Inspirational Phoenix Student is this Week’s Fulton Homes Be KOOL, Stay in School Winner

Michael Pusateri Reaches Scholastic Heights Despite Having to Overcome the Effects of Tourette’s and ADHD

(Phoenix)– Fulton Homes has selected Michael Pusateri, an eight grade student at Sonoran Trails Middle School in Phoenix, as the student nominee for the Fulton Homes Be KOOL, Stay in School initiative. Pusateri has been diagnosed with both ADHD and Tourette syndrome and despite these disorders, he continues on as a great student. Pusateri was honored as this week’s winner on KOOL FM on Friday morning, April 29, 2011. Be KOOL, Stay in School is an educational partnership that offers weekly recognition and prizes to junior high school students who have overcome an extreme obstacle or difficulty. The program culminates in June of 2011 with $4,000 scholarships awarded to three deserving students. Fulton Homes and KOOL FM have teamed up again for the sixth time for their dynamic Be KOOL, Stay in School initiative.

Michael Pusateri, an eight grader, was nominated by Gretchen Gorr, a speech language pathologist who has gotten to know Pusateri quite well. Gorr spoke on how Pusateri’s combination of ADHD and Tourrettes makes it difficult to find the right combination of medication without offsetting each other. He has taken a unique method in ensuring that his medication does not affect his lifestyle.

“Michael has chosen not to take any medication at all and would rather “feel like himself” and deal with people making comments to him about his tics,” said Gorr.

Pusateri’s decision to take neither medicine is because the medication affects his personality, and he would rather deal with torment than change who he is. That is something that is quite unique in today’s society. He attends the classes with the general public in school rather than taking special needs classes. This can create an added difficulty in the learning process but he manages to overcome this.

“He tries to mask or “fight” the tics at school, so as not to cause a disruption or call attention to himself,” said Gorr. “He has fought hard to find the balance between trying to control his tics and paying attention and participating to the best of his ability”

Pusateri overcomes his struggle on a daily basis and continues to work hard in the classroom. Recently on his AIMS testing, Pusateri excelled in all areas. He ranked in the 99th percentile. He knows that he must continue to work hard, so that he can complete high school and college and after that, find out what career would suit him the best. At the moment his sights are set on a career as a doctor or a physicist.

“Michael is a courageous young man who has fought through much adversity,” remarked Douglas Fulton, CEO of Fulton Homes. “If he continues to work hard, the possibilities of what he can achieve are endless. We are honored to name him this week’s Be KOOl, Stay in School winner.”

The Fulton Homes Be KOOL, Stay in School program recognizes students throughout the academic year who are currently enrolled in sixth, seventh or eighth grade and who have overcome tremendous challenges. Valley residents can nominate junior high students from various Maricopa County public, private and charter schools by submitting a form online at, describing the student’s triumph against extreme odds. These selected weekly winners will then be qualified to win one of three $4,000 scholarships. At the end of the school year, all qualifying students and their parents/guest will be invited to attend a dinner banquet where the winners of the scholarships will be announced.

The Fulton Homes Be KOOL, Stay in School program will accept nominations during the 2010-2011 school year, choosing 36 weekly winners who will receive a backpack full of prizes and on-air recognition from KOOL personalities Tom and Maria. Then, all 36 students chosen will be eligible for one of three $4,000 college scholarships, awarded on June 7, 2011. The weekly winners will be evaluated by a board of judges consisting of co-sponsors Fulton Homes and KOOL FM, along with representatives from local schools.  For more information go to, click on Fulton Foundation and click Youth Education, or visit

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