January 28, 2008

Dear Ms. Jevne:

I am writing this letter in heartfelt thanks and in high recommendation of the St. Christopher Program that you have created. As you may recall, the day I came in to meet with you regarding my son, your understanding brought me to tears. My son had been in Renton Public Schools and was failing. I had been trying to get an assessment through the school district since he was in the sixth grade and had been lead through four years of daily stress to help him be successful in school. My son Eli was a diligent student with failing grades but the teacher comments would say "Pleasure to have in class". I had never had any exposure to learning disabilities but knew something was terribly wrong. The school system wanted to put him in alternative high school which was not a fit for him. He was a main stream kid that wanted to go to college. Now he is a main stream kid attending college at the University of Liege in Belgium. Without your program, this could not have ever happened. I know other students in the program were like Eli and got the opportunity to be main stream kids and able to go to college.

Your understanding and curriculum for learning disabled students can not be found in public school special education classes. After learning the curriculum and seeing other children in public special education classes, it's the difference between school and day care. Eli stated he learned more in the two years in the St. Christopher Program than he learned in the last four years of public school. The most important factor other than a truly educated child that we experienced was Eli was taught how to function with other people that were not like him, including his family. These tools that he adopted will be used throughout his life taking away the hurdles for continuing his education. After Eli had started attending St. Christopher Academy his first semester grade point average was over a 3.0, when he left public school it was a 1.75. It was actually easier for him than in public school, while learning more. His self esteem for learning was devastated when he started, and grew with every day of success. He became an inspiration to other kids that attended public school, knowing that it as the environment that helps attribute to their failure and in the right circumstance they too could be successful, i.e. maybe they were not dumb as they were treated.

The only word I can think of to describe your staff is amazing. These teachers have understanding of working with these kids that I had hoped all educators of children could have. I think of these people often and there is no adequate words for how grateful we are to them. The staff have ethics and take the moral high road on giving these children the best education possible while guiding the student to adjusting to their own learning style that works.

I am also so grateful for your taking a risk on accepting Eli into your program as a junior. There was not a lot of time left for retraining and educating in such a short window of time for him to reach his goal of attending college. As you know, he didn't want to go to just any college, he wanted to go to a Division 1 college.

Eli is now onto his goal of being a professional soccer player and attending not only a Division 1 College but attending a international college living in Belgium. Your program will always be in the story of how he was able to reach his goal and be a success.

We wish you the best success and hope you continue to help these special people because a learning disability does not mean they cannot have a main stream life or in Eli's case, a great life in professional sports as well as being truly educated.

Best Regards,

Rick & Lauralee Gordley

Renton, WA 98056

St. Christopher Academy • 4141 41st Avenue SW • Seattle, WA 98116 • (206) 246-9751• email
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