Board of Directors

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Board of Directors

The International Dyslexia Association Georgia Board of Directors is a group of dedicated volunteers.

Click here if you are interested in volunteering and/or becoming a board member.

IDA Members from Georgia voted from November 10 through December 10, 2023 on the 2024 Board of Directors. Rolling off the Board are Delilah Landrum and Dr. Mary McPherson. We appreciate their years of dedicated service. With 100% approval from members, we now announce joining our Board in January 2024 are Rhonda Mitchell, Dr. Matt Carter, and Dr. Lama Farran. Read their bios HERE

On December 2, 2023, the IDA-GA Board of Directors and nominees met in person for a full-day work retreat. During the retreat, the board held a virtual open membership meeting to review the accomplishments of 2023 and to reveal plans for 2024.

CLICK HERE to view the slides from the December 2023 Open Membership Meeting.

In December 2023, we invited our members to send their questions, suggestions, and comments. Let us hear from you! Fill out this form

levyStacey Levy

Stacey Levy, Founder and President of Stacey Levy & Associates (SLA), is an experienced Speech-Language Pathologist and literacy specialist practicing since 1997. After receiving her BS at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Stacey then obtained her Masters at the University of Texas-Dallas, Callier Center for Communication Disorders. Stacey founded SLA in 2009 as an individual speech-language pathologist. She has since expanded to include nationally accredited and state licensed associate speech-language pathologists and experienced, qualified tutors. Stacey and her associate therapists provide speech-language therapy services in multiple areas including language processing, expressive-receptive language, articulation, written expression and multi-sensory, structured literacy intervention for reading and spelling. Stacey provides continuing education opportunities for professionals and parents in multiple areas. She has published articles about inclusion as well as co-authoring the book, Everyone Is Welcome. Stacey is currently a board member of Courage Schools and she was previously a founding board member of the Tapestry School.

Kim Day
Vice President

Kim Day, Ph.D., has been an educator for over 35 years and is currently the Director of Research & Development for The Schenck School. Kim came to this position from Purpose Built Schools (PBS) where she served as the Director of Literacy & Early Learning. While at PBS, Kim provided consultative support to schools in the PBS network in Kansas City, Omaha, Orlando and Charlotte in establishing research-based literacy and early learning programs. Prior to joining PBS, Kim was the Co-Director of the Rollins Center for Language & Literacy at the Atlanta Speech School, a professional development organization. In her role at the Rollins Center, Kim worked in partnership with the Drew Charter School and was instrumental in developing the early language and literacy programs that support Drew’s cradle to college pipeline. This work led to the development of Rollins’ early learning program, Read Right from the Start. Kim has a Ph.D. in Special Education with an emphasis on language-based learning disabilities, assessment and educational leadership from the University of Georgia. Her professional interests include teacher training in literacy and language development for young children as well as teacher development through mentoring and coaching practices.


Debbie Dreas
Corresponding Secretary/Membership

Debbie Dreas retired after a 43-year career in education as a learning specialist for students with dyslexia.   Thirty-three of those years were at the Atlanta Speech School where she was the Wardlaw Upper School Director; previously, she taught 2nd, 5th, and 6th grades at the school and served as the Curriculum Specialist. Prior to joining the Wardlaw School, she taught in public schools in Atlanta and Virginia with students from kindergarten through 7th grade.  She is trained in multi-sensory methods for both reading and math and is passionate about helping all teachers develop strong reading and math skill sets.  Debbie holds both B.S. and M.Ed. degrees in learning disabilities and was the 1984-85 DeKalb County School District Teacher of the Year.

Michael Wright

Mike Wright joined the IDA GA chapter in 2015.  Mike’s interest in Dyslexia results from his son, Andrew, being diagnosed as dyslexic early in elementary grade. Andrew is now an adult, and it was Mike and his wife’s experience navigating through the various levels of education that provided the catalyst for Mike to become a member of IDA and his desire to make that journey easier for other parents. Mike is also on the Board of Trustees and Treasurer for the Swift School which is a private school for dyslexic children in Roswell, Georgia as well as on the Board of the National IDA organization and the Board of the Center for Effective Reading Instruction (CERI) and Treasurer of the Branch Council Executive Committee (BCEC) of the National IDA organization. Mike is a retired executive who spent 32 years within The Coca-Cola system working both in the finance and information technology.

