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January 15, 2004

A + Student 1/15/04: Beverly's Laura Pomponi

From: Boston, MA - Jan 15, 2004

Pomponi Overcomes Disability To Excel In School

BEVERLY, Mass. -- Each week, NewsCenter 5 presents a high school senior who has taken the lessons of the classroom and applied them to life.

This week's A Plus student is Beverly's Laura Pomponi.

NewsCenter 5's Ed Harding reported that Pomponi excels in the classroom and on the field despite being profoundly deaf since childhood.

By all appearances, Miss Hart's advanced placement English class at Beverly High School looks normal and Pomponi is right in the middle of it, as she is on the soccer field.

Pomponi is a skilled lip-reader, and when she was in the seventh grade, she had a cochlear implant.

The high school senior said she only has 30 percent hearing in her left ear.

In her English class, Hart wears a microphone that transmits sound to a speaker on Pomponi's desk.

"Other than when she hands me the microphone each day, I am really never aware she has a disability, " said Hart.

"It just sounds like a speaker phone, " said Pomponi.

On the soccer field, her coaches use hand signals.

In the classroom, her classmates share the microphone, so Pomponi can participate in group discussions.

"She's always on topic, and always has something cogent to say," said Hart.

Hart wrote a college letter of recommendation for Pomponi that said she has never allowed self-pity to inhibit her, and never succumbs to limiting pessimistic thinking. Hart described Pomponi as "the greatest teacher of Beverly High School's class of 2004."

"I has taken three AP courses -- two history, one in English, no problems," said Pomponi.

Pomponi will attend Colby College in the fall.

Beverly High School's Laura Pomponi is this week's A Plus!

If you know a special student who truly makes a difference in his or her classroom, please e-mail us your nomination. Please include your phone number.

Copyright 2004 by TheBostonChannel. All rights reserved.