Patricia Lillie, President
Pat has served as president for her local and state (LDA of North Carolina) affiliates and is an active LDANC Board Member. She has served as an advocate and a liaison to the North Carolina State Board of Education and the State Legislature. She and husband Dave are parents of four children, two sons who have LD/ADD and a grandchild who received benefit from early identification while in preschool. Pat has served on the LDA Board of Directors, the Executive Committee and is a Past President of LDA. She has served on the following committees: Education, Grievance and Ethics, Nominating, Publications and is Co-Chair of the Public Policy Committee. As an advocate Pat is committed to helping parents gain a better understanding of State and Federal policies and issues such as Response to Intervention (RtI), Common Core Standards and mandated statewide standardized testing programs. Pat’s interests also include increasing the SLD/ADHD high school graduation rate and insuring students are prepared to enter the workplace or postsecondary education after leaving high school.
Beth McGaw, First Vice President
Beth McGaw became an outspoken advocate for children with learning disabilities after her youngest son was diagnosed at an early age. She has been an active member in LDA for over 10 years and in 2012 was elected to the LDA Board of Directors, currently serving as co-chair of the Communications Committee. Other activities within LDA include Marketing, Affiliate Support, Adult Topics and VP of LDA Georgia. Although Beth started her career as an Industrial Engineer, she pursued her passion for education by obtaining her M.Ed. from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She co-founded the Atlanta-based, award-winning magazine Kids Enabled in response to her frustration in locating appropriate resources for her son.
Beth currently lives in Dallas and works as an Independent Educational Consultant at Launch Pad Consulting Group, which assist families and their students with learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, and/or autism spectrum disorders locate post-secondary options, including college, job search, and residential living options. She also volunteers for LaunchAbility, a Dallas nonprofit that offers supportive employment services for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
Analisa Smith, Second Vice President
Analisa L. Smith has been active in LDA for many years at both the state and national levels. She has served on LDA’s Advocacy, Affiliate Support/Membership, Communications, Early Childhood, and Mental Health/Juvenile Justice Committees. She currently is president of LDA of South Carolina and has served in several positions on that state’s Executive Board of Directors. Analisa has worked more than 20 years in public and private education and is a distance educator, subject matter expert, and educational consultant. She holds a BS in Elementary and Special Education from Columbia College, an MEd in Education from the University of South Carolina, and an EdD in Education Administration from Nova Southeastern University. Analisa is the author of Transition Toolbox, a book focusing on transition issues and services for individuals with mild disabilities. Smith is the mother of two children, one with several learning disabilities, and grandmother to two grandchildren. Her passion is to work with LDA to promote advocacy and support for individuals with LD to ease their path of learning.
Lori Parks, Secretary
Lori Parks is an associate professor in the special education department at Eastern Michigan University. She has degrees from Wayne State University and Eastern Michigan University and attended the University of Western Ontario. She has acquired an SpA (Specialist of Arts in Curriculum), an MA in Learning Disabilities, a BBA in Marketing, and a BS in Hearing Impairment (K-12) and General Education (K-8). Prior to joining the faculty at Eastern Michigan University, Lori taught and consulted in public and private schools, kindergarten through university levels, in Michigan and Ontario, Canada. She has presented at numerous conferences, written many articles, and serves on various volunteer committees, including the Pre-Ed Advising Committee for Henry Ford Community College. Lori has been involved with LDA and LDA of Michigan (LDAMI) for many years. She started as a member of LDAMI, serving on the board of directors, as conference co-chair, and as president for two years. She has presented regularly at LDAMI’s fall conferences and contributed articles for their quarterly newsletter, Outlook. An active member of LDA, Lori is currently secretary of the LDA Board of Directors and its Executive Committee, co-chairs the Conference Program Committee, and serves on the Education Committee. She has been facilitator for the Sam Kirk Educator of the Year Award, served as the Assistant States’ Representative and States’ President Representative, worked with the Healthy Child Project, and served on the Affiliate Support and Nominating Committees. She presents on a regular basis at the national conference. In her spare time, Lori enjoys her grandchildren, sailing, reading, watching cooking shows, and learning to play the violin.
