“The seemingly simple topic of reading was one of the things that caused a great amount of anxiety in our family. Our son has struggled with reading from early on and while book covers were always intriguing, he had difficulty comprehending the words on the page. Mary Ann has transformed not only his comprehension but has restored his confidence in reading. She has the uncanny talent of looking at each child individually and focusing on those characteristics that make that child unique. This creates a very engaging and empowering learning environment. My son looks forward to each and every opportunity that he has to work with Mary Ann! She keeps me well informed on his progress and articulates his areas of opportunity for growth. We weren’t sure where this journey would take us but Mary Ann has become an integral part of our weekly routine. I highly recommend Mary Ann for any family who is struggling with reading and comprehension.” - Allison B., Wauwatosa, WI - January 2019
“Our son began working with Mrs. Best after being diagnosed with dyslexia. He was in third grade and had been struggling for most of elementary school with reading and spelling. Mrs. Best took the time to evaluate the areas he needed help in and worked on filling gaps while also building his confidence. Today he doesn’t shy away from reading a book like he used to and he has the tools he needs to help him if he is struggling. He always looks forward to his time with her and feels comfortable discussing concerns. The work he does weekly with Mrs. Best has carried over into his schoolwork and we couldn’t be happier with the improvements and accomplishments our son is making. Thank you Mrs. Best!!” - Erin K., Wauwatosa, WI - January 2019
“Our son began working on reading and writing with Mary Ann in May of 2016. Mary Ann is enthusiastic, supportive and very approachable. As parents we could see a genuine rapport being formed between them that grows stronger with time. Mary Ann is an amazing advocate for our son. She coordinates with his teachers so she is able to reinforce and work directly with our son on school homework and projects. Under Mary Ann’s guidance our son's reading and writing skills have soared. His grades and confidence have improved drastically. As a parent the best feeling is having our son no longer feel inadequate, but rather competent and accomplished. Mary Ann assists us with understanding how the IEP program works and prepares us to ask the right questions. At the end of 6th grade our son made the honor roll and he works hard every day to stay at that level. Mary Ann continually encourages our son to challenge himself and accomplish his goals. We are so happy to have found her and have her apart of our team that surrounds our son with love and support!” - Alicia and Mike S., Menomonee Falls, WI - December 2018
“As a District Teacher Leader, in the Wauwatosa Public School District, I have had the pleasure of observing Mary Ann Panella-Best teaching literacy skills to high school students enrolled in her “Literacy for College & Career Readiness” Course and providing one on one instruction to students with extreme deficits in reading and writing. As a former Special Education Teacher, with a Masters Degree in Learning Disabilities, I can attest that Mary Ann is extremely knowledgeable of the five components used within the reading process. She has the skill to diagnose why students are struggling with literacy and identify components needing remediation in order to create an individual plan for students. Mary Ann has a wealth of methods, strategies and resources she can use with students of ALL ages, kindergarten through college.
Besides being experienced and knowledgeable in literacy, Mary Ann is compassionate, patient, and truly cares that her students experience success in improving their skills. She understands that students who struggle with literacy may feel embarrassed, frustrated or even stupid, and uses humor, kindness and genuine interest in their lives to create a trusting relationship with them.
If you want your child to become a proficient reader, an independent learner and enjoy reading, I highly recommend Mary Ann Panella-Best to work with your child.” – Pat G., Wauwatosa, WI District Teacher Leader, Adjunct Cardinal Stritch University - January 2017
“She is reading! Until Greta started working with Mary Ann, reading was stressful and filled with anxiety. From the start Mary Ann developed a great relationship with Greta and created a safe environment for Greta to be herself, struggle and, ultimately, have successes. Mary Ann provided Greta with tools that work for her and has given her a boost in confidence. As parents, seeing our child struggle and feeling unequipped to help felt awful. Mary Ann has been a great support and sounding board for us, and has given us tools and techniques we can apply at home to further support Greta’s reading development. Mary Ann has been right by our side at school meetings, advising Greta’s academic team on how to make the everyday classroom a rich and accessible experience so that she too has every opportunity to succeed. Mary Ann has a lot of experience and training and is so passionate about her work. We can only describe her as a cheerleader for our daughter. Each time we talk with her and each time we see her interacting with Greta, her love and care for our child is so clear. Greta is a little bit more smiley and has a bit more of a spring in her step on “Mrs. Best” days. Greta LOVES working with her and, even better, she is excited about reading. Mary Ann has been a Godsend and we are so very grateful to have her working with our family.” – Heather S., Waukesha, WI - October 2016
“We found Mary Ann to work with my 8 year old son who has struggled to read since kindergarten. In less than a year, she has not only taught him to improve his reading but has introduced him to the joy of reading. Her qualifications are impeccable, not only with her reading specialty, but also with her background in Speech, Language and Special Education. She takes a holistic view to her lessons and has become an integral part of his education team working with me, my son, and his regular education teachers. I would recommend Mary Ann to any parent with a child with reading challenges.” – Nisha G., Waukesha, WI - April 2016