Jordan Tabor is a success story.
The St. Peter’s High School student was diagnosed with autism at 4 years old. He attended two different preschools and encountered a variety of challenges.
“When I started grade school, we discovered that people didn't know much about autism,” Jordan said. “I endured several difficult situations while at the first school. I was locked in a small room twice, and one time I had to sit under (a) big box because they didn't understand me and my needs.”
He said he went to school from 9:15 to 11 a.m. and wasn’t allowed to go on field trips.
“People don't understand the behaviors of someone with autism,” he said. “Sometimes we flap our hands, we might hum, or we might pace back and forth. These behaviors were not tolerated.”
Jordan was later homeschooled for a year. Thereafter he attended two schools that cater to students with autism, but did not have a successful time there either, he said.
"I didn't learn anything,” he said.
He then enrolled in St. Peter’s.
“I have been there five years and I have received teaching that meets my learning style,” he said. “After only a year in the program for students with special needs, I was ready to begin mainstreaming in the regular classes. I was learning.”
He’s grown as a student, and his grades reflect that growth. His GPA is 3.95.
He is a member of the National Honor Society and has participated in the Academic Challenge team.
"You may be surprised to learn that I have even had the opportunity to perform onstage with the Puppetry Theater Project,” he said. “Serving others with Regina's Kids has given me the opportunity to give back to others in need.”
Curt Lesher, St. Peter’s guidance counselor, described Jordan as “phenomenal.” He said Jordan has excelled academically and is especially gifted in history.
His parents Kristy and Leland said they’re proud of their son and all of his accomplishments.
“We were surprised when I got the call from the school telling me he was nominated for the award,” Kristy said. “He has overcome a lot of obstacles and continues to be committed to doing his best.”
The Rotary McGowan Courage Award is supported by these sponsors: OhioHealth, Richland Bank, Haring Realty, Mechanics Bank, Gorman Rupp, North Central State College, Richland Source, Shelby Rotary Club, The Ohio State University at Mansfield, Mansfield Art Center, The Renaissance Theatre, Snyder Funeral Home, Hamilton Insurance Group,Mansfield Area Y, Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development, Mansfield Memorial Homes, Buckeye Horizon, Chuck Warner & Associates, Baker's Collision Repair, Catalyst Life Services, Miller's Diamond Jewelry, Scott and Adena King, Charles Cook, Jon Young, Dan Phallen, Gary Stroup, Harold Davis, Steve Cummins, Karen Redfearn, Scott and Mary Young, Betty Preston, Pam Sigenthaler, Melanie Riggleman, DJ Daniels, Win Meek, Walt Chaffee, Pat Chilcote, and David Crawford.