Kelly Schreiner
Recording Secretary

Kelly Schreiner, M.Ed.,  earned a B.S. in Special Education from Vanderbilt, before beginning her teaching career at the Davison School for Speech and Language in Decatur. After 8 years of teaching all grade levels from kindergarten to middle school and earning an M.Ed. in Learning Disabilities, Kelly was fortunate to join the staff at the Wardlaw School of the Atlanta Speech School. Kelly has spent 22 years as a classroom teacher of dyslexic 4th and 5th graders, and for the last two years has served as the Curriculum Specialist/Teacher Mentor. Kelly has been a member of IDA for many years and has volunteered for both the Dyslexia Dash and IDA conferences. She has also had a strong private practice for over 20 years and is a Wilson Certified teacher. Kelly joins the DA-GA board in 2017 now that her children are grown and she finds herself with time to give back to an organization that has helped so many students, families, and teachers.

Roni Battoglia

Roni Battoglia rejoined the board in 2023. She is the Lower Division Director at the Swift School. She moved from New York after receiving her Master’s Degree in Reading and Learning Disabilities from New York University. Roni received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Sociology from Hofstra University in New York. She is the recipient of the 2014 IDA-GA Service Award. After arriving in Atlanta, she joined The Howard School where she taught Elementary School, ran the Summer School program, and created an after school homework program. Roni assisted in the creation of the M’silot program at The Greenfield Hebrew Academy and was a mentor within the school. She worked as the Learning Styles Coordinator at Epstein School prior to joining the Swift School. Roni is an Associate of the Orton-Gillingham Academy and has presented at various conferences throughout the state on the topics of Reading, Dyslexia, Phonological Awareness, Brain-Based Instruction, Writing, Executive Function Skills and Differentiation. Roni has attended Harvard University’s Learning Differences Conference as well as various Administration Leadership Institutes.

Jennifer Barton Burch

Jennifer Barton Burch, M.S. , FIT/OGA received a graduate degree in biochemistry, cell, and molecular biology from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 2002. She  began her career as a molecular biologist at Emory University soon after. It wasn’t until 2011, when her then second grade daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia, that she began her training in the Orton Gillingham approach to better understand her child’s needs. Jen is currently a Fellow-in-Training (FIT) with the Orton Gillingham Academy (OGA). She works as the Purpose Built Schools Atlanta Project Coordinator for The Dyslexia Resource at The Schenck School, specifically working to remediate students in an underserved public school in Atlanta. Jen has served in multiple leadership roles within her community: past PTA president at her childrens’ elementary school and middle school, technology chair for the Atlanta chapter of PEO, and has served on the Dyslexia Dash committee for the past five years.  Jen appreciates the opportunity to serve all that are impacted by dyslexia in Georgia by being on the IDA-GA board.

Matt Carter

Matt Carter, Ph.D. joined the IDA-GA Board in January 2024.
“I have over ten years of experience in higher education. I am a tenured, full professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Valdosta State University. I conduct regular
research into the early signs and symptoms of dyslexia. In addition, I serve as the coordinator for our
Scottish-Rite Foundation-funded dyslexia program, which provides free literacy-based services to the
community throughout the year. I also have been the co-owner/operator of South Georgia Dyslexia
Specialists since 2019. We specialize in the assessment of literacy-based disorders such as dyslexia.
I would like to better serve my region and state by being plugged into the amazing network of
professionals at IDA-GA. As part of my work at Valdosta State, I have started a dyslexia clinic that
provides evaluative and therapeutic services free of cost to the local community. We also provide
regular in-services and continuing education sessions for those in South Georgia. As a result of these
efforts, I am frequently relied upon to serve as a liaison between parents, activists, teachers, and
administrators in regard to all things dyslexia. Although I regularly serve on GADOE committees, I feel
as if I could fulfill this aspect of my career far more effectively if I were more involved at the grassroots
level. For this reason, I would be most appreciative of the opportunity to serve alongside the board
members of Georgia IDA.”

