Lydia Harrison, M.Ed., is the Owner and Director of Island Educational Services. A former state co-director for a statewide special education project that provided technical assistance to school districts and parent groups throughout Washington State, Ms. Harrison has over 25 years of experience working with students, families, educational systems, and community members to create supportive learning environments for students. As a classroom teacher and school counselor, Ms. Harrison received several awards for her innovative teaching methods that engaged even the most reluctant learner. Recognizing that all families need support during the formative years of their young children, Ms. Harrison also developed and implemented a birth-to-six resource center on Bainbridge Island for families, early childhood educators, and childcare providers.
Ms. Harrison graduated with honors from Erskine College in South Carolina, obtaining her B.A. in Elementary and Special Education. She completed a fifth year program in Special Education at the University of Washington, and received her Master’s degree in School Counseling from The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. She has participated in extensive trainings and workshops for students who have learning disabilities in language arts and math as well as students who have behavioral challenges. For over twenty years Ms. Harrison has trained teachers, administrators, and family members on strategies for working with students who learn differently. She is often requested as a speaker for conferences and workshops.
Lydia Harrison and Island Education Services have been at the heart of my son’s academic growth and success for ten years. In addition to expert tutoring in all subjects, Lydia taught him invaluable life skills. She taught him organizational tricks and techniques that allowed him to work around his weaknesses. She showed him how to advocate for himself and how to get support from his teachers and other resources. Most importantly, however, she helped him see that he has many gifts. Over the years, she has nurtured these gifts and helped shape a young man who is now heading off to college with confidence in himself and in what he has to offer to the world. As a parent, I couldn’t have asked for more or found anyone better!
Deb B., Parent
Each tutor is an independent contractor with Island Educational Services. Their services are provided through independently held contracts.
Jane Stenerson, B.A., has many years of experience in various educational settings, including North Kitsap School District, Olympic College, and the American International School of Rome. Jane completed her English and education major at Central Washington University, with graduate work at the University of Washington. Jane enjoys working with students of all ages. She particularly enjoys working with high school students through the college application process. In addition to her teaching certificate, Jane has an E.S.A. Continuing Certification in Counseling which has provided many opportunities to support families and students.
I could not be more happy with the help Jane Stenerson provided my son in writing his college essays. My son has never been a strong writer, but Jane not only focused on getting to know his strengths and weaknesses, she also took the time to get to know him personally so that she could help draw him out and let his true self shine in his writing. She helped him find confidence in his writing and, in the end, helped him create essays that resulted in multiple college acceptances and scholarships as well. I would highly recommend Jane Stenerson for any high school student who needs that extra help in mastering the art of writing college essays.
Cheryl G., Parent
Denise Briggs Potter, B.A., holds a degree in English from the University of California (Los Angeles) and is a former editor for several large firms. Denise loves supporting students through the writing and editing process. In addition, Denise recently completed her teaching certificate in special education from City University in Seattle; she obtained the certificate to inform her work experience with students that have learning challenges and need customized academic support.
Best of all, IES tutor Denise Briggs Potter forever changed my son’s life by firing his until-then invisible passion for reading. You can’t put price on that gift. Thank you, Denise and IES.
Colleen B., Parent
Annie Young, B.A., recently retired from the Bainbridge Island School District, having taught for many years at Blakely Elementary School. A University of Washington graduate, Annie loves working with students at the elementary and middle school level in all curriculum areas.
Annie has the magic touch! My six-year-old tends to be on the reserved side, but one can immediately see her comfort with Annie. Annie is so kind and patient which makes each one-on-one learning session a success.
Kathy V., Parent
Sandra Farley, B.S., M.A. has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems and a Master’s degree in Education. A Washington certificated teacher in math and science, Sandra enjoys teaching math at Olympic College in the Computer Information Systems program and working individually with students in middle and high school. Sandra is known as the “Math is Fun” teacher since she loves to work with students who find math a challenge.
Island Educational Services has been a godsend to my family. When my children became ill, Lydia was quickly able to provide excellent tutors for us. Lydia also was instrumental in helping us understand and navigate the world of 504 plans with the school district. Ruthie and Sandra, our tutors, are compassionate, knowledgeable and very good at what they do. My children actually look forward to their time with them! And, their grades are excellent, even with a great amount of school time missed. I can’t thank Lydia, Sandra, and Ruthie enough for their wonderful support!
Laurie R., Parent
Evie von Reis, B.A., has a degree in Education from the University of Michigan as well as extensive graduate work in special education and reading. She brings combined classroom, special education, and Title I experiences to her teaching repertoire. Engaging with students and their families for over 35 years has given Evie many flexible, yet practical, applications to advance students’ skills as well as their confidence. She is retired from the Bainbridge Island School District, where she worked at Blakely Elementary and Odyssey as a Reading Specialist.
