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  • Writer's pictureDr. Anna L. Patton

2021 CES #YearEnd Review with Michael Williams

Michael Williams, CES Owner and Founder

As I reflect on the year, I cannot help but think of all the wonderful clients we serve daily, both near and far. Helping students with executive functioning skills, academic coaching and tutoring, college applications and essay writing, homeschooling for students in grades K-12, and special education consultation gives CES the ability to meet all students in the triangle, across NC as well as the world. As we started our year, we were consumed with the pandemic scare and its effect on students and their education. Schools were in crisis, students were overwhelmed, and parents were frustrated. Together with our families, CES was able to calm the storm and weather the pandemic with comfort, compassion, and care.

Each year, I am reminded of all the work from our most wonderful consultants, and this year, I have truly been blessed with the ability to hire confident, compassionate, and dedicated educators who bring with them a wealth of expertise and a love for working with a variety of students and their educational needs. This year, our team was fortunate to add Gretchen Averette and Susan McKeown to our consultant community. Gretchen works with our elementary and middle school students, providing them with the support needed to find success in and out of school. Gretchen also teaches a homeschool class in the mornings and loves being able to stay connected to the curriculum. Gretchen’s kind demeanor and love for our smallest students is a welcome blessing to our CES team.

The second of our new team members is Susan McKeown. A few years ago, I met Susan while working with a student at a local bakery. Susan was teaching math and I overheard her explaining difficult math problems with students, and I was so impressed by how smart she was and how much knowledge she was able to deliver in a short amount of time. A year later, I asked Suan to join our team and thankfully she accepted. Susan can teach the most difficult math courses as well as chemistry and physics. Susan also coaches on the ACT and SAT helping students get their strongest scores. Susan is well prepared and gives nothing less than 150% at all times. Without a doubt, both Gretchen and Susan are a tremendous gift to CES.

Rounding out our consultants, Anna and Catherine started the year teaching a multi-level homeschool class while also working with a variety of other students throughout the week. Together they pulled off an amazing year and the families were so appreciative. Since August, Anna continues to see our oldest students and has even started working with adults. Anna never ceases to amaze me. She has developed a college entrance program and is currently helping a student in Dubai with applications to Ivy League schools. This year, Anna has taken on teaching a Spanish middle school class and the students rave about her funny personality and loving spirit. Anna is fluent in Spanish and teaches classes all over the world. Anna also has her first graduating homeschool senior this year. Together, we celebrate his success and are so proud of Eli. With a new baby joining her family this summer, Catherine has taken a small step back over the second portion of the year. However, Catherine still coaches a few students and serves some of our special population students. An ultimate team player, Catherine is always smiling and helps out whenever the need arises.

In addition to our professional-level consultants, CES has added collegiate-level staff members to educate and coach as content area tutors. Currently, Emma Mills and Parker Williams are our two subject experts. Emma attends the University of Virginia, and Parker attends the University of Richmond. They were asked to join our growing team to help current high school students with college essays, math, and writing. Both Emma and Parker work with students consistently and love giving back what they learned throughout their own schooling and college application experiences.

Serving a variety of students gives us a broad reach across all grade levels, college, and students with special needs. To best meet the needs of our families, we were able to open up a new office in Midtown Raleigh this year. In addition to virtual services, we now have offices in both North Raleigh and Midtown Raleigh, which helps our families have access to us from either 540 or 440. In the future, CES is looking to open up a new office in the Chapel Hill, Durham area. We believe that this will enable us to offer our services to even more students and are excited about this new adventure. Our long-term goal is to be able to serve more students in the Triangle area as well as venturing out to Charlotte, NC, and Richmond, VA.

As we enter the new year, we would like to thank our special partners and are fortunate to work with each of you. I am often reminded by one of our true partners, Dhruti Dholakia as she always says to me, “It takes a village to help our special kids, and together we can offer our services and surround them with care.” Needless to say, CES has had an amazing year coaching and educating our students and families.

We look forward to helping new families and thank our current ones. Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

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