Natalie Colbert-Carpenter

Natalie Colbert-Carpenter, M.Ed., CCC-SLP, has worked as a speech-language pathologist in the clinical setting as well as in public and private schools for over 20 years.  She was employed at The Atlanta Speech School in the Wardlaw School and Learning Lab for 4 years, where she was trained in the Wilson Reading System.  Mrs. Carpenter provided integrated speech and language therapy within the classroom for second through fifth grade students in the Wardlaw School as well as traditional speech-language therapy and reading remediation to children of all ages attending the Learning Lab. She continues work as a speech-language pathologist and reading tutor at Speech-Language and Learning Connections, the private practice she founded in 2004. In addition, she works with Nancy M. Hatcher, Ph.D., and Associates as a member of a comprehensive diagnostic team that administers psychoeducational evaluations to school-aged children. Mrs. Carpenter earned her B.S. in psychology from Morris Brown College and an M.Ed. in communication disorders from Georgia State University.  In addition to being a member of the International Dyslexia Association, she is a member of the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA), National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing  (NBASLH) and Georgia Speech-Language and Hearing Association (GSHA).

Lama Farran

Lama Farran, Ph.D. joined the board in January 2024. 
“I am interested in serving on the IDA-GA Board of Directors to contribute to and advance the important work and progress IDA-GA has made in recent years and explore avenues for more IDA-GA members to connect with and become involved in the work of the association. As such, maintaining and increasing member involvement is key. This can be achieved by identifying barriers and facilitators to involvement for members across disciplines and backgrounds (e.g., cultural, linguistic, etc..). As a voice for IDA-GA members, I view my role as addressing common threads across settings while differentiating the needs of dyslexia professionals in preschools, schools, private practice, and clinics. One of my goals is to increase cross-disciplinary collaboration and our collective engagement to translate evidence-based research to practice, ultimately shaping policy and resulting in positive developmental outcomes for all children who are at risk or identified with dyslexia in Georgia.

“I am an ASHA certified, Georgia licensed speech-language pathologist with many years of clinical
experience. After working nine years as a clinician, I decided to pursue my doctorate in early childhood
with a cognate in neuroscience. Currently, I am a professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders
with teaching and research expertise in language as a basis of reading in typically developing children
as well as those who are at risk or diagnosed with dyslexia. I am particularly interested in the earliest
identification and treatment of dyslexia and related disorders in culturally and linguistically diverse
populations. With my background as a trilingual, bicultural, individual, I understand the importance of
examining cultural, linguistic, and environmental factors (caregiver input, socioeconomic status, parent
education, etc..) in the identification and treatment of dyslexia. A couple of my research projects
examine caregiver input to very young children and use widely available, free materials (books,
websites that demonstrate how to talk to infants and young children) to facilitate access and improve
the language and literacy environments for at-risk children, while empowering the parents in the
process. I’ve also conducted a recent research project that targets teacher knowledge about dyslexia,
the results of which will be used to inform professional development for teachers.”

Jennifer Lindstrom

Jennifer Lindstrom, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in Communication Sciences and Special Education at UGA, her research focuses on causes and treatment of dyslexia and other learning disabilities, issues surrounding the provision of accommodations to individuals with dyslexia and other learning disabilities, and early literacy with a focus on teacher training and the use of research-based methodologies for improving student performance. She is committed to raising awareness about dyslexia among parents and professionals across the state through IDA-GA’s many outreach events. Dr. Lindstrom serves as a member of the International Dyslexia Association’s Board of Directors at both the state and national levels.

Erin Lockett

Erin Lockett grew up in Louisville, Kentucky and obtained her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Kentucky. She now resides in Atlanta with her husband and three children, where she is the founder and owner of Lenox Legal Consulting & Recruiting, LLC. Erin’s oldest son was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 6. Since that time, Erin has committed herself to understanding, advocating, and providing learning opportunities for those with dyslexia. Her son was able to attend a school for children with dyslexia, and it is Erin’s hope to make similar learning opportunities available to other children in the community.  

Rhonda Mitchell

Rhonda Mitchell, M.Ed. joined the IDA-GA Board in January 2024.
“As an early childhood professional, I aim to amplify the research about the foundational skills
necessary for and best practices of early language and literacy development. This is important to
complement the current social-political movement around reading development in the early
elementary years. I believe I can add perspective to the work being done by the International Dyslexia
Association, and I am eager to join this group of professionals in supporting individuals with emerging
and identified reading difficulties.