Evie brings a wealth of experience and training to IES. She has taught elementary students on Bainbridge Island for many years, primarily as a reading and math specialist. Students who had challenges in reading or math loved going to her classroom, and she always worked wonders with them, causing her colleagues to say, “She could teach a cat to read!”
Annie Y., Colleague
Paige Nickum is a graduate of Texas A&M with a degree in English and Journalism and a Master’s in Teaching from Seattle University. Having recently taught at Eagle Harbor High School on Bainbridge Island, Paige shared, “I love the challenge of helping to unlock a student’s voice as a writer. The moment when a student discovers this voice, which has been inside all along, is what makes the process of helping struggling writers utterly worthwhile. An equally thrilling experience in reading is guiding a student to uncover previously unthinkable connections between literature, the modern world, and their own lives.” Ms. Nickum is a former Peace Corps volunteer, having served in the Republic of Georgia.
Paige is really awesome. She is so helpful in supporting my school work and makes learning better.
Teddy S., Student
Barbara McMahon, M.Ed., received her Master’s in Education (concentration in Computers) from St. Martin’s College and her Elementary Education degree from Rhode Island College. An experienced elementary teacher who recently retired from Blakely Elementary School, Barbara was nominated twice by parents as a U.S. West Outstanding Teacher and was selected to participate in the Bill and Melinda Gates Teacher Leadership Project. Barbara shares, “I am keenly interested in understanding the unique ways that each child learns and works best, and enjoy working with the student to strengthen weaknesses and overcome barriers to the learning process. I love teaching and am always thrilled to share in a student’s ‘AHA’ moment, knowing I was able to help in some way to open a door of understanding for them.”
Having worked with Barbara for over a decade, I find her character inspiring. Not only is she well educated, resourceful, and prepared for her students, but she is as kind a human being as you’ll ever find.
Evie C., Colleague
Sarah Casad, M.A., who is described by colleagues as innovative, compassionate, and engaging, has several years of classroom teaching in elementary and middle schools. Sarah received her B.A. in Fine Arts from Colorado College and her Masters of Arts in Teaching from Lewis and Clark. A dual-language teacher (Spanish) for several years in North Kitsap School Disrict as well as an 8th grade Spanish teacher, Sarah is looking forward to supporting students who may need assistance with Spanish classes or would like enrichment support. In addition, Sarah is a certified K-8 teacher and enjoys creating and implementing curriculum to support learners.
Sarah is excited to join the tutoring corps at Island Educational Services and shares, “I believe learning is easiest when it is meaningful and enjoyable! I love getting to know each student – their interests, how they learn best, and their other special strengths. With this knowledge, I strive to motivate students with engaging, individualized learning activities that tap into a student’s interests and relate to the real world.”
Sarah has been able to excite and unearth a confidence in my daughter when it comes to learning. Sarah understands kids with ADHD and sensory processing disorders and can use those issues as an advantage in learning. My daughter has gained confidence in her learning and finally feels good about her ability level. I can’t believe it, but I have finally met someone with more energy than my daughter! Sarah is great, approachable, energetic, and absolutely loving. You can trust her with your child and know that your child will feel loved, smart, and empowered.
Heather C, Parent
Laurie Seaborne-Borda, Ed.S, is a nationally certified school psychologist with advanced degrees in Developmental Psychology and School Psychology from the University of Nebraska, Omaha. A Bainbridge native, Laurie moved back to the Island to accept a school psychologist position in the Bainbridge Island School District in 2013. Although Laurie enjoys conducting extensive assessments with students of all ages through her role in the school district, she misses having the opportunity to work one-on-one with students to remediate academic skills deficits. Laurie intends to provide evidence-based intervention strategies that will target basic skills in reading, writing, and math. She will also monitor a student’s progress in order to determine the effectiveness of strategies used.
Bridget Butler, B.S., earned her B.S. in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education from Linfield College after graduating from Bainbridge High School. For the past two years, Bridget has been the ELL Specialist for Bainbridge Island School District and previously created curriculum for diverse learners in several educational settings. Bridget is excited to bring her enthusiasm for teaching and her professional skills in education to Island Educational Services.
We are very excited to have Bridget working with elementary and middle school aged students in language arts, math, and organizational skills.
Lydia H., owner of IES
Eileen Safford, M.A., graduated from Seattle University where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Biology and her Master of Arts in Curriculum and Design. Eileen is also accredited through the North American Montessori Center as a Montessori teacher. A seasoned professional on the Island who has taught at the upper elementary and middle school, Eileen is looking forward to providing support to students in the areas of math, language arts, and study skills.
Carolyn Greening, B.S., is a recent graduate of Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin. Earning a degree in Biochemistry, Carolyn was the managing editor of the Beloit Undergraduate Research Journal. In addition to her studies, Carolyn was a research intern at the University of Wisconsin at the Madison School of Veterinary School, and she was a teaching assistant for several years at Beloit. An instructional tutor at Olympic College in Bremerton, Carolyn tutors general, organic, and biochemistry, math, and biology at Island Educational Services.