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GDK In Action: Matthew Haarala ’25 Sets 44-Day Tutoring Record

At the heart of every Goodness, Discipline and Knowledge Day at Catholic Central is the hope that students will take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to their daily life. 

Matthew Haarala ’25 has done just that by giving back to his fellow Shamrock brothers and setting a 44-day tutoring record.  

“I started tutoring in the fall of my junior year where I quickly fell in love with helping my peers in math and science. I tutored 44 days (about 1 and a half months) and then had to stop due to the start of baseball season, but I can’t wait to return in the fall. I tutor mostly in math and occasionally science with new kids filtering in daily. All of my tutoring takes place at CC, where, in the learning commons after school, kids can come in for help with any subject,” stated Matthew. 

“It’s impressive because the students are only required to tutor two days per semester,” stated Math Teacher and Tutoring Coordinator, Michael Fras ’85. 

“I asked Matthew when he was around 22 days why he does it and he simply responded, ‘I like to help other students.’ What Matthew has done this year in Study Hall is kind, unselfish, and as good of a great example of a Shamrock one can find,” continued Fras.   

He has tutored almost every core subject, but math has certainly been the most popular subject needing additional help. Matthew has tutored many different students throughout the year.   

Tutors are typically assigned to help others based on who walks in that day and the subject needed. According to Fras, Matthew was always a "go-to" guy as he is proficient in several subjects. 

“The thing that most inspires me to tutor is seeing the satisfied faces of my brothers as they start to understand a new concept that once was challenging to them. I struggled a lot with biology freshman year but, thanks to the tutors at the time, I managed to understand amino acids, transcription, and all the fun biology processes. With their help, I learned something I thought I’d never be able to even comprehend. That's why tutoring is so important to me; it allows me a way of giving back for all the assistance I’ve gotten throughout my journey here at CC,” Matthew continued. 

“Matthew took great pride in every student he worked with throughout the year. I have watched him and listened to him tutor several times during the year. His teaching skills are legitimate. He can explain concepts by breaking them down, slowly explaining, and he has a great deal of patience,” Fras stated.  

Tutoring is available to all students in the Learning Commons Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tutors are available in most subjects. National Honor Society (NHS) members volunteer to tutor based on their strongest subjects, and Mr. Fras pairs students seeking help with NHS student tutors.   

“We have truly been blessed with Matthew and his willingness to help others. He has gone way above and beyond with his duties after school and the Shamrock family could not be more grateful or proud of his efforts,” Fras continued. 

“We do not see him in the spring because he is a member of the Varsity Baseball Team. I am happy for him because he is now having fun playing ball. He always looked like he was enjoying his tutoring (I am sure he was), but baseball is a bit more fun (I believe). I am grateful to Matthew for his time and effort this year, and he is only a junior! I would not be disappointed if he breaks his own record next year for hours and days worked,” stated Fras.  

“I plan to continue tutoring through my senior year and in college as well. The main thing I’ve learned from tutoring is the value of asking for help. If you ever need help with any school-related or non-school-related thing, the best thing you can do is reach out to others. Tutoring is only part of it, being a friend to those around you can make a world of difference because you never know when someone may need help,” stated Mathew.     

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