“I have been an early childhood educator for 21 years. My undergraduate degree is in Economics, and I
had a short career in commercial banking before returning to school for my M.Ed. in Early Childhood
Education and Reading Endorsement from the University of Georgia. I was fortunate to be in school
after the National Reading Panel’s report was published and to have been part of a program that
applied the findings to its teacher preparation courses. I began my teaching career at Trinity School as
a Kindergarten teacher with an understanding of reading development and immediately received
training in the Orton-Gillingham approach through my employer. After several years in the classroom
and developing the school’s student portfolio process, I became the Early Elementary Division Head at
Trinity, responsible for directing and managing the Preschool through First Grade. During that time, I
focused on implementing evidence-based practices and horizontal and vertical alignment of the
curriculum, especially related to literacy development. This included the introduction of universal
screeners and a multi-tiered system of support that allowed us to develop programming designed to
prevent, identify, and provide targeted intervention for children with reading difficulties. Currently, I
am the Director of Saint Anne’s Day School, working to build similar systems at the preschool level. In
this role, I collaborate with an Advisory Council of members interested in supporting the Day School’s
mission and lead the school on behalf of the church’s governing body. Also, I am a graduate of the
United Way VIP Board Training Program. These experiences allow me to see nonprofit board work
from various angles. I want to use my experience with literacy education and nonprofit boards to
further the work of the International Dyslexia Association.”

Amelia Morel

Amelia Morel, Ed.S., received a graduate degree in Elementary Education from Fordham University in 2001. She earned her Education Specialist Degree from Piedmont College in 2012. She has taught in public school throughout her educational career. Amelia has experience teaching first through eighth grades at schools in New York, Colorado, and Georgia. Amelia is currently a third-grade teacher at Morningside Elementary School in Atlanta but has previously served as a reading interventionist. Both of her children have been diagnosed with dyslexia. Following her children’s evaluations for dyslexia, Amelia discovered that she was probably dyslexic as well. This gives her a unique perspective of struggling through school with unremediated dyslexia, and as a parent of dyslexic children. In addition, she realized that although she had an advanced degree in reading, she needed to pursue further training in the Orton-Gillingham approach to better advocate not only for her own children but for the students in her public school classrooms. Since her children’s diagnoses, Amelia has become a Fellow in Training with the Orton Gillingham Academy. In addition to her AOGPE certification, Amelia earned the CERI Structured Literacy Interventionist certification and is currently working on the Dyslexia Endorsement through Middle Georgia RESA.

Kelly Schreiner

 Kelly Schreiner, M.Ed.,  earned a B.S. in Special Education from Vanderbilt, before beginning her teaching career at the Davison School for Speech and Language in Decatur. After 8 years of teaching all grade levels from kindergarten to middle school and earning an M.Ed. in Learning Disabilities, Kelly was fortunate to join the staff at the Wardlaw School of the Atlanta Speech School. Kelly has spent 22 years as a classroom teacher of dyslexic 4th and 5th graders, and for the last two years has served as the Curriculum Specialist/Teacher Mentor. Kelly has been a member of IDA for many years and has volunteered for both the Dyslexia Dash and IDA conferences. She has also had a strong private practice for over 20 years and is a Wilson Certified teacher. Kelly joins the DA-GA board in 2017 now that her children are grown and she finds herself with time to give back to an organization that has helped so many students, families, and teachers.

Madeline Speer

Maddy Speer joined our board in January of 2023. Madeline is a literacy specialist working with students in 6th-8th grade. In addition to teaching, she also coaches cross country and swim team. Originally from Washington State, Speer finds solace in the abundance of mountains and trees. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking with her dogs and getting lost in a good book.  Speer was eager to become a member of the IDA-GA Board to help raise community awareness of dyslexia and increase involvement at events such as the Dyslexia Dash. Speer seeks to stay abreast of current literacy research and how that research can inform teaching practice. As a member of the board, Maddy plans to serve as an advocate for bringing the research to practice in all classrooms.

