March 24, 2011

To Whom It May Concern:

 I am the Lead Teacher for the Penn Treaty school-based C.A.R.E. Program.  My students, my team members and I have had the good fortune of becoming acquainted with Mr. Fleisher. 

 Our first encounter with Mr. Fleisher took place soon after the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year.  Mr. Fleisher was one of the many staff members at Penn Treaty to extend a warm welcome to the C.A.R.E. Program. Despite the stigma that attaches itself to Programs similar to ours, Mr. Fleisher demonstrated genuine enthusiasm over the prospect of working with our students.

I was sure that Mr. Fleisher’s first encounter with our students signaled resistance on their part.  I was very apprehensive.  I initially felt embarrassed by the candor of my students.  Mr. Fleisher didn’t see it that way.  When a student confronted him about a physical anomaly, Mr. Fleisher embraced this as the first opportunity to share a personal experience with them. By sharing his experience, he immediately began the process of establishing a bond of trust. . . not only with our students,  but also with all of our staff.  We immediately knew he understood our students; he was friend, not foe.  He was neither judge, nor jury.  He was NOT surprised by their behavior . . . he understood!  He did not turn his head in disgust at an ugly duckling; he saw the potential . . . a swan! 

Mr. Fleisher saw each and every encounter with our students as a way to reach a student who is in trouble or suffering.  By sharing his experiences time and time again, he demonstrated his empathy for their situations.  He very often lent suggestions to help them cope with life experiences. Whether it was one of Mr. Fleisher’s jokes, his tricks or his treats, our students came to anticipate the time they spent in room 401. 

Mr. Fleisher has always been, and continues to be, an invaluable resource to any and all who are lucky enough to stumble his way. We at C.A.R.E. consider it an honor to have become colleagues with one who genuinely CAREs.  No strings attached!!!


       Anne Alesiani
                             Lead Teacher C.A.R.E. Program