Memories of my early childhood fall into two distinct categories: life and school. Growing up in Colorado brings back memories of a happy life. School, on the other hand, conjures up images of struggle, frustration and an overall sense of unhappiness.
In third grade, it became apparent that I could read everything put in front of me, but I didn’t appear to have the ability to comprehend any of it. After an evaluation by a psychologist, the results were conclusive – I was a high-ability child with learning disabilities in reading comprehension and math computation. The next year, I had an exceptional fourth grade teacher. She understood how I learned and made school fun. She was the teacher who instilled in me a love of reading and learning.
I had several one-on-one tutors over the years who also had a tremendous impact on my academic career. Like constructing a building, they laid the foundation and built on concepts I knew, until I finally had a solid, standing structure. While I couldn’t be “fixed,” (children with learning disabilities are not broken!), I had the strategies that enabled me to learn in a different way.
In high school, I participated in a community volunteer program where I taught adults with cerebral palsy to ride horses. I became enamored with helping people. Soon after, I volunteered in a self-contained classroom for children who were diagnosed with “severe and profound disabilities” (a truly awful label). We all have our defining moments in life when we realize that everything we have experienced was for a reason; for me, it happened when I was sixteen. I knew from that year forward that I had a mission—to help others overcome their challenges and achieve their potential despite learning differences.
Years later, as I held my undergraduate and graduate degrees with summa cum laude status in my hands, I fully realized the impact that my outstanding tutors and teachers had on my life. They provided me with tools to achieve academically, but, ultimately, they empowered me to succeed in life.
I started On-Track Tutoring more than two decades ago, knowing the impact that one-on-one tutoring can have on a student’s life. I’ve conducted educational evaluations, consulted with families, created educational programs, and coached an army of tutors in an effort to help students achieve their potential. With the addition of The Jones-Gordon School, I am able to mentor and empower students to succeed despite learning differences in an educational environment that is built for their success.
I truly look forward to my work every day. One of my favorite quotes, by publisher Katherine Graham, says it all:
“To do what you love and feel that it matters, how could anything be more fun?” Founder, Head of School