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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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. Mary McPherson
Dr. Mary McPherson 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.
Amelia Morel 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 twenty-year career in education. 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 Academy of Orton-Gillingham. 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.
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.
Dr. Nora Wersich Schlesinger
Dr. 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.
Kelly Schreiner 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.
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.
IDA – GA Staff
Ann Marie Lewis
Staff – Information & Referral, Outreach Coordinator, Communications
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 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
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kelly Montiel, Ph.D.
Loretta Philips, M.Ed., Associate/OGA
Nan Troutman, M.Ed., Fellow-in-traing/OGA
Leslie A. Stuart, Psy.D.
Brenda Fitzgerald, Ed.S.
Claire Pearson, M.Ed., Fellow/OGA
Rosalie Davis, M.Ed., Fellow/OGA
Norma Jean McHugh, M.Ed., Fellow/OGA
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