The Transcend Program:
Parent Testimonials

The Transcend Program has been very helpful in that the teacher has taught our daughter ways to become more organized, especially with large projects.  She has been taught new ways to study and prepare of exams.

The Transcend Program has definitely helped the transition from middle school to high school as the difference can be overwhelming.  The Transcend teachers go above and beyond to help the students learn new ways to organize, focus and study.  The volume of school work at Villa is very much greater than middle school and the girls need to be shown how to handle and cope with that.
- Mrs. Patty Goodwin, mother of Madison '22


I cannot say enough about the Transcend Program here at Villa. This program has increased her self confidence, and attitude toward every aspect of school. Her “can do attitude” has shown through her grades, self esteem, and her responsibility towards High-School.

The Transcend Program at Villa has set the foundation for my daughters HS years. With this program my daughter has learned a lot about study habits, organization, and her strengths! This too was so helpful with her transition from middle school!

My daughter will definitely take what she has learned from this program with her for the rest of her High School years and beyond!
- Mrs. Jamie Noble, mother of Ava '22


We have definitely seen a positive change in our daughter’s self-confidence and attitude towards school. Any subject relating to school was not a comfortable topic for our daughter in the past but now she is the one initiating the conversation. It is  completely gratifying as parents to see her take her own interest in her education.

The Transcend Program has been very helpful to our daughter. Skills essential for success have been reinforced in Transcend. Time management, communication , and study habits are just a few of the skills that our daughter has improved upon. In Transcend the guidance is given but it is up to the student to develop the independence to execute the skill. We have seen our daughter make significant strides in all areas.

Our daughter was extremely anxious starting high school. She was afraid that the work load was going to be too difficult and she would not succeed. Once she started school and realized the Transcend program was in place to assist her in areas of difficulty and help her succeed, she acclimated very well. The Transcend program is truly remarkable and we are so thankful to Mrs. Neeld for our daughter’s success.
- Mrs. Bernadette Bowes, mother of Riley ’22


The Transcend Program has helped my daughter reach her greatest potential by offering her alternative skills and strategies. She not only developed her academic skills but also improved her self-confidence. Now in college, my daughter continues to implement what she learned in this program to succeed in her college career.
- Kathy Cuoci, mother of Francesca ’16


We were concerned that our daughter would have a difficult time with Villa's curriculum. But the program has taught her great organizational and time-management skills. She is much more aware of her strengths and weaknesses and has learned to be her own advocate. She is a very conscientious student who has been given the proper tools to be a very successful student.
- Joe & Peggy DeSantis, parents of Rebecca ’18


We are very happy with how well Carolyn is doing and feel the Transcend Program has helped her these last three years. We want to thank you for always being there for her. She has grown so much and is much more confident and independent. Villa Joseph Marie is such an excellent high school, and one of the many considerations in choosing to send our daughters to Villa was the Transcend Program. We are so glad we did. Thank you again, and we look forward to Carolyn's Senior year!
- Anne Marcelis, mother of Carolyn ’18


This program has helped Kassidy so much. Coming from grade school—where I helped her with homework and she struggled to keep a C—she entered Villa and the Transcend Program, and in Freshman year she got A’s. She was so happy, and I was so proud of her. The Transcend Program has helped Kassidy build her confidence and taught her how to work independently. She does her homework on her own. Her study habits have improved, and she really works hard in school. The Transcend Program has been the best in helping Kassidy, and I couldn't be more proud of her.
- Michele Reily, mother of Kassidy ‘18


Lisa Neeld runs the Transcend program and she works with the girls on testing strategies and how to set priorities in accordance with the demands of Villa’s academic requirements. Our daughter has always been a hard-working, diligent student and she needed some help with prioritizing assignments and time management. Transcend gave her the tools she needed to be the successful independent student that she always wanted to be. We are grateful for the program and find it a real asset to the girls, as well as Villa Joseph Marie.
- Diane Rockelmann, mother of Sabrina ‘19


I'm happy to share our story and the blessing that the Transcend Program has been to our family. Caroline started at Villa Joseph Marie coming out of a midsize public middle school. While in middle school, Caroline received academic services for reading and math issues. By the end of eighth grade, Caroline was exited of any academic support from the public school system. So, entering into high school, Caroline was not receiving any academic support.

