Angels in Shipwrecks - Kaitlin Murphy-Knudsen

For those seeking communications support, tutoring or professional development services in writing, below are testimonials of support for my work in these areas. Please note that the gracious people below are commenting on work that occurred from 1998 to 2010, not on any wacky thing I happen to write in the future. I alone am responsible for that!


"Kaitlin's commitment to education is unmatched, and as a part of my team she has played a key role in what I believe has been the most ambitious urban school reform effort in this country. It did not take long for her to convince me of her competence, her fierce belief in students' abilities, diplomacy in working with students and colleagues, perseverance, or the high quality of her writing that my staff and I have depended on for the last three years. She has the strongest recommendation I can give."
Founder and CEO of StudentsFirst
Chancellor of the DC Public Schools, 2007 - 2010

"Over the past three years Kaitlin has worked tirelessly on behalf of the students of the District of Columbia Public Schools. The chancellor and I have both depended on and expected the high quality of writing she has delivered time and time again. I was glad to have Kaitlin on my team."
Mayor of Washington, DC, 2006 - 2010
"Kaitlin is a splendid writer with very high standards for herself, an extraordinary work ethic, and an abiding passion for education. Each member of the chancellor’s team is held to a very high standard of performance, and as a writer Kaitlin held her own in this regard, backed by discipline, talent, and a strong knowledge of her craft."
Dr. Peggy O'Brien 
Chief of Family and Public Engagement, 2007 - 2011
"Working with Kaitlin has been a great experience - she's sharp, talented, and has a gift for finding a voice to communicate even the most difficult messages.  She's very dependable and willing to help on anything - a total team player.  Kaitlin is a solid writer in complex situations.  I've trusted her on numerous occasions to give me feedback or help me figure out how to say something, and she always comes through.  She is open to multiple points of view and is able to tie everything together succinctly. I'll miss her as part of the team."
Eric Lerum
Chief of Staff for Deputy Mayor for Education, 2007 - 2011
Washington, DC

"Kaitlin writes beautifully.  Her work is clear, concise, direct, and effective.  She knows how to use language and doesn't waste words.  Her writing reflects her perceptiveness, thoughtfulness, and clarity of thinking.  Whether she is reflecting her own ideas or those of others, she always gets it just right."
Former General Counsel for DC Public Schools
Former President of the DC Bar Association
Former Managing Partner, Arnold & Porter LLP
“One of the 90 Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Last 30 Years” according to the Legal Times, 2008

“Ms. Murphy has been a singular standout since her arrival…. As a veteran of the Department of Defense Overseas Schools, I have been amazed at Ms. Murphy’s immediate adaptation to the enormous challenges of living overseas while at the same time intuitively knowing what her priority was, student achievement.”
Kay Taylor
Japan Teacher of the Year 1998
Pacific Secondary Educator of the Year, 1998 – May 6, 1999

“[Ms. Murphy’s] students scored above the school average on the normed test…. I was very sorry to lose Ms. Murphy as a member of my staff and would employ her again at the first opportunity."

Lesley Dunkle
Former Principal, Yokosuka Middle School/Kinnick High School, Japan

“Ms. Murphy is an extremely gifted teacher and a brilliant woman. She possesses a keen analytical mind, is capable of integrating several subject areas in response to highly complex material, and is a person of tremendous intellectual and spiritual depth… Last September, Ms. Murphy was asked to speak to our entire faculty. The majority of the faculty was so moved by her words that few were left without tears in our eyes, inspired to begin another academic year. Let me assure you, faculties are not easy groups to so move!”

Lindsay Reid
Department Chair
Religious Studies
St. John’s College High School
Washington, DC

“Even with 26 years of secondary experience, I often profited from [Kaitlin’s] advice when dealing with ‘difficult’ students. Indeed, her talent as a professional comes from a willingness not to see them as difficult, but as students with varying intellectual and emotional needs, all of whom nonetheless deserve the best efforts an instructor can provide. Teachers with any level of experience need that guidance. Sometimes we forget that; Ms. Murphy does not.”

Dr. Raymond Nighan
Former Dept. Chair, English Department
St. John’s College High School
Washington, DC

“Kaitlin has been able to relate to all kind of students, from gifted to non-traditional. She has motivated them to exceptional levels and has earned their undying love and loyalty…. She includes all students in the learning process and also has the ability to teach advanced classes, having a strong knowledge in her subject area.”

Cynthia Darvin
Student Teaching Supervisor, 1998
Comprehensive Model School Program, New York