Heter's Haven


  Samples of Success


I have a hard time bragging on myself.  I certainly do not mind sharing successes that my students have had, that is fun.  But, it is hard to give myself credit for my part in their success.  The first time I ever wrote about my expertise with students was as we were adopting our little ones.  The county wanted to send our daughter to the local elementary school.  I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that she would do better at home with me.  Sending her into the public school system where she had struggled would be setting her up for failure. She needed the expertise I could offer.  I ended up writing our state adoption worker two emails.  One email had my work experience - a simplified version of my resume.  The other was an email that listed examples of children who had done better under my instruction than elsewhere.  I wish I had kept a copy of that email.  It would certainly make doing this page easier.


Honestly, I still do not like writing about my success.  But, if you are going to put any trust in what I have to say, I have been told that I need to share with you examples of the success I have had with children.  So, with that said… here we go.




I began to really delve into specialty education because of our first born son, Stephen.  He graduated from Heter Haven Academy on Friday, June 1st 2007.  He is a wonderful young man, who did very well in his first college class (taken as a senior in high school).  He received an A in his Speech Argumentation class.  Prior to enrolling, he was required to take a college placement test.  He placed into Algebra 2 and English 1A.  At 17, he made a 97% on his ground school exit exam for flying and then passed his FAA written test for becoming a pilot.  He is an avid reader and enjoys learning.  Now, this may not be anything spectacular for many children.  But, my son, Stephen is extremely dyslexic.  I had him tested during his 4thgrade and was told that he would never learn to read or write.  Our classroom worked differently than most, but the result is a confident, intelligent, successful young man who graduated with his B.S. in Business Administration at California State University of Sacramento in December of 2014. Presently he is working for the California State Assembly.


The recent successes is our daughter, Tiersa, was the catalyst for officially opening my new practice, Heter’s Haven, as an Education Specialist.  Though I have been doing this work for many years, it was discussing her educational history with the intake counselor that made me consider opening this private practice.  Tiersa has many challenges, however, my work with her has allowed her to graduate with individualized graduation requirements from Heter Haven Academy in June of 2014.  She began attending our local community college this fall and she is working toward becoming a preschool teacher.  With the assistance of the students with disabilities department, she is doing very well.


There was a young man that I tutored.  He was 18 years old and a graduate from our local high school.  He wanted to enroll in the Navy, but could not pass the entrance exam.  I tutored him and he did pass.  Later, when I saw his mother, she told me that her son was excelling in the Navy.  He was enrolled in college with the goal of becoming an officer.


A mother brought her son to me.  He was depressed and felt that no one really liked him.  Through working with me, though he was very ADD (attention deficit disorder), he became successful academically.  He made friends and came out of his shell.  I continue to see this young man.  Today he is a successful employee.  He is a wonderful husband and father of four young children.  His mother once told me that she felt that I had saved her son.


We received a call about two small foster children who had blown out of placement.  Their social worker described them as “feral children” (wild, untamed, and animal like).  There was a 3 year old boy and a 21 month old girl.  To be honest, they were really difficult children.  At three, the boy had no vocabulary.  He could not even take the young child vision test with pictures of balls and boats.  He did not have the words for even the most basic items.  The 21 month old girl was an obvious meth baby.  Their grandma was contacted to care for them, but she refused.  After almost a year with us, they began the final steps to reunification with their mother.  A driver would pick them up weekly for visitations.  The county worker told me that she had been apprehensive about being their driver.  She had been told how difficult to manage these two children were.  But, she then added that she did not know where they got such a bad reputation.  They now behaved themselves beautifully and sang happy songs as they traveled the 30 minute drive each way.  Later, with the agreement that their mom would move back in with Grandma, the children were reunited with their family.  Grandma called to thank me for my work with her grandchildren.  She let me know that if it had not been for their placement with us, she would not have been able to handle their return to her home.


I had a student while I taught in a public school who had failed Algebra I three times.  He was a brilliant student and could pass the final for Algebra I, but refused to do the homework.  When I got him in class, I gave him a placement test and then put him into Trigonometry.  He began to make good grades and enjoyed math again.


A lady from our community had a son who was in the county’s SED (severally emotionally disabled) program.  He was not functioning well at all in this classroom and was having constant behavior problems.  Not only did I advocate for them with the county school, but I allowed him to attend Heter Haven Academy on a week by week basis while they found a more appropriate situation for him.  In the time that I had him, I never experienced the inappropriate behavior that they witnessed in the SED class.  In time, a new school was found for him and he left my instruction. 


A recent success was a 4thgrade student who was struggling in his public school. I had worked with his grandmother professionally in the public school system.  She felt that her grandson had undiagnosed Asperger Syndrome as well as a few other issues.  Her goal was for him to be able to return to the public school system.  He was with me for less than a year.  We worked on his academics as well as social skills.  He was indeed able to return to the local public school.  The last time I saw the grandma, this student was doing much better in his class.


I have been successful with many students and would like to work with you to help your child reach toward their full potential.