Grey Tomlin's Story
Meet Heritage alum, Grey Tomlin. During his time at HCS, he was an honor roll student, earned a black belt in Taekwondo, participated in school theater, and was involved in the honor choir Colla Voce. All of these experiences along with exceptional self-discipline helped Tomlin overcome early struggles to find strength and success.
Tomlin entered Heritage in Kindergarten with identified learning differences. The school welcomed him as the bright student that he was even though he learned differently. “From the very beginning,” says Lesle Lane, Tomlin’s mother, “they stood by me and believed in Grey.”
As he moved into the fourth grade, Tomlin’s teacher suggested the family look into the Educational Support Services’ (ESS) Hidden Treasures program. The school developed an individualized plan for him that included twice weekly, one-on-one educational therapy sessions with then-ESS teacher Cheryle Cosgrove.
Cheryle Cosgrove & Grey Tomlin
Like other ESS teachers, Cosgrove is accredited through the National Institute for Learning Development (NILD). Lane credits Cosgrove with going above and beyond to foster Tomlin’s potential by tutoring him during the summer to help him retain his skills.
“Grey has inner strength; a fortitude that you have to have to be successful and get through this program, because it’s not easy,” says Cosgrove. “I knew that he had potential. I knew that he was a good thinker.”
Every evening, after her son had finished his traditional homework, Lane worked with him on the challenging exercises that Cosgrove assigned, knowing they could make all the difference.
From the very beginning, they stood by me and believed in Grey.
“Lesle was determined that Grey received the help he needed,” shares ESS director Julie Hight. “Grey responded with a willingness to work hard and take responsibility for his learning challenges.”
Heritage academic director and elementary and intermediate school principal Brenda Klingerman says, “When I think of those two, I think of the ultimate mother/son team! Lesle is a perfect advocate for her son and Grey is the ultimate hard worker and overcomer.”
Tomlin with ESS Director Julie Hight
Cosgrove adds, “To be successful in this program you have to have a support system. Students who have an advocate like Lesle, one who is realistic and highly involved, will succeed. Her advocacy for Grey speaks to her own fortitude and perseverance.”
By the middle of seventh grade, Tomlin’s ESS teachers knew that he was ready to graduate from the program with flying colors. They celebrated with balloons and cake, and Tomlin’s former and current classroom teachers, the entire ESS team, and his family gathered to commemorate the occasion. “The tears were flowing all around that day,” Lane remembers.
When he transitioned to high school, Tomlin had study and organizational skills to tackle. “Grey embraced high school and his responsibilities with his studies,” says Lane. “He took full responsibility for his education.”
Hight agrees enthusiastically. “Grey Tomlin is an independent, successful learner!”
Without Heritage and this program, we certainly wouldn’t be sitting here with the success story we have.
And he has carried these skills with him beyond Heritage. He was accepted to many colleges such as Butler, DePauw, and Miami of Ohio. After graduating with an academic honors diploma in May of 2018, he began his undergraduate journey studying science and technology in college.
Looking back, Tomlin says that the years of hard work paid off. Tomlin’s advice to other students with similar struggles: “It’s not going to be easy. [Hidden Treasures] is going to push you. But in the end, you’re going to turn out better for it.”
Lane says the investments in her son’s life and education have been worth it all. “Without Heritage and this program, we certainly wouldn’t be sitting here with the success story we have.”