Group Dynamic

From parents when I was a teacher

From former students

From parents when I was an activity group therapy counselor

From Colleagues

From parents during my time as a teacher
  • I still want to thank you for changing Ben's life, the beginning of his interest of sports. Of course Josh loves sports by following his big brother. You cannot imagine how much you influence the students.
    - Lisa F.
  • We truly appreciate the positive impact that you have had on Daniel and his school experience. The personal attention that you have paid to him has helped him gain the self confidence that he needed to appropriately interact in his environment on a day to day basis. He is much happier and, as a result, so are we!!
    - Kathy and Mark
  • Thanks for responding and for being so welcoming to Caitlyn. I admire her courage and attitude. I think she is amazing. she doesn't just cope with this situation she walks through the valley with such strength. I am grateful for your welcoming and sensitive style.
    She comes home from school with no complaints. That is a good sign. Her previous attitude about school was always she was bored, nothing interested her, she was never "really" challenged. Boring. Boring was all I heard. I would get this when her and I spoke on the phone often over the past year. When everything is "grand" she doesn't say much except fine. she really means it. Otherwise she will let you know up front. so overall she loves it. she loves the challenge and feels like she really fits in.
    - Sharon
  • Its is really neat to see him so animated and carefree. I don't see that at home a lot. That says a lot for you Stew!! I really appreciate all you've done for my kids. You will make a lasting impression on them, forever I'm sure.
    - Cheryl
  • As I am sure that you can already notice, Kerrianne absolutely loves school. Everyday she comes home so excited!
    - Dot W.
  • Alex actually got a 90%! I was very impressed, obviously whatever you did with him worked.
    - Mia D.
  • Just last night I was reflecting about his trip through the Hood School and how he experienced a significant turn-around in your class. He has stayed on the right path for the last two years and I believe that he will continue to move in a positive direction.
    If you ever write a book you can include him as a success resulting from your guidance!
    - Kathy
  • He has matured, grown and has become much more in control of his behavior. I do think that he's playing with it now to see what the reactions are - it's kind of interesting albiet frustrating.
    He has had a really great year and I'm sad to see it end. I think he could use a little more time to master some of the concepts that he's learned. I think that you have helped him tremendously in recognizing how his actions do cause both negative and positive outcomes. I think that this has helped him focus more on self-control which is where I think most of his issues stem from.
    Thanks for everything!
    - K.H.
  • I guess he deserved that mark in language arts and homework, he'll be upset but maybe he will learn. I just got sick of yelling at him to do his homework and tried to make him take some responsibility. maybe it will shake him up a bit. The other marks were great and he will be proud. Thanks for being such a great teacher and totally being there for him and me this year, you have really helped more than you can imagine.
    - Ellen
  • Joey ended up having a fever tonight of 103.4 around 7:00. He is very upset that he may not make school tomorrow. He has been singing and whistling and trying very hard not to feel sick but it caught up with him anyway. Hopefully, he will feel better in the morning, but I doubt it very much. I think he is more worried about missing school than being sick. You must make a good impression on him because he never cared before.
    - Celeste
  • At the end of the school year last year
    • Tommy hated to read - anything at all - and now he loves to read.
    • Tommy thought he could not do anything well, academically. Now Tommy is very proud of his computation ability.
    • Tommy cried every single day when he got home from school, and now he rushes home from the bus to tell me what he did in school.

    - Carole

  • Thanks for all the newsletters and pictures from school it is always great to see what Dylan's doing in class. Also, the CD is wonderful - I think I'll play it at night while the kids are sleeping - maybe the times tables will sink in. Dylan had a very positive year, we're really glad he was in your class.
    Have fun this summer!!
    - Sue
  • The newsletter in color was great!!! You do such a super job with that. It's so nice to know what the kids are doing. I think this year especially there would have been such a drastic difference in teachers for Matt and Nate it would have been very difficult for Matt and I. There you are with pumpkins and loads of fun while the kids learn, compared to strict traditional learning. Again, I appreciate your interest in having the kids have an awesome learning experience. It stuck in my head what you said about when they have fun learning they retain more. Makes sense.
    - C.D.
  • Thanks for the information. Daniel shared this information with us and in the same way that you did! I think that your talk with him was very helpful - he was happy to say that he learned something new and he described putting the anger in the box, etc.
    We really appreciate you taking the time to talk with Dan. My sense is that he really listened and will attempt to use this approach to control his anger. We even revisited the strategy on the way in to school on Tuesday and will continue to do so from time to time so that it stays in the forefront of his mind.
    - Kathy