Jonathan Jones, Treasurer
Jonathan Jones is founder and director emeritus of S.O.A.R., a non-profit organization providing year-round wilderness adventure and experiential education services for youth identified with learning disabilities and/or diagnosed with attention deficit disorders. He is also a registered nurse and travels the world doing medical mission work. Nationally, he served on the LDA Board of Directors, has been treasurer, and served on or chaired multiple committees including finance, mental health, juvenile justice, adult issues, adult life span, and adult literacy. In addition to authoring numerous fact/info sheets and Newsbriefs articles and presenting conference workshops, he has assisted the board as facilitator in discussions including strategic planning, needs assessment, and town hall meetings. For the Learning Disabilities Association of North Carolina, Jonathan served in a number of capacities including president, treasurer, board member, committee chair, and conference convener. He has delivered more than 550 professional presentations at state, national, and international conferences which focus on LD and ADHD issues through the life span. Jonathan brings to LDA an interest and strengths in organizational and fiscal management. He would like to see LDA return to the role of representing thousands of parents and providing support to like numbers of professionals and adults with LD. Jonathan is an adult with learning disabilities and has an adult son, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, with his own unique mix of LD and ADD characteristics.
Allen Broyles, Immediate Past President
Allen Broyles is the Assistant Head of School and Middle School Principal of The Howard School, a K-12 school for students with language-based learning differences in Atlanta. With 24 years of experience in independent school education, he has held positions that include administration at the lower, middle, and school-wide levels, teaching positions at the lower, middle and high school levels, director of technology initiatives, music and math instruction, and outdoor education. Allen has presented and consulted at regional, national, and international conferences and schools on the topics of applying current neuroscience to teaching, the neuropsychology of math, and how mainstream schools might structure their programs to be more responsive to and inclusive of students who struggle. He holds a M.Ed. in educational leadership and a BA in music and French, and is an active musician playing in bands and recording in the Atlanta area.
Suzanne Fornaro, Board Liaison
Suzanne Fornaro serves as Co-Chair, Communications Committee; Co-Editor, THE LD SOURCE; and was President of LDA from 2004-2006. Currently serving as a presidential appointee to the Board of Directors and as a member of the Public Policy Committee, she has served on the Board, Executive Committee, and/or chaired committees for LDA since 1990. At the local level, she was president of the Alabama state and Mobile County affiliates and continues to serve on the state Board of Directors. She is the parent of an adult child with learning disabilities. Suzanne brings her expertise and education in Communications and Public Relations to LDA. She is Accredited in Public Relations (APR) by the Universal Accreditation Board and retired as Director of Public Relations with a national engineering firm. She has 30+ years of experience in communications and public relations and expertise in public relations planning, external and internal communications, community and media relations. She has served on the board of directors for Public Relations Council of Alabama-PRCA (President), Southern Public Relations Federation-SPRF (VP and Secretary), and Mobile Public Relations Council (President). She has received 14 awards from public relations organizations for creation and execution of projects ranging from brochure development to strategic communications planning. Suzanne was named to the Southern Public Relations Hall of Fame in 2015 and was previously recognized with the Practitioner of the Year Award, Professional Achievement Award, and Lifetime Achievement Award from PRCA and SPRF. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism (Advertising and Public Relations) from the University of Georgia, and an M.S. in Communications (Mental Health Information) from Syracuse University.
JoAnna is a lawyer and the parent of two college students with learning disabilities. She has been involved with LDA since 2002. JoAnna was active in Texas with the Park Cities LDA and was a member of the Board of Directors. In 2005 JoAnna with her family moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She became active in the Special Education PTA, served on her school district’s Special Needs Advisory Council, and served on its 504 Working Group formed to implement the changes in the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act of 2008. She is President of the LDA of North Carolina, a Co-Chair of the LDA Public Policy Committee, and one of two LDA representatives to the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities. In 2015 she chaired a task force on accessibility of test accommodations for adults with learning disabilities who apply to take a high school equivalency exam. JoAnna holds a B.A. and J.D. from Georgetown University, and, although she no longer practices law, is a member in good standing of the Maryland and District of Columbia Bars.
