” Finch said. “My parents and my teachers have helped me. And most importantly, God has helped me. He is the one who has given me talents.”
Finch was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder, about age 5. His parents, Tom and Tina, moved to Naperville shortly thereafter.
“We came here from the northwest suburbs seeking a school system that would support Christopher and his special needs,” his dad said. “We found District 204 had great mechanisms in the special ed department, and that is why we chose to move to Naperville. The support he received at Patterson (Elementary), Crone (Middle School) and now at Neuqua has helped him progress tremendously.”
Tina Finch agrees, crediting much of her son’s success to the District 204 school system.
“We respect them and appreciate their support,” she said. “(Especially) when I look at what some of these teachers are faced with and the administrative piece that goes with their job. It is just a blessing to have had the opportunity to be in this school district. To have a school district this large, and they are able to individualize each student, is amazing to me.”
Finch has excelled throughout his school career and will graduate with honors in May. The NBC 5 Stellar Student Award is just one of many accolades he has earned over the years, along with earning the respect of his teachers, classmates and administrators.
“Since his first day at Neuqua Valley High School, Chris has been a leader in his class simply through his example and his enthusiasm,” said Dr. Bob McBride, principal of Neuqua Valley High School. “He is filled with goodwill, interest in others, and a genuine desire to be a part of our school. He is filled with Wildcat pride and supports everything at our school. He is indeed a very special member of the Class of 2014.”
His mom, Tina, said Chris’ accomplishments are a testament to her son’s capability.
“Capability is the key,” she said. “Any child is capable, it’s just a matter of finding the niche for the child and staying focused. Chris has always been open and willing; he has always been the kind of kid who is motivated. His energy and vigor, and he looks at the cup as half full.”
In his free time, Finch enjoys spending time with friends, helping at his church, and working at what most teens would call a dream job, as a locker room assistant for the Chicago Bears and the Chicago Bulls.
“I enjoy being out there when it’s game time,” Finch said.
After graduation, Finch plans to attend college and hopes to be a journalist or a food critic.
For now, he will continue to be a stellar student and friend to many at Neuqua Valley High School and Naperville.