Lindsay Stewart

Lindsay Stewart, Ph.D.,  joined the IDA-GA board in January of 2023.  Lindsay is a clinical child psychologist with experience assessing and treating a variety of behavioral and mood difficulties. She is trained in Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy. She works in an academic medical center where she supervises interns and consults across disciplines. She is also a proud mom to three boys, two diagnosed with dyslexia. Lindsay wants to be a part of a group that is committed to helping kids and families overcome the challenges of dyslexia. She has enjoyed working with the Dash committee for these past two years, and she loves seeing the joy of the children on race day! 

Janet Street

Janet Street, M.Ed., has worked with dyslexic learners at The Schenck School for 23 years. She has held many positions, including Lead Teacher, Director of Student Services, and Director of Outplacement.  She is now the Director of Teacher Training at ReadSource, the outreach arm of Schenck. As a Fellow with the Orton Gillingham Academy, she has taught hundreds of parents, tutors, and teachers how to use the Orton-Gillingham approach to help students learn to read and spell. She is the proud daughter, sister, and mother of talented and successful family members with dyslexia.

IDA – GA Staff

Ann Marie Lewis
Staff – Information & Referral, Outreach Coordinator, Communications

Ann Marie Lewis, M.Ed., has served as Outreach Coordinator for the Georgia Branch since 2002.  She has a B.A. in Psychology from Tulane University, where she focused on cognitive psychology and conducted undergraduate research on learning and memory.  Ann Marie received her M.Ed. in Learning Disabilities from Georgia State University in 1994.  She worked at The Schenck School alongside other passionate Orton-Gillingham teachers until she began tutoring full-time in 2000.  She is a CERI Certified Structured Literacy / Dyslexia Specialist and has been an Orton-Gillingham Academy (OGA) Certified Level Practitioner since 1999.  Ann Marie enjoys working with the IDA Board on endeavors to inform the public about dyslexia and the importance of structured literacy intervention.

Past IDA-GA Board Members

The Georgia Branch has been made strong by the hard work of its board members throughout the years. We would like to thank all our past board members for their role in getting the Branch to where it is today, helping so many educators, families, and individuals with dyslexia. We ask that past board members please email Ann Marie at or fill out the CONTACT US FORM. We would like to update the Past Board Member section of our website. Thanks! We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Erika Afeman first joined the Board of IDA-GA in 2015 and is currently a Literacy Specialist at The Howard School, where she works with high school students to improve their knowledge of specific language structures and supports the Assistive Technology use for reading and writing in the classroom. Prior to this, Erika was a Learning Specialist for non-public schools in San Diego, CA where she trained faculty on reading and behavioral interventions and monitored the IEP process schoolwide. She was also a Learning Specialist for the Birch Wathen Lenox School in New York City where she ran small intervention groups for reading and math.  She has been trained in various multi-sensory approaches to teaching structured literacy and holds a Georgia Teaching Certificate in Special Education General Curriculum, Adaptive Curriculum, Language Arts and Reading.    

Renee Bernhardt served as President of IDA-GA until 2021, and her term ended as Immediate Past President on December 31, 2022. Renee is a certified dyslexia therapist and holds a Level II certification with Wilson Language. She has taught students in first through twelfth grade during her teaching and administrative careers in upstate New York and Georgia. Renee has earned a Master of Science degree in Literacy, a Specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction and Administrative certification. She shares her passion for learning with her fellow IDA Board members.

Valerie Bratt first joined IDA-GA in 2000, while teaching at The Schenck School. In 2010 she launched her private Orton-Gillingham tutoring business in order to reach students that were not able to attend full-time remediation programs. Her passion is to help children with dyslexia and other learning differences meet their potential. After nearly 20 years of tutoring children, Valerie has witnessed the difference early intervention can make in a child’s life and is therefore very active in both of her children’s East Cobb schools. Her goal is to one day train public school teachers in hopes of being able to reach many more children.

Meredith Chase served as the Treasurer of IDA-GA from 2015-2018. She is the Assistant Head of School for Finance & Operations for The Howard School, a K-12 school for children with language-based learning disabilities and learning differences in Atlanta. Through her work at The Howard School she was introduced to the IDA-GA board’s work by the many faculty and staff members associated with the organization. Meredith previously worked at the High Museum of Art and enjoys working with local non-profits organizations to support their missions.

