Testimonials

Cathy Grochowski has been an integral part of the success of the staff technology professional development at Santa Fe Public Schools. Make the Grade has provided SMART certification training, helping build capacity among SFPS staff to provide training and support in a train-the-trainer model. In addition, Make the Grade has provided direct staff professional development for each of our four annual technology professional development days. Training provided has been tailored to each group based on their current learning needs, is always hands-on, and is exceptionally well-received by all staff. Cathy has also worked with a group of Digital Learning Coaches to develop a plan to help guide the overall vision for SMART use as a tool to help transform the process of teaching and learning within SFPS classrooms. In short, Make the Grade Training Solutions is an excellent partner for district technology PD needs!
Neal Weaver, Director of Digital Learning, Santa Fe Public Schools, NM,
Cathy's passion for education and her expertise in the implementation of the SMART Board make her an ideal professional development provider. She has a highly developed understanding of effective instruction and student learning processes... I cannot more highly recommend Cathy as a professional developer in the area of SMART Board training or any other implementation of technology within the classroom.
Christopher Testone, Principal, Burlington Central High School, Illinois,
Cathy presented a SMART Board Level 1 training to my faculty. The SMART Board training received the highest evaluation ratings from my staff out of all of the professional development sessions they participated in during the school year. Cathy's training was thorough, interactive, and engaging. Cathy shared hundreds of SMART Board lesson planning resources with the teachers... This was our first year having SMART Boards, and we wouldn't have survived it without Cathy! I highly recommend her. Top Qualities: Great Results, Personable, Expert.
Melissa Fleming, Assistant Principal, Innovations High School, Chicago, Illinois,
Cathy was outstanding and had excellent knowledge of content... she presented the material in an orderly fashion.  Cathy encouraged excellent discussion in class.  I personally have never felt so comfortable contributing in a class.
Carol J., participant in Bullying & Cyber Bullying: An Educator’s Toolbox for Prevention and intervention,
I chose this course to renew my drive to teach reading, and I am so glad I did. I am ready for the coming year. I've been teaching 20 years, and this course has erased my cynicism and burn-out. (And if that's important, you may use my words!) I truly had a paradigm shift taking this course.
Dann Norton, participant in Strategic Literacy: Topics in Reading 6-12, McHenry, Illinois,
The instructor brought a wealth of knowledge and was flexible to our needs.  For example, since the group happened to be quite literate in technology, Cathy found ways to meet our advanced level and gave us a lot of great tools to bring back to the classroom.  I have taken two courses with her and will definitely recommend her to my colleagues!
Julie S., participant in Collaborative Web Technologies: Transforming Teaching and Learning, Crystal Lake, Illinois,
Loved the presentation! Learned a lot of great things to use on my SMART Board. Teachers make the best (most effective) presenters. Thank you!
Participant at Northside Learning Center High School, Chicago,
This training was amazing, and I'm so pleased I decided to attend! Thank you!
SMART Level II participant, Santa Fe Public Schools, New Mexico,
I thought everything was very informative. Cathy has humor, knowledge and dealt with our questions and quirks!
SMART Level I participant, Santa Fe Public Schools, New Mexico,
Awesome training! Didn’t spend too much time on one topic, covered a lot in short amount of time but was still thorough! Really enjoyed the 3 hours & walking away with a lot of new knowledge.
SMART beginner training participant, School Association for Special Education in DuPage County (SASED),
Great pace and ability to juggle beginners/intermediate learners! Good teacher and aware of how to scaffold effectively and keep interest by explaining what was happening. Thanks!
SMART Level II participant, Michael M. Byrne Elementary School, Chicago, Illinois,
Loved it! Cathy gave a great presentation with very useful anecdotes and personal history to drive her presentation. I enjoyed the interaction of other trainers to help enhance learning. Most important, I appreciate the sharing of information to use within the course.
SMART Certified Trainer event participant, Wisconsin Technology Initiative,
Loved all the information presented by Cathy. I really loved all the templates I can use and adapt right away!
SMART Level I participant, Michael M. Byrne Elementary School, Chicago, Illinois,
Cathy was an energetic knowledgeable presenter--she was able to compress lots of information--very timely and appropriate. She was super-effective!
SMART Level I participant, Santa Fe Public Schools, New Mexico,
Loved the class-you were VERY patient and I loved it. I could use another 40 hours. Do you teach private lessons? Looking forward to get you back!!
Participant in Beginner SMART training session, Northside Learning Center High School, Chicago,
As a new SMART board user, I found Cathy’s presentations to be very helpful. Each session was informative and practical. I learned tips to make my SMART board lessons more exciting and informative. Cathy did a wonderful job communicating her material. I appreciated her willingness to answer our questions and the wealth of knowledge she shared with us. I would highly recommend her to anyone wanting to learn more about the SMART board.
Jennifer DeYoung, Second Grade Teacher, Schaumburg Christian School, Illinois,
“…Loved Cathy’s ability to be flexible and adaptable to the workshop participants’ needs. Wonderful presenter. Wealth of information, not only on SMART but also as an educator—pedagogically sound!
Dina Louck, teacher, Santa Fe Public Schools, SMART Certified Trainer event, New Mexico,
This was great. I feel very prepared to use these resources in my classroom. Very excited about using SMART lab!
SMART Certified Trainer event participant at School District of Shiocton, Wisconsin,