Donna Brigham holds a B.S. degree in Elementary Education and a M.Ed in Education. She is a mom of two girls, one who is currently a Junior in college and diagnosed with ADHD. She has been an educator for 25 plus years in public, private, and charter schools. She has been involved with LDA and IDA organizations for 17 years and embodies great energy and awareness in her efforts to help make a difference. Donna brings to the LDA board a very strong voice and skills in communicating and networking. She has expanded her efforts to make an impact through lobbying on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C for Safer Chemicals Healthy Families. Donna is eager to contribute at a deeper level to LDA's mission and goals and believes strongly that local efforts, such as hers in the Memphis, TN area, are critical for strengthening the national organization. She serves on multiple committees including Membership/Affiliate Support, Nominating, Finance, Marketing and LDA Coalition for Safer Products Healthier Minds. Donna currently serves as the Director of Special Education for three charter schools in urban Memphis.
Rose Calloway is passionate about helping those who want help but lack the means or ability to obtain the appropriate resources needed. Her primary focus is addressing the needs of those who fall through the cracks because of an “invisible disability” (e.g., ADHD, SLD). Diagnosed with a learning disability and ADHD as an adult, Rose developed a tough exterior early in life to survive the challenges of being bullied. With a passion for math, she majored in statistics at the University of Georgia, launching a professional career in corporate America as a business and data analyst. However, she quickly realized she wanted to do something that impacts people’s lives more directly. She credits a spiritual awakening – and the struggles of her adopted daughter diagnosed with learning disabilities-- with her decision to be part of solutions rather than focusing on system failures. After completing the Georgia Leadership & Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (GaLEND) program 2015-2016 trainee class she took on a a leadership role at Parent to Parent of Georgia as Transition Service Support Manager. She transitioned from Corporate America to the Education by serving years as Atlanta Public Schools' Parent Mentor. As Parent Mentor she sat on panels, hosted workshops, coordinated events, developed leader and provided one-to-one consultation with parents at their request. Former position as a family engagement specialist for the Morehouse School of Medicine’s REACH (Racial & Ethical Approaches to Community Health) she performed community outreach and function as liaison for Atlanta’s Promise Neighborhood. She is a graduate of All About Developmental Disabilities (AADD) and their Partners in Policy Making program. She is a Person-Centered Planning graphic facilitator, and she annually shares family-centered practices with new teachers entering Teach For America.
Ernie Florence recently completed a three-year term on the Board of Directors. He became an active member of LDA in the 1980’s and served his local affiliate, Kane-Kendall LDA, in many capacities including president, vice president, as well as a variety of committees. At the state level, he served two terms as president of LDA of Illinois as well as many committees including Membership, Awards, Nominating, Conference, and others. At the national level Ernie served a term as State Presidents’ Representative along with heading several committees including Membership/Affiliate Support, Nominating, and Program. He presently serves on the Membership/Affiliate Support and Bylaw/Policy Committees. He enjoyed a 33 year career teaching children with behavior/emotional disorders and learning disabilities before retiring in 2009. Ernie lives in Montgomery, IL.
Vicki Goshon is a leader in the state of Iowa in the field of Learning Disabilities. She is a Past President of LDA Iowa and has served numerous times in this position. Vicki has taught students with Learning Disabilities for 35 years. In addition to her work with LDA, she has served on the Iowa Department of Education’s Special Education Advisory Panel. Throughout her career in special education, Vicki has written many successful grants in order to obtain funding for materials and educational services for students with learning disabilities. These range from materials and services for elementary students to programs in Iowa Correctional Institutions. She also operates a private tutoring service in order to provide affordable academic support to students. She has been instrumental in developing summer academies for students and developing an educational testing center in the Iowa Learning Disabilities Association. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education and an Administrator of Special Education degree. Vicki is a member of several national committees in her desire to help students and parents in the Learning Disabilities family. Honors and awards include: 2012 Helping Hands Award - Iowa LDA, 2008 Sam Kirk Award - National LDA - 2009 and 2002 President’s Award - Iowa LDA.