Rosalie Davis, M.Ed., Fellow/OGA

Brenda Fitzgerald, Ed.S.

Lisa Glickman served on the IDA-GA board for six years. She is a Reading Specialist and Educational Consultant. For eleven years, Lisa was a first-grade teacher and recognized that she needed training in structured literacy to be able to reach all of her students. She enrolled in Orton- Gillingham training and is now an Associate of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators. Lisa currently works as a Literacy Leader for REAP (Reading is Essential for All People) coaching public school teachers in structured literacy. In addition, she tutors privately from her home.

Diane Hart has served public schools in Georgia for 27 years in several capacities. Her experience includes 11 years as a high school social studies teacher, 7 years as a Lead Teacher supporting at-risk students, as a Building Administrator, a District Level Supervisor supporting remedial education programs in a district of 108k students and finally as Director of Curriculum and Accountability for a small charter district. She is currently retired. Diane earned a Bachelor of Science in secondary social studies, two Masters degrees (one in human resources and organizational development, and a second in educational leadership) and a Specialist Degree in instructional technology. Diane and her husband of 35 years have four sons and 12 grandchildren which keeps her vested in learning and supporting education here in Georgia. She is excited to serve on the IDA-GA board of directors in order to continue assisting student learning outcomes as well as helping to support the learning needs of communities in the state.

Karen Huppertz first joined IDA to learn more about dyslexia after her son was diagnosed in second grade. She and her husband consider themselves blessed to have two dyslexic children who are now very successful adults. She joined the IDA-Georgia Board of Directors in 2008 and served as the Branch President from 2016 through 2019. She is currently serving at the national level as the Southern Regional Representative. Her background and experience in marketing and advertising helped the Georgia Branch build their social media platforms, raising awareness about dyslexia as well as the goals and activities of IDA. When not volunteering, Karen is a freelance journalist with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Peachtree Corners Magazine, and other publications. She is proud to have played a small part in Georgia’s recent legislation calling for teacher training in how to recognize and help dyslexic students. When not posting images from her nearby garden on social media or writing to meet a deadline, she can be found advocating to make literacy available to everyone. 

Sucheta Kamath is a speech-language pathologist, TEDx speaker, and an entrepreneur whose new software ExQ™ just launched in the Ed-Tech space. Cerebral Matters™ is her well-established Private Practice in Atlanta where she evaluates and treats Executive Dysfunction in individuals with various developmental and acquired neurological disorders. She is highly specialized in retraining the brain and is a recipient of multiple professional achievement awards for developing many distinct, creative, and process-specific training programs designed to target the mastery of Executive Function, attention, memory, higher-order cognition, and self-regulation. Sucheta is the host of her podcast Full PreFrontal®: Exposing the Mysteries of Executive Function; which is a wonderfully curated resource for professionals, educators, students, and parents. Sucheta is the Past-President of GSHA (2017-2018), founding member/treasurer of the Georgia Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation (2016-current), member of the medical advisory board of the Brain Aneurysm Foundation (BAF), and an Executive Committee member of the International Dyslexia Association-GA (2015-2018). Sucheta volunteers 2-3 hours each week helping train previously homeless men for job-readiness skills through a program called GSHA Gives! which she helped start in September of 2017. Learn more about Sucheta’s work at

Delilah Landrum is the founder of North Fulton KID, a parent-led community group created with the purpose of bringing awareness, education, and understanding of dyslexia. She is passionate about increasing public awareness about dyslexia and the importance of early identification and appropriate reading instruction. Delilah is a graduate of Arizona State University with over 20 years of experience in marketing, advertising, and photography. As a proud parent of a dyslexic child, her desire is to help other parents who must navigate a difficult and complex education system. Delilah has worked jointly with IDA GA on a variety of community outreach events designed for parents and teachers. She is pleased to serve on the IDA GA Board of Directors and support its mission which directly impacts those with dyslexia and other learning differences.

