To Whom It May Concern:
I would like to take this opportunity to tell you a little about Larry Cecio and the kind of teacher he is and classroom he runs. My daughter, Roian, started out at a local Montessori for grades K-2. In second grade, we moved to a different area and made a decision to put her into our local public school. It was a wise decision at the time and our daughter did well in the elementary program.
The beginning of Grade 5 brought some major changes to our family and Roian's education. After battling a year long fight against ALS my mother, who had lived with us since Roian was 6 months old, passed away the third week into the school year. Along with her emotional turmoil, 5th grade also brought a move to "middle school" and with it more responsibility and a larger class load. At the time, Roian was just 10 years old and not emotionally ready for that kind of classroom change. We spent time working with her and the school, but realized just after the December break that the situation was not working and wasn't going to change.
At that point, we started searching out schools better suited for our daughter and her specific needs. She is a very smart, intelligent girl, but was struggling emotionally and socially and needed a place where she could just be herself without the added pressure of conforming to some sort of prescribed norm. During our search, we took another look at a school we had previously crossed off our list. That school is where we found Larry. After a two-day visit in his classroom, our daughter was insistent that it was the right place for her and wanted nothing more than to move to this new school.
Larry took our daughter in and made her an integral part of the classroom. He offered her a place to heal emotionally while still challenging her academically and allowing her to explore areas that interested her. He encouraged her, and every child in his classroom, to just be themselves, to put aside labels and just be who they were.
After 3 years with Larry, we all felt Roian was ready to return to a more traditional classroom and leave Montessori behind. We were unsure just how to prepare her for the transition. Again, Larry proved indispensable. He worked with us, and Roian, and prepared a more traditional curriculum that would help transition her back to public school classroom. He brought in textbooks, learning aids and much more structured day to help her get ready. He went well outside the traditional "Montessori box" in order to her prepare her for her re-entry to public school.
As I write this, Roian is preparing to enter our local public school for 8th grade. Thanks to Larry, she is excited and eager to start the school year, and looking forward to meeting new people and trying new things.
Our daughter thrived under his tutelage and became interested in learning again and was again eager to go to school everyday. After just a few months in Larry's classroom Roian was returning to her old self, engaging, funny, and interested in what was going on around her. I can not tell you the debt of gratitude we owe him. He is the kind of teacher every child should have. If you are considering sending your child to a school that Larry is a part of, I would whole-heartedly recommend you do so.