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 From Teacher and Vice Principal to the Founder of Keeping Pace Learning Center.


Carol Hess started teaching even before she got her two teaching credentials. When Carol was a student at California State Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo, she was a Teacher’s Assistant. When the Professor fell seriously ill, he asked that she be able to step in as the instructor.  After completing her credentials, Carol taught high school and community college and also spent a few years developing programs for the Sacramento County Office of Education. In her 14th year of teaching, she was asked by the Superintendent of her school district to step in as the Vice-Principal because the official Vice-Principal had a serious health issue. There, Carol had access to the cumulative folders of students and she was able to see more clearly how the education system was failing to serve the students who have had long-standing, yet undiagnosed learning difficulties. Carol, determined to find a way to help these kids, she returned school to get her third credential.


While studying to get the credential and Masters in School Administration, she learned about school financing and school law, especially the laws related to students needing individual education plans (I.E.P). She also came to the sad terms with the fact that the education system as it exists today, is firmly entrenched and not open to do things differently. Her hopes were dashed about being able to change the system from within. At the same exact time, her 6th grade step-son was reading at the at the early 4th grade level. He had a diagnosed learning disability and a I.E.P. He was receiving services at a very good school. Everyone was devoted to helping him. He was trying just as hard as he could. Yet, his triennial goals from his I.E.P. were dismal. An example of a goal was “by the end of 7th grade, he would be reading (decoding) at the 5th grade level with 60% accuracy". It was obvious to Carol that something more needed to be done to help him. As teacher and part of the educational system herself, Carol was aware that the school did not have the knowledge and resources to remediate his problems and could offer no assistance-only accommodations.


Frustrated, Carol Hess searched  various programs and methods for remediation of his processing difficulties.  She proceeded to get the training and licensing needed to provide these programs for her step-son. What she saw was dramatic changes in her step-son as he progressed from “struggling to succeeding". Within a year he was reading at grade level and released from Special Education services because he “ no longer qualified". He was “keeping pace” and succeeding as a confident, independent learner. This very personal experience inspired Carol to consider providing these programs for other children and their families. Keeping Pace Learning Center was launched officially in the Fall of 1999. Since that time, Carol has relentlessly searched for the most current and progressive programs and innovations to help the clients reach their potential.

Keeping Pace Learning Center