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.
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 successful young adults. She has served on the Georgia Board of Directors since 2008 and is part of IDA’s national Destiny Initiative Team. Her background and experience in marketing and advertising lends itself toward raising awareness about dyslexia as well as the goals and activities of IDA Georgia Branch. When not volunteering, Karen is a reporter and columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and a freelance writer.
President-Elect, Vice President
Renee Bernhardt 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 and welcomes your questions, ideas, and support!
Lisa Murray is the Assistant Principal at The Schenck School in Atlanta. She is in her sixth year at Schenck and, prior to her role in administration, 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 for 7 years. She is a Fellow-in-Training with the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE). She is the parent of a dyslexic learner.
Debbie Dreas has worked for the past 38 years in education as a learning specialist for students with dyslexia. Thirty of those years have been at the Atlanta Speech School where she is currently 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.
Roni Battoglia 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 Academy of Orton Gillingham Practitioners and Educators 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.
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. Mike is a retired executive who spent 32 years within The Coca-Cola system working both in the finance and information technology.
Kim Day 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.
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 degree 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.
Stacey Levy, Founder and President of Stacey Levy & Associates (SLA), is an experienced Speech-Language Pathologist practicing since 1997. 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 highly educated and qualified tutors. Stacey and her associate therapists provide speech-language therapy services in multiple areas including auditory and language processing, expressive-receptive language, articulation and multi-sensory reading and writing instruction. Stacey also works as the Learning Coordinator at the Temple Breman School supporting a fully inclusive Sunday school program. She is a Georgia “Bright From the Start” certified educator providing CEUs for teachers working at BFTS accredited schools. Stacey has published articles about inclusion as well as co-authoring the book Everyone Is Welcome. Stacey is a founding board member of the Tapestry School, and she is now on their advisory council.
Mary McPherson started her career in DeKalb County Public Schools teaching high school and transitioned to St. Martin’s Episcopal School where she has been for twenty years as Director of Academic Technology and now as Elementary School Principal. In her nine years as principal, she has helped to identify and support students with language-based learning differences and has been an integral part of developing a program at St. Martin’s that specifically supports students who have been diagnosed with a reading impairment. Mary also serves on the Cowart Ashford Dunwoody Board of Advisors and volunteers her time to developing youth programs which includes early learning centers and after school programs where many students receive academic support outside of school. Mary’s passion is educating the public about Dyslexia and helping teachers navigate systems to better support the students they serve.
Whitney Phippen became a member of IDA while working as an Orton-Gillingham certified learning specialist while teaching at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School. Prior to Holy Innocent 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 where she began her teaching career as an English as a Second Language educator in San Diego then became a lead teacher at a Title I elementary school in Oakland. She and her family have now been Atlanta residents for 8 years and although she is no longer supporting students in the classroom, she is a mother of two toddlers who both attend The Atlanta Speech School. In addition, Whitney is in the process of becoming a licensed Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. Having embraced her own challenges with dyslexia, Whitney is committed to advocating for others with learning differences.
Director, Marketing & Communications Committee Chair
Kim Sergent oversees IDA GA’s marketing and communications efforts, having 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.
Kelly Schriener 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.
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.
IDA – GA Staff
Ann Marie Lewis
Staff, Information & Referral and Outreach Coordinator
Ann Marie Lewis 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 CERI Certified Structured Literacy / Dyslexia Specialist and has been an Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE) 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.
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.
Valerie Bratt M.Ed 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.
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.
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 www.cerebralmatters.com
Jennifer Lindstrom, Ph.D., joined the IDA-GA Board in 2013. As 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.
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.
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.
Leslie A. Stuart
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