“Deirdre is wonderful.  She worked with my daughter on her college essays and tutored her in writing to improve her SAT scores.  The turnaround was amazing.  Victoria gained academic confidence, developed a love for writing, significantly improved her scores, and wrote a college essay that still brings tears to my eyes through her personal insights. 

   The college essay was notable, and I believe helped Victoria to secure admissions acceptance to the colleges of her choice, including many “stretch” schools. The way that Deirdre worked with Victoria was not to “write her essay” or “tell her the answer,” but in helping Victoria to think with introspection, and develop the skills she needed not only for high school, but also for college.  Deirdre is patient, encouraging, extremely talented, and will help your child get the results he or she is capable of.” 

       Jill McGrath, Weston, CT

  “Deirdre helped both my step son, Ben Selman, and my daughter, Taylor Zinman, with their college essays.  Ben’s top choice of colleges was Columbia University; he has now completed his first year!  Taylor was accepted into Tulane, which was one of her top choices, and she starts there in the fall.  Thank you so very much, Deirdre!”

   –Lisa M. Alban, Oyster Bay, NY

  “Deirdre has had fabulous teaching abilities with my daughter, Kelly.  She is the reason why my daughter is finally feeling more confident and not afraid of what is ahead of her in college.  When Kelly started working with Deirdre, she struggled with her writing.  Now she knows how to put her ideas on paper and is able to work with her material until she knows she has it right.”

     –Jen Whipple, Wilton, CT

  “We turned to Deirdre for assistance in preparing our daughter for the SATs during her junior year.  Deirdre’s calm and supportive approach allowed her to instantly connect with our daughter and form a trusting and relaxed relationship.  Deirdre’s deep understanding of the SAT critical reading and writing requirements helped her quickly identify specific areas of weakness and target instruction for maximum benefit, leading to significant improvement in our daughter’s results.  Having always considered herself more proficient in math & science, our daughter’s critical reading and writing results were her highest scores.  

        We knew Deirdre would be the perfect resource to assist our daughter in developing a meaningful and personal essay for the college application process.  Their wonderful working relationship was key to our daughter feeling comfortable sharing her innermost feelings and experiences which led to the selection of her topic and developing her writing voice.  The final result was a beautiful piece of writing which added a very personal element to all her college applications.   We have recommended Deirdre to several friends and look forward to her helping our son in the future.”

        Tracy Nalbandian, Weston, CT

      “Deirdre has provided one-on-one assistance to both of my sons with college essay writing, SAT preparation, and high school coursework. She is responsive, flexible and effective.  My sons enjoyed working with her, and she has helped them increase their writing and reading skills to be as successful as possible in high school and college.  I highly recommend Deirdre to students in Ridgefield and the surrounding area.”

    –Terry McManus, Ridgefield, CT

  “Deirdre helped both my son and daughter open their minds to new thought processes and helped them explore different ideas. We saw dramatic improvements in their grades after each tutoring session. Our children truly enjoyed and benefited from working with Deirdre. We all highly recommend her!”

      –Catherine Rowley, Greenwich, CT

  “When our son was finishing the end of his sophomore year in high school and was in danger of failing his Sophomore Research Paper, we realized that something had to be done. Over that summer, he met weekly with Deirdre and when school started he met with her as needed through the remainder of his junior year. Fast forward to being accepted at a great college and not only having confidence in his writing but receiving an A and a A- in his freshman writing courses! Deirdre has a wonderful ability to speak to kids in such a way that they not only listen but understand and are given tools that they will keep with them for the rest of their lives!”

    –P.J.Dodge, Weston, CT

  “In September of his fourth grade year my son received a perfect score on the writing portion of the CMT.  In October of that same year he wrote a story about his hermit crab that would have made you think hermit crabs were warm and fuzzy.  Yet, by the time his teacher was done with him that year, he all but refused to write.  Deirdre worked with Stephen in the autumn of his senior year so that he could write his college essay with as much “voice” as he could muster — still bearing the scars of his fourth grade experience.  In three sessions, Stephen had gotten his voice back, wrote an amazingly beautiful and personal essay, and was accepted into all but one of his college choices.  My only regret is that I did not discover Deirdre sooner!”

