40 plus years as an educator has taught me that a good deal of what standard education institutions provide misses the mark, especially for students with learning differences, students of color and/or different cultural experiences. My early teaching career, in the 1960s, in a very small elementary school in Northern California, serving Pomo Indians, migrant workers, children of adults in the lumbering industry and the landowners, started me on a unique journey.
From that small rural school, I joined the Dewitt Reading Clinic where I was trained as an Educational Therapist, then a hardly known profession. While attending Graduate school and holding the first Learning Specialist’s position at Presidio Hill School, in San Francisco, I developed the concept of a mobile school which became Pacific Trek Day School, teaching reading, writing and math in the context of the everyday activities of the San Francisco Bay Area.
From these experiences, I worked as the Learning Specialist at a number of private schools, including Chinese American International School, French American International School, Stuart Hall for Boys, Seven Hills School, Presidio Hill School, and Cathedral School for Boys. Since that time, I have taught Graduate students at San Francisco State University about the challenges and nuances of evaluating and educating children and adults with learning differences, and for 2 decades evaluated students for California Pacific Medical Center and The Kalmanovitz Child Development Center of California Pacific Medical Center.
Understanding the needs of learners, particularly those not succeeding, required interfacing with teachers, school administrators, and educational professionals as well as medical professionals, such as doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, and sometimes lawyers. This range of interactions has illuminated the substantial work necessary to provide meaningful, credible education to all students.
Decades of private practice have revealed how much sadness, loss and waste, exists in our education practices. My work now is to share with students, parents, teachers, and other professionals including school administrators how to think creatively and differently about what they do to educate our children.
We have been clients of Pat Henery for 4 children spanning 20 years and we have found her testing to be quite thorough, but most importantly, her analysis is insightful and profoundly educational for us as parents. Pat Henery has a deep compassion for all students and it shows in the empathetic way she deals with her private clients and schools.
Pat’s consulting and testing expertise combined with her lengthy history of working with San Francisco schools has made her an invaluable resource for charting the course of our childrens’ education. In an environment often filled with dogmatic, single focused specialists, Pat Henery’s knowledge of the breadth of the whole child is refreshing.
– Pasha and Laney Thornton