Hunter Koval accepted into the Thrive Program at UCM

Story by Mia Gatti – Staff Reporter


The University of Central Missouri’s Thrive Program for special education students accepted Hunter Koval into their program for the 2021-2022 school year. Hunter is an extremely hardworking student that is the first from Lee’s Summit North to get into this program. There is a lot of preparation and determination to get accepted. Only a small number of kids each year are accepted to attend UCM and Hunter is one of them.

Hunter’s teachers talk very highly of him every day. His family and friends are all so excited for him to start this new chapter of his life.

“Hunter is a very motivated young man to be successful and pursue his interests. He is very hardworking and wants to achieve what he sets his mind to. Hunter also loves to be social especially with the football team,” Lindsay Beachner, special education teacher, said. 

This is a new experience that Hunter is about the encounter and he can’t be happier.

“I am excited to go to the Thrive Program because I want to learn how to be on my own and be responsible. I am most excited to meet new people and have fun. I want to learn new things. I will get involved by meeting new people and going to activities. I hope to be able to go to some sports events,” Hunter Koval, senior, said. 

He has so many things to look forward to and a lot to get involved with.

“The Thrive Program is a great opportunity for students to increase their independence. It provides growth both academically and socially in an inclusive environment. We are excited for the potential for more students to attend in the future,” Beachner said.

Hunter is a student very dedicated to sports and loves to be with his family, they are really going to miss him. Hunter’s sister Kaleigh is currently a sophomore at LSN. 

“I am going to miss Hunter’s goofiness. He always makes me laugh and knows how to brighten a room. I think Hunter’s determination and dedication will allow him to succeed at Thrive,” Kaleigh Koval, said. 

Everyone in Hunter’s life is excited for this new chapter. With him being on his own and understanding how to be a more independent person, the Thrive Program will be a perfect path for Hunter to take. 



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