"Make friends with boring". These four words will forever resonate in my head every time I sit down to read, write, or just simply do work that isn’t exactly fun. My name is Djahna Garvey and I am proud to say that Katie Reily was my tutor for 12 solid years. I went to the Emerson Waldorf School and I am not ashamed to say now, at the age of 19, that I have had reading struggles throughout my entire life. Mrs. Reily helped me through all of my schooling with reading and comprehension. Together we sat at my family’s kitchen table with a box of letters to work on pronunciation, sounding out groups of letters, and editing works of writing for school assignments. “Djahna, you are just going to have to make friends with boring - none of this is going away.” Even though reading and writing are still challenging, I have now learned the tools to help experience and enjoy reading and writing in a whole new way thanks to Katie Reily.
- Djahna Garvey
I had lots of issues in school: problems with focus, talking out of turn, hyperactivity. Katie Reily helped me by doing not what she had learned to do to help a struggling child, but what she had to do to help me. She didn't do anything standard, obvious, or easy. Instead she had me raise chickens, she had me chop wood, she had me run obstacle courses, and she had me move mulch. She gave me real life, primary experiences, which I was in desperate need of. All of these things grounded me and helped me to realize my full inner strength. She worked with me intensively in the fifth and sixth grades and she worked with me equally as intensively in after-school study hall in the seventh and eighth grades. I just graduated high school with mostly A's and a few B's, an achievement that would have been impossible without the inner strength that Katie Reily helped me build. My family and I are incredibly thankful for her.
My daughter's speech sounded like an old fashioned telephone operator with a very bad cold starting at about 2 years old. Katie was her 3rd speech therapist and the first one to make a significant difference and succeeded in normalizing her speech. Katie started with my daughter, Emily, in kindergarten and worked with her for about two years. Emily loved her and therefore was religious about doing her homework to please Katie. The homework was so much fun that both Emily and I loved doing it. Emily still has her speech book and every spring Emily makes sure she has her "Katie walk" where Katie and she take a stroll in the woods and talk about life.
- Mary K.
I have known Katie for twenty years as a friend, consultant/therapist and miracle worker! I have been a teacher at Emerson Waldorf School, Chapel Hill, since 1993. I was a class teacher for a total of fifteen years, since then I have been the woodwork teacher. As a class teacher, I stayed with the same group of students for several years. For example: when I took my last fifth grade, a boy joined the class who had significant challenges with being in the classroom. Immediately, I called Katie and together with the boy’s parents, we implemented a plan which Katie designed. This plan supported the boy, gradually, gently and humanly so that step by step he was able to function well in the classroom. This was a long-term, dedicated approach to working with the student, in conjunction with the teacher and the parents. Katie works with the ‘whole child’: physical, emotional and intellectual. Movement and diet are crucial to her. Rhythm and love are paramount. Katie brings a wealth of experience, insight and tremendous warmth to her students. She is a delight to work with; she is very knowledgeable, wise and loving. I cannot recommend her enough.
- Peter Moyers
Emerson Waldorf School
Katie has done the 2nd grade assessments at the Charlottesville Waldorf School for many years.Our young students thoroughly enjoy the time they spend with her, often avidly volunteering to"go again" when she enters the classroom to return with one student and take another for evaluation. Following the evaluations, Katie gives the teachers and parents valuable insights into the developmental strengths and weaknesses of each student and how to work with those strengths and weaknesses. She is an inspiration to me.
Charlottesville Waldorf School, Virginia