Susie McDaniel

Mary McPherson, Ph.D., earned her Bachelor of Art degree in History from Oglethorpe University, Master of Science degree in Instructional Technology and Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Policy Studies at Georgia State University. She started her career in DeKalb County Public Schools teaching high school and transitioned to St. Martin’s Episcopal School where she served as both a classroom educator and administrator for twenty one years: first as Director of Academic Technology and most recently as Elementary School Principal. In her eleven years as principal, she helped to identify and support students with language-based learning differences and was an integral part of developing a program at St. Martin’s that specifically supports students diagnosed with a reading impairment. She continued to see additional needs within the independent school community to serve students who have strengths in visual/spatial understanding who also need support with  language development. This led her to found Courage Schools where she serves as Head of School.

Norma Jean McHugh, M.Ed., Fellow/OGA

Kelly Montiel, Ph.D.

Lisa Murray served at Vice President of IDA-GA, rolling off the board  Dec. 31, 2022. is the Director of Academic Operations at The Schenck School in Atlanta. Prior to her role in administration, Lisa was a 4th-grade teacher at Schenck. Before coming to Schenck, she taught middle school and 4th grade at the Swift School in Roswell. Lisa has also taught adults, using the Orton-Gillingham (OG) approach, at Literacy Action, Inc. in downtown Atlanta and The Cobb Literacy Council in Cobb County. In addition, Lisa has been a private OG tutor. She is a Clinical Supervisor with the Orton-Gillingham Academy (OGA). She is the parent of a dyslexic learner.

Jennifer Kopp Parks, M.Ed., served on the IDA GA board as Vice President and President from 2009-2015. Following that service, she served as the IDA Southern Region Representative from 2016-2020. Jennifer Parks, a recognized as an authority in the field of dyslexia remediation, has over 20 years of experience in the field of structured literacy. She is certified by CERI ( as a Structured Literacy/Dyslexia Specialist. She is a Wilson Credentialed Trainer (WCT) and a Wilson Dyslexia Therapist (WDT) who specializes in training Wilson-certified teachers as well as teaching elementary and middle school students with dyslexia and related reading difficulties. Jennifer serves as the Elementary Curriculum Coordinator and the Structured Literacy Coordinator K-7th grade at Saint Francis School in Roswell, Georgia.  Updated 1/3/2024

Whitney Phippen served on the board until 2021. She became a member of IDA while working as an Orton-Gillingham certified learning specialist teaching at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School. Prior to Holy Innocents’ Whitney worked as an Inclusion Specialist at the Adaptive Learning Center, a preschool inclusion program that serves students with mild to severe disabilities. While at ALC, she completed her Masters in Special Education with a primary focus on Behavior Analysis. Whitney is originally from California, but she and her family have now been Atlanta residents for 10 years. Although she is no longer supporting students in the classroom, she is a mother of two toddlers who both attend The Atlanta Speech School. Having embraced her own challenges with dyslexia, Whitney is committed to advocating for others with learning differences.

Claire Pearson, M.Ed., Fellow/OGA

Loretta Philips, M.Ed., Associate/OGA

Rachel Pierce is a digital marketer with fifteen years of experience working on large national brands like Capital One and T-Mobile/Metro PCS.  Her experience spans across multiple marketing agencies generating brand awareness and driving revenue though digital touch points.  Rachel also has experience as an active board member for a local nonprofit, Just Bakery of Atlanta.  Just Bakery’s mission to help Atlanta refugees make a living wage through providing high quality baking goods to the public.  Rachel has been on the journey to learning more about dyslexia since her first-born Julius was diagnosed with dyslexia in kindergarten.  Rachel knows what it feels like to be a mother navigating a difficult system and not knowing if you did everything you could.  Rachel wants to ensure that children living with dyslexia have access to critical resources that parents and educators need to support these learners and ensure their success.  Rachel lives in Atlanta with her husband and two children.

Nora Schlesinger was a classroom teacher for almost 20 years. She became a Certified Dyslexia Therapist to help support her own child with dyslexia and the children she taught. Before receiving a Ph.D. in Speech and Hearing Science from Arizona State University, she worked as a dyslexia therapist at an independent school for individuals with learning differences in Scottsdale, AZ named New Way Academy. Dr. Schlesinger has been a long standing IDA member and has served on the IDA-AZ Branch board. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Literacy at Kennesaw State University in the Department of Elementary and Early Childhood. Dr. Schlesinger’s research interests focus on reading and writing development and disorders, such as dyslexia and dysgraphia. Her research interests also include structured literacy instruction and training for preservice and in-service teachers and understanding the impact it has on children’s literacy.

