Board of Directors
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.
Renee Bernhardt currently serves on the IDA Georgia Board as the Vice President. She supports students in public school as a Supervisor for Special Education in Cherokee County. Renee has three sons and has spent most of her career working with students, teachers and administrators to encourage structured literacy and specialized instruction. She is a certified Wilson Dyslexia Therapist and has earned a master’s degree in Literacy and specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Renee shares her passion for learning with her fellow IDA Board members and welcomes your questions, ideas and opportunities.
Meredith Chase has served as the Treasurer of IDA-GA since 2015. She is the Chief Financial Officer and Business Manager 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.
Sucheta A. Kamath has been on IDA-GA board since 2014. As a founder of www.cerebralmatters.com, Sucheta is a trained Speech-Language Pathologist and a Linguist with a specialized training in Neurogenic Communication disorders. Her area of expertise is identification and treatment of Executive Function Disorder and her work focuses on retraining the brain of those who suffer from internal and external disorganization of thoughts, ideas, communication and implementation. Sucheta is a recipient of the ‘Stephanie Macaluso Expertise in Clinical Practice Award’ and the ‘Partners in Excellence Award’ for leadership and innovation. In addition, she is a graduate of Leadership Atlanta Class of 2015 and a TEDxPeachtree speaker. Sucheta hopes to educate and guide children and families by explaining the connection between dyslexia, self-management and executive function skills.
Susanne Buoniconti McDaniel, DPT holds a Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree and a Master of Physical Therapy Degree, both from Emory University School of Medicine. She practiced at the Atlanta VA Hospital for over 10 years, until pediatric issues became her passion. Currently, she is an Owner and Executive Director at LearningRx Cognitive Skills Training Centers in Atlanta and Alpharetta, Georgia. She is a certified interactive metronome provider and has completed numerous courses focused on learning differences. She has been on the Executive Board of the International Dyslexia Association of Georgia for 6 years and is the Recording Secretary.
Erika Afeman has been a Board Member of IDA-GA since 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 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
For the last 38 years, Debbie has worked 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
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 a Speech-Language Pathologist with over 19 years of experience. 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 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.
Lisa Murray is the Assistant Principal at The Schenck School in Atlanta. She is in her fourth 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.
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 Adoptive 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 joined the IDA GA Board in 2016 to help IDA GA with their marketing and communication efforts. Kim is currently Vice President, Americas Marketing for Manhattan Associates, a leading supply chain commerce software company. She has nearly 25 years of experience marketing to both businesses and consumers, having held marketing management positions with Verifone, CheckFree, Fiserv and First Data. Kim came to IDA as a concerned parent with questions upon her daughter Sofia’s diagnosis with dyslexia. It’s her desire to provide continued education and support to other parents facing similar challenges.
Director, Finance Committee Chair
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 space.
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 – GA Staff
Ann Marie Lewis
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 currently a private tutor in the North Fulton area 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.
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 3 and 5-year olds East Cobb schools. Her goal is to one day train public school teachers in hopes of being able to reach many more children.
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.
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