On June 23, five students of the Pre-School Class of 2009 were honored at a graduation ceremony at the school. Principal Howard Helfman and Chair of the Board of Trustees, Kevin Cummings, distributed diplomas to Frankie Altieri, Robert Janish, Lucia Mangano, Marcus Porraro, and Delia Preston.
Dr. Paskowitz, Executive Director, noted the graduation theme of bugs and said the parents made her think of the “Very Hungry Caterpillar”. “You came to the school hungry for hope, for information and for support. Your children’s graduation is your accomplishment. They have learned a lot because of you.
Parents of the class of 2009 shared their thoughts about their children’s accomplishments and time at Summit Speech School:
“Lucia's experience at Summit Speech School will probably be one of the BEST in her life!!! They taught her to talk and speak for herself! For myself, the best thing was knowing that after the long and sometimes "rocky" ride to school there was a loving and caring staff to greet her!!!”
Kathy Mangano, mother of Lucia.
“We feel blessed to have both of our boys enrolled at Summit. From the day Kathy Wagner walked into our home the school has held our hands through all the ups and downs of dealing with deafness. The staff has always been kind, patient and professional; but most of all, supportive of the decisions we've made for our boys. Every person at the school truly cares about the children and their families. It's like we are a family.
Going to Summit has been wonderful for Frankie. He is in the care of incredible people. It's very hard to send a 3 year old on a bus to school all day. But we knew he was in the best place. His language and articulation have blossomed! Frankie knows he is not the only one with a hearing impairment. We feel this has contributed greatly to his self-confidence and self-esteem. He has made so many friends at Summit and I'm hoping they are lifelong friendships.”
Samantha Altieri, mother of Frankie.
“To Marcus, Summit Speech School is a place of fun! He truly looks forward to going each day. He feels pride in all that he has learned there and enjoys being with other children who hear like he does. Thanks to the school Marcus is not only able to verbally express himself, but has also found a self-confidence he did not have before he came to Summit. He loves and cares for each and every teacher he has had and they've provided him with a strong education, love and guidance.
Summit Speech School has provided complete support for our family even before Marcus was diagnosed. It has been an accepting, loving and warm place for our family to receive emotional support and concrete education and guidance on how to best help Marcus and ourselves. We can't imagine how much more frightening and overwhelming the past few years would have been without Summit Speech School.”
Michelle Porraro, mother of Marcus.
“At Delia's graduation, we realize that we have come full-circle. Our first visit to the school was in late spring 2007--only weeks after discovering Delia's hearing impairment--and we observed Karen Murphy's classroom in full swing, with a group of extremely articulate "older" girls reading aloud and conversing with Karen and each other. At the time, Delia could barely speak, and it was unfathomable to us that in two short years she would be just like those girls we saw: articulate and happy as she leaves Summit Speech School for the big, bold world of Kindergarten.
The impression that we retain in our minds of the school is a group of dedicated teachers, therapists, administrators, technicians, parents, and friends, each of whom contributed in some significant way toward Delia's development of language, and of self. We would like to express our deepest gratitude. We will never forget you.”
Michael Preston, father of Delia.
“From Robert's perspective, Summit Speech School has allowed him to find his VOICE!
As parents, we know the school has increased Robert's potential for success in a "hearing world!"
PRESENTING THE CLASS OF 2009!