July 22, 2007
To Whom It May Concern:
If you’ve ever wished something for your child–desperately wished and prayed–and somehow had your wish granted, then you understand what miracles are. And you also know that words can never express your gratitude to the person who helped to perform that miracle. This is the obstacle I now face, because Miss Kara Zatorski is my miracle worker. I suppose enough people exist whom we can call kind, compassionate, dedicated, caring, generous–and Miss Kara is all of those–but she is so much more than that to a mother who owes to her the debt of her child’s success and her own joy.
My son didn’t speak until after he turned 3. I was lost; I didn’t know if he would ever say “mama” or even indicate that he understood what I had said. I had him tested over and over for spectrum disorders and feeding issues, took him for private speech lessons, read book upon book about delayed speech and developmental delays...and cried at night, because I couldn’t reach him.
My son has been in Miss Kara’s class for the past academic year, and now he talks up a storm and his social skills have greatly improved. He loves school. Miss Kara’s creativity and warmth make her classroom a place in which any child would feel safe and happy. She provides a structured environment (I know this partly from personal experience and partly because my son makes my husband and me play school a lot) with lots of ways for children to express themselves. I have a box full of his artistic and academic endeavors (my favorites are the paper plate sombrero and an “abstract painting” that I have on my refrigerator, but my son loves his “matching” worksheets–match big to big/little to little, and so on). He thoroughly enjoys Miss Kara’s calendar time, and singing, and “centers” (where students can choose a fun activity for play time, like “library” or “blocks”), and he is happy being a part of a group. He’s interacting much more with his peers, in and outside of school. Miss Kara has helped him to do so much. She is knowledgeable and experienced, and she will be sorely missed by the children and parents in this school system.
In rereading this I realized that I have spent a lot of time talking about my son, and somewhat less about Miss Kara directly. But, as a teacher myself, I think that’s actually kind of appropriate, because our students are our legacy, and Miss Kara should know (and hopefully she does) that she has left such a brilliant legacy already in her young career. As I said in my beginning, people may show a passing kindness or have basically good hearts, but not many people invest themselves in others the way that Miss Kara has done. No matter how many years pass, she will not be forgotten. I will cherish what she has given to my son and to me for the rest of my life. She has my confidence, my trust, my sincerest wishes for her every success...in short, my highest recommendation.
Mother of a 5-Year Old Son (who never stops talking) and Teacher of English
To Whom It May Concern:
We would like to share with other parents the wonderful learning experience that Alicia Disteso brought into our family. Alicia taught our daughter for 2 consecutive years in a special education setting. Our daughter has autism and benefited in so many ways from Alicia.
Alicia’s approach to teaching is one that I had never seen successfully executed. Our daughter Bianca has autism, is non verbal, short tempered, strong willed yet very intelligent. Alicia was able to cut through all that red tape in no time and reach Bianca with her discrete way of making learning fun. Alicia’s professional and mild mannered way with kids is amazing and she is in control before the child even realizes. She raised Bianca’s self esteem that brought out some language allowing her to connect 2 and 3 words together and begin to form phrases. The creativity in her lesson plans always make the simplest things exciting and motivating for the children.
In short, Alicia Disteso enriched Bianca’s learning experience in ways that are immeasurable and any child will surely blossom in her class.
Veronica and Anthony Alvarez