Kim Sergent joined the board in 2016. Kim came to IDA as a concerned parent with questions upon her daughter’s diagnosis with dyslexia. She is the proud parent of two dyslexic children, Sofia and Alex. It’s her desire to provide continued education and support to other parents facing similar challenges. With over 25 years of marketing to both businesses and consumers, Kim is currently VP of Marketing at InComm, a leading payments and technology company. She also held previous marketing management positions with Fiserv, First Data and Manhattan Associates.

Carmen Stanley joined the IDA-GA Board in 2013 while working as a Learning Specialist in an Atlanta area private school.  Currently, she works as a Learning Support Teacher at the Atlanta International School and tutors adults who have lost their ability to read after suffering a stroke. In 2016, she co-founded a non-profit, Cuentos para Cambios, which creates safe spaces that foster reading and implements incentive-based literacy programs in impoverished and under-resourced areas throughout Nicaragua.

Missy Stewart

Leslie A. Stuart, Psy.D.

Tara Terry began her career as a school psychologist working first in public schools and then at The Howard School, a K-12 school for children with language-based learning differences. She also spent time working at Pace Academy and returned to The Howard School in 2015 as the Lower and Middle School Principal. Tara has participated in IDA events over the years and believes in the power of raising awareness about dyslexia. She joins the IDA-GA board in 2019 having known and respected the work of the organization for years. She looks forward to working towards supporting the mission of this very important non-profit.

Nan Troutman, M.Ed., Fellow-in-training/OGA

Colleen Valentini joined the IDA-GA Board in 2012 while working as an Academic Resource Specialist for a private school in Atlanta. Colleen has taught in Ohio, Atlanta Public Schools, and is currently an Orton-Gillingham Practitioner serving students with dyslexia at Wesleyan School in Peachtree Corners. She is passionate about working with students with learning differences and sees the positive impact and success of structured literacy with her students. Colleen is an Associate of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators.

Julie Weiser completed her Masters of Education in Reading at Mercer University in 2012, where she received Outstanding Master of Education in Reading Student. She obtained her Orton-Gillingham Classroom Educator Certification in July 2016. She will begin working on the Dyslexia Endorsement at University of Georgia in summer of 2021.  Julie is currently employed at The Davis Academy, where she has been employed for over twenty years. Julie is the first and second-grade teacher in The Davis Learning Center.  Previously, she worked with the fourth and fifth graders in The Davis Learning Center. Before joining The Davis Learning Center, she was a kindergarten teacher/grade chair, first-grade teacher, second-grade teacher, and assistant to the media specialist. While working in The Davis Learning Center, Julie was the recipient The Power of One award through the Greater Atlanta Jewish Abilities Alliance in January 2019.  Julie has been a private tutor since 2014. She also tutors children in the aftercare program at Mary Hall Freedom House.  Julie has been married for over twenty-five years and has three sons, born 1996, 1998, and 2004. One of her sons has language processing differences, which has been a driving force in her career. Julie is a synagogue board member of Temple Emanu-El and chairs the Backpack Buddy Program. She loves to exercise and has completed four marathons.

In Memoriam

Robert Moore served as a board member for several organizations including Holy Innocents School, Bike Roswell, and Georgia Independent School Association (GISA). He was a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), Atlanta Area Association of Independent Schools (AAAIS), the International Dyslexia Association (IDA), and at his passing was the president of Georgia Association of Private Schools of Exceptional Children (GAPSEC). He also served as the President of the North Perimeter Optimist Club from 1992 -1993, served on the Board of Directors for IDA-GA from 2013 – 2015, and was a Charter Member of Orton Dyslexia Society Georgia Branch 1990-1992. Robert had a passion for the Mill Springs Academy students and was appointed Headmaster of Mill Springs Academy by the Board of Trustees on Honors Day, June 5, 1996. He always inspired others to be better than they ever thought possible and he had a very special connection with teachers, parents, and students. He made people feel welcome, took people “under his wing”, always wanted to give back and was an ambassador to the cycling club. He lived a life of fullness in the moment. He was an ICON. A memorial service was held Tuesday, April 30, 2019  in Alpharetta, GA.

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