–Amy Davis, Weston, CT

   “When Deirdre works with a student, she works with the whole student.  Often a student’s self-esteem has been diminished because of their struggle with writing. Deirdre gets to know the student and finds a way to help them with their writing and to feel better about their abilities as a writer”

    –Maria Kalivas, Weston, CT

  “My son’s experience with Deirdre encompassed several years of individualized teaching as she developed creative ways of supporting an independent learner. Deirdre was available morning, night, weekday, weekends, even holiday and vacations to assist, critique, consult, and most importantly teach our son while he navigated a difficult course of medical treatment. His studies with Deirdre included English, history, government, politics, etc. The effort that she put into developing a respected student-teacher relationship with my son was beyond anything one could expect from a traditional teaching situation.

During my son’s senior year, Deirdre was completely involved in the college application process, which was crucial to his successfully being accepted into a wide choice of specialized programs. The vital role she played in helping with essays, supplements, etc. has resulted in his being accepted to a variety of top tier schools.  We are pleased that he will attend the highly selective and innovative program within NYU’s Stern School of Business this fall.”

   –Arlene Block, Weston, CT

    “What can I say about Deirdre? She’s great. She worked with my son for several years during high school. She tutored him in English and Spanish. She is patient, really gets to know the child and their individual needs. She also knows her stuff and can convey this to the student in a way they can understand.  Deirdre also worked with my daughter on her college essay. She helped her find an idea and find her voice.  With Deirdre’s help, my daughter was able to submit a truly great essay, one I’m sure helped her get into the school of her choice.”

   –Bonnie Hassan, Weston, CT

   “I began working with Mrs. Doran in the summer between my sophomore and junior years in high school.  My parents had arranged that she and I would schedule our own sessions to correspond with my needs at school, be it a test or term paper for one of my classes, or just to clarify a comment one of my teachers may have made about my writing.  I found her direction very helpful and not only was she very easy to work with, but she was an amazing person to be around as well.  She helped me organize my thoughts and writing and also offered guidance on other important decisions I was making at the time.  I would definitely recommend her to students who are interested in her tutoring.”

 –Sam Armstrong, Class of ‘08, Weston High School

  “Deirdre was able to break down writing assignments for my daughter so that she could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Deirdre ‘s never ending confidence in my daughter made such a difference in her productivity. She finally began to believe in herself. No one had ever taken the time to actually explain how to write a paragraph that is grammatically correct.”

–Yvonne Marks, Weston, CT

 “Deirdre has helped two of our kids with their college essay planning and writing.  Each of them applied for early decision to the one school they each loved, and wrote really in depth and interesting essays for their schools.  Both kids got into their first and only choices.  In one case, the school was Sarah Lawrence, which prides itself on being a writing centric college.  When the admissions officer called my son to tell him he had been accepted, he praised his essay, in particular.

  I think Deirdre deserves a full measure of credit for helping both of my kids achieve what they were capable of doing, which was to have written well and from their hearts.  She knows how to coach, coax and push high school kids to do their best work, and to learn what they are capable of accomplishing.  That is all we could ever ask of the people who work with our kids.  Each of mine knows they wrote their own essays, but each gives credit to Deirdre for how she got them to achieve their best, and knows that what she did for them is truly powerful.”

   –David Wilk, Weston, CT

  “Deirdre has worked with both my daughter and son helping them to successfully achieve very different goals. Because they both have suffered from Lyme disease which prevented them from being in school regularly, they both needed at home tutoring and extra assistance to keep up with classwork.  Her understanding of their health issues made it easier for them to work with her and focus on getting their assignments completed in a timely manner.  She assisted my daughter in researching, analyzing, writing and editing papers for English, as well.

Deirdre was wonderful in guiding my daughter through the writing process of her college essay as well as helping her meet the timeline of applying to colleges. She also assisted my son who struggled with writing to complete his sophomore research paper and other major assignments. Since he was unable to graduate with his class, she assisted him in preparing for the GED which he passed with high 90’s percentile in all areas.”

   –Susan Byron, Weston, CT 



One thought on “Testimonials

  1. I can’t say enough about the help that Deirdra gave to my grandson. She was genuinely interested in his success throughout the
    whole process. She helped, not only with his SAT preparation, but with his senior year homework, filling out the Common Application,
    essays and even suggesting colleges. I am very grateful to Deirdra for providing outstanding support for my grandson and for
    making the whole experience so much less stressful than it would have been without her caring and enthusiastic encouragement..

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