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Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy (MGLVA) 10th grader Matthew Butts, who is on the autism spectrum, was severely bullied in his brick-and-mortar before enrolling at MGLVA.

Struggling in classes and with social interactions with his peers, Matthew became socially isolated. He was bullied for being different, and he didn’t want to go to school. “We had to take him out of the car kicking and screaming,” his mother Kristy recalls. She knew it was time for change.

“Once Matthew transferred to MGLVA he could not have been happier,” Kristy said. “I have peace of mind now. There are no bullies, and he is thriving.”

MGLVA provides Matthew with the personalized education that he needs to succeed. One of Matthew’s favorite teachers is his special education coordinator Stacy Eckstorm. “She has patience and is his biggest cheerleader,” Kristy said. “Mrs. Eckstorm, and all of the teachers, are so invested and truly care about Matthew and his education.”

Kristy marvels at the difference MGLVA has made on Matthew’s education. Matthew is now a straight-A student with friends in his virtual classes. He has even been named the school’s Student of the Month twice in the last two years.

MGLVA offered the support system that Matthew needed to not only get back on track with school, but to start enjoying it again. According to Kristy, “Matthew is doing amazing – he loves his school!”

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