LONG BEACH - The principal of Tincher Preparatory had never seen a student achieve perfect attendance throughout an academic career.

Now he has.

And to hardworking eighth-grader Bradley Matheus, the feat is no big deal.

"My dad hates people who are always late to things," the 13-year-old said. "That mentality kind of rubbed off on me. I'm pretty punctual."

According to Matheus, that means he's on time for his many extracurricular activities such as Boy Scouts, fencing and helping to set up the school's carnival.

He's even known to voluntarily feed the Long Beach school's pet fish and clean the aquarium tanks.

"He's just been a delightful student to have," said William Vogel, the school's principal. "His parents have done a wonderful job with him."

When asked if he was ever close to missing a day, Matheus recalled just two instances: once when he was in first grade and another this past spring break.

"I just don't get sick that often," he said. "I got lucky, I guess."

When he's not studying, Matheus watches programs on the Discovery and Sci-Fi channels. He also builds robots that draw and go through mazes, and air cannons that shoot tennis balls, water balloons and potatoes.

"He's one of those kids that doesn't let anything get in his way," said Vogel, a 19-year education veteran, describing Matheus. "He has a very scientific and mathematical mind."

Eventually the straight-A


student wants to work in the field of military robotics, making surveillance and other type of machines.

"He's very interested in (robotics), and that's why he's so excited to be going to CAMS (California Academy of Math and Science) next year and joining their robotics team," said Jamie Matheus, his mother and a kindergarten teacher for Tincher Preparatory.

CAMS, located on the campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills, is a highly competitive high school that admits just 167 freshmen per year. It also has a major robotics program.

"Ever since he was in third grade he read an article about CAMS and decided that was the school for him," said Jamie Matheus about her son. "So he's really worked hard to get in."

Vogel said he believes Matheus' academic success can partly be attributed to never missing a day of school.

"I think if kids came to school all the time a lot of the kids who do have difficulty at school would be doing so much better," he said.

brian.cuaron@presstelegram.com, 562-499-1288

500 new citizens welcomed at Q150 celebrations

June 6, 2009 - 1:37PM

Brisbane has welcomed more than 500 new Australian citizens who helped launch Queensland Week celebrations on Saturday morning.

Friends and family packed out South Bank's Suncorp Piazza as the state's newest citizens made a pledge of commitment to their newly-adopted state and nation.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman told ABC Radio it was cause for a double celebration.

"I think it's particularly special for people that they're not only becoming Australian citizens but they're doing it on Queensland's special day.

"(They are) joining a great state and a fantastic city and I think that's something to be particularly excited about."

Saturday is Queensland Day, which commemorates Queen Victoria's signing of Letters Patent separating Queensland from the colony of New South Wales 150 years ago in 1859.

This year's Queensland Week celebrations over the Queen's Birthday weekend include the state's biggest variety show and a free barbecue.

The variety show, featuring 2,500 state school students, will be held on Saturday night at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre while on Sunday, thousands are expected to pack out the Queensland Week Big BBQ at Roma Street Parklands.

Sunday's celebrations will also feature performances from Dora the Explorer, inflatable mazes, face painting, balloon artists, displays and workshops from 10.30am (AEST) to 3.30pm (AEST).

Also part of the Q150 program will be a free night of comedy at the Suncorp Piazza on Sunday night from 7.30pm (AEST).

Comedy Fix will bring together comedians, including lyrical trio Tripod, Charlie Pickering and Queensland's own The Kransky Sisters, for a night of stand-up and satire.

The 2009 Suncorp Queenslanders of the Year will be announced on June 9 followed by the 2009 Queensland Greats Awards two days later.

Team of Monkeys