From former students

  • Dear Mr. Pruslin,
    For consideration to be inducted as a member of the National Honor Society, the candidates have been instructed to write a letter to the one teacher who has impacted their lives the most in these past twelve years of schooling. Some of my friends who have also been nominated for NHS have been struggling to come up with a suitable teacher to write to. It is definitely a challenging task, seeing as most students have had over forty teachers by now. But as soon as I looked at the guidelines, I knew I would be writing to you.
    You are the one teacher I can remember really talking to me, not as if I was an ignorant third grader, but as a person with opinions of her very own. Before I was in your class I was shy and reserved. I rarely spoke up for myself and held back when I should have let go. You helped me to come out of my shell of shyness and show the world who the real Annie Willis was. You showed me it was pretty cool to let your sense of humor guide you and to have fun with whatever you do. Now I tell people what I think and how I feel. You gave me a voice and I will always credit that to you. I wouldn't be the friendly, outgoing and sometimes outspoken person I am today without your guidance over eight years ago. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if I hadn't had you as a teacher. Would I be the same as I am today, having found an inspiring spirit in another teacher? I think that you helped shape me to become what I am today, even if you didn't realize it at the time. So thanks for making me so cool, Mr. P. I really appreciate it.
    Annie W.

From parents during my time as an activity group therapy counselor at The Academy

  • Stew has the ability to use reframing, humor, and practical applications to get highly desirable behavior out of troubled kids. He is creative, non-defensive, and able to connect with kids where they need him to be. Also worked well with parents. I value my connection to Stew over the years."
    - Dr. Cheryl Lieberman, MSW, MA, PHD, Parent

  • Dear Stu,
    There were some reservations about whether the Academy was the right place for our son, Alan. Many folks thought that Alan would have a GREAT time but weren't sure it would help him deal effectively with bullies and other children with whom he had conflicts. The thought was that martial arts might more directly give him the skills he needed.
    Well, after two sessions with you, all our ambivalence has been put to rest!
    Friday evening he related an incident that happened at school that day. "The most exciting moment today was when I FLEW off the slide while playing tag with my friends in the playground. Mom, I REALLY flew over David's head and landed face down in the sand! They were pulling sand sparkles off my nose the rest of the afternoon. I became known as 'Captain of the Tag Ninjas!'" He first related this to his father and me in front of another parent who was so horrified that we decided to hold off on further discussion until later. I couldn't understand what was going on. It sounded like Alan had done something terribly reckless to prove himself in front of his friends. But this isn't like him. He is usually a fairly cautious risk taker. Bill, Alan's father, suggested that it might have to do with newfound confidence acquired at the Academy. When I later was able to ask Alan about it, he said that it was definitely the Academy that had given him the confidence and skills needed to judge the risk involved. He was so proud of himself. He carefully thought out what would happen if he waited until David climbed and reached up to tag him and he then flew spread eagle over David and into the sand below. It was NOT a reckless risk. It was a carefully CALCULATED risk. When he hit the sand, he came up laughing hard, because his calculations had been right on target! That afternoon his teacher had ten more black hairs turn to gray, but Alan rose mightily in the eyes of his peers.
    Thank you so much for running such an effective program! I don't think I've ever seen anything work so quickly!
    - Carolyn F.

  • Dear Stew,
    Everytime I hear about something concrete that can measure Alan's progress at the Academy, I feel it is important to put it into writing. It is so much easier to measure academic development than it is to measure social development! These anecdotes help gauge your successes.
    There is a child in Alan's class who has many reasons to be an angry bully and he is. This is the type of child with whom Alan has historically had the most difficulty. This last Saturday, Alan's soccer team played against this other child's soccer team. The child was a competitive player. He intimidated Alan's teammates, who hung back throughout the game. But he did not intimidate Alan. Even after being physically plowed down, Alan continued to play fearlessly, going so far as to "steal" the soccer ball from his classmate. Adults watching the game were quite impressed with Alan's intrepid persistence, which ultimately won the game for his team. When I asked Alan if he thought he had won the admiration of his classmate, he said, "I don't know but he sure won my admiration. He is a GREAT soccer player!" This most definitely would not have been Alan's attitude a year ago!
    Right now, Alan is gaining many skills, but none will be as valuable to him throughout his life as those he is learning in the Academy.
    Sincerely, Carolyn F.

  • Stew, I can not end without apecial thanks to you. You were Brian's "mentor" for 3 years and he still explains life to me as taught to him by you. Not a week goes by where he doesn't quote you. And you were a great role model.
    - Karen and Paul W.


From colleagues

  • "I worked with Stew Pruslin at the Academy of Physical and Social Development when I was a graduate intern there and then for 5 years when we were both counselors there. I have worked with many other counselors in the years since then - many of them have been very good - but have never met anyone who is as much of a "pied piper" to kids as Stew is. Stew's creativity, sense of humor, empathy, intuition, and energy are irresistibly compelling to almost every child who comes into contact with him. Stew uses these traits to form very effective therapeutic relationships with kids and then uses those relationships to help kids feel valued, empowered, and happy. He sets limits very well and has an undying passion for helping kids to focus on their assets and reach their potential. Human service professionals with Stew's talent level come along very rarely. He's excellent!"

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