Caroline went from being roughly 1 of 23 in a classroom to being 1 of 10. She felt like she had a floodlight on her at all times in this new smaller environment. In the public school system, she was not expected to participate in daily classes, so she did not. When she got to Villa, there was no hiding in a room full of children. You were there and you were expected to participate. Caroline soon found herself with overwhelming anxiety and fear going to class on a daily basis. Her grades were all over the spectrum, and she became increasingly angry and withdrawn at home.

Toward the middle of her Freshman year, my husband and I thought it would be a good idea to have Caroline tested to make sure we weren't missing anything with regard to her learning abilities. Sure enough, we found out that she still had reading and auditory processing issues and anxiety. Over that summer, we did intense reading tutoring to try to bring Caroline up to speed with her reading issues, and it helped.

Entering Sophomore year, we enrolled Caroline in the Transcend Program. Let me just start by telling you how blessed Villa Joseph Marie is to have Lisa Neeld! Lisa is amazing! She connects with the students and understands their needs. Lisa will not stop at any length to help Caroline succeed. She worked hard with Caroline to be self-advocating and to speak up for herself and her needs. Caroline also was encouraged to try different styles of studying that she resisted in the past and was very surprised and happy to have found a style that works for her!

By the end of Sophomore year, Caroline seemed to be coming out of her shell and happy at school again. Her grades were back up, she seemed to be coming into herself as a student, and she was much happier at home. Caroline is a Junior now and will be exiting this program next year. We feel totally confident in Caroline's academic abilities on her own.

Caroline is a transformed student. She started her Freshman year of high school telling me and my husband that she was not going to college. Now she wants to go to college and study criminology with a minor in Arabic language.

With tears in my eyes, I write this letter with pride and acknowledge that, if it weren't for the Transcend Program at Villa Joseph Marie and Lisa Neeld, our story would not be written this way.
- Joseph & Bernadette Boileau, parents of Caroline ‘18


As a parent of a child with an IEP, as well as having a learning disability myself, I know that learning challenges create additional stress for everyone in the home. The Transcend Program has eliminated the dread and the additional stress our entire family had endured (needlessly, by the way) at her old school. Not only is my daughter satisfied that her anxieties are respected and her accommodations followed, but the Transcend Program teaches her to self-advocate. Confidence in herself to know how to communicate her needs is imperative if she is to be successful as an independent adult learner. The dream of completing college in the major of her choice is realistic, for all Villa girls, because the Transcend students are inclusive learners; they are held to the same standards as all Villa students.

As a LD student in the 1980s, who was motivated by teachers with old beliefs about behavior modification strategies in grade school, I have lived with the consequences of those strategies—low self-esteem and low self-worth. At Villa, not only is every young lady recognized as an individual unique “gem,” whose brilliance shines from their four years of being shaped within a highly skilled academic environment, but as charitable women of faith, who cheer on everyone to become who they want to be, and to show humility, grace, and happiness for others' success. So, not only do I invest in my daughter's education, but I invest in the confidence that my daughter will achieve academic success along with self-worth, self-empowerment, and exceptional female character. Besides, the staff, the teachers, and my daughters’ classmates at Villa are all so wonderful that my daughter wants to be there every day! No more fights, homework is completed, and she has friends there who share the same desire to go to college and to be auspicious lifelong learners and kind, charitable women.

Thank you, God, and thank you, Villa Joseph Marie, for the safety, dignity, kindness, and exclusive VIP IEP support you call the Transcend Program! I have only one word to describe it: Love!
- Missy Tatar Pickersgill ’90, mother of Lucy ‘20

Transcend Program

Lisa Neeld
Transcend Program Coordinator
215-357-8810 ext. 148
lneeld@vjmhs.org

Marysue Costanzo
Transcend Program Teacher
215-357-8810 ext. 109
mcostanzo@vjmhs.org

Alan Dlugosz
Transcend Program Teacher
215-357-8810 ext. 156
adlugosz@vjmhs.org