Nancy J. Hammill is a graduate of Rutgers University and earned her EdM at the Bank Street College of Graduate Education. Additional training includes competency with the Orton-Gillingham, S.P.I.R.E, and Lindamood-Bell reading programs, as well as training expertise in written expression, executive function, and self-regulation. Nancy is currently professional development coordinator at the Cooper Learning Center, Pediatric Department of Cooper University Hospital in Camden, NJ. She has been active with LDA of New Jersey (LDANJ), focusing on bringing community awareness to best practices for people with learning disabilities in and out of the classroom. She has designed and delivered professional development and training programs in learning outcomes and curriculum, as well as ongoing training with literacy programs used by Cooper Learning Center therapists. She also has planned and facilitated a Special Facts of Dyslexia Conference, summer institute trainings for teachers, annual conferences for LDANJ, and a monthly parent speaker series coordinated with Decoding Dyslexia. A frequent lecturer, she is known for her parent-friendly style with audiences. At its 2016 international conference in Orlando, LDA presented Nancy with its Sam Kirk National Educator of the Year Award for the difference she has made in the lives of individuals with learning disabilities and the field of special education.
Jennifer has worked at Eagle Hill School in Greenwich, CT, a school for children with language-based learning disabilities, for more than 20 years. She began as a special education teacher and then moved into administration years ago. Jennifer has three children and her oldest was diagnosed with ADD in the 6th grade. Her involvement with LDA includes presenting at the annual conferences, serving on the Program Committee and as the Program Committee co-chair. Jennifer holds a B.A. in Psychology from Colby College, a M.S.Ed. in Literacy from University of New England and a 6th year degree in Educational Leadership from Sacred Heart University. Jennifer is particularly passionate about technology and teacher training and looks forward to working with LDA to continue to support those with learning disabilities and the parents and professionals who work with them.
Evalynne W. Lindberg
Evalynne (Evie) W. Lindberg has experience in special education, academics, accreditation, and assessments to provide knowledgeable background for the issues facing special education today. During her career she has held the following positions: Associate professor, Undergraduate Department, College of Education at Oral Roberts University, where she prepares special education teacher candidates and published numerous articles and has authored a chapter, Religion, Culture, Curriculum, and Diversity in 21st Century America. Her most recent accolades: “Top Female of the Year” by Worldwide Branding for Excellence in Special Education Management; Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society, and Scholar of the Year for the College of Education. She was a special education instructor for over 35 years; a Psychiatric Adolescent Unit instructor; a visual therapist, and advocates for individuals with disabilities. She also served as a committee member for the National Evaluation Systems and has experience administering in-service training, and diagnostic assessments for ORU and Tulsa communities. Her LDA positions include: over 35 years as an LDA member and at this time is President of LDA of Oklahoma. Currently, serving on the LDA Board of Directors, and served on the Executive Committee and co-chaired the Education Committee. She presents at the local, state, and national levels. Lindberg holds a B.A. from Oral Roberts University, an M.A. from the University of Tulsa, and an Ed. D., Educational Leadership: Public School Administration from Oral Roberts University.
Monica McHale-Small, Ph.D. is currently superintendent of the Saucon Valley School District in Hellertown, PA. She is has spent more than twenty-five years as a public educator in Pennsylvania. Monica started her career as a school psychologist and has in central office administration since 2003. She has been a became passionate advocate for children and has long championed bringing research and best practice into the classroom in order to ensure the very best diagnostic and intervention services for students who struggle with any disability or learning difference. In 2014, she was recognized by The ARC of Chester County as Volunteer Advocate of the Year. She has been an active member of the Pennsylvania Dyslexia/Literacy Coalition, a grassroots group instrumental in the passage of PA House Bill 198 which established a Dyslexia Screening and Early Literacy Intervention Pilot in Pennsylvania. Monica earned her doctorate and masters degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.
Ginny Simank is an experienced presenter at the LDA conference, serves on the LDA Education Committee, the LDA Nominating Committee, and is on the Board of LDA Texas. She collaborates with another board member on a support group for Texas LDA in the Dallas area. Ginny was the lead presenter for an LDA webinar “Fun and Engaging Reading and Math Activities” that also included activities for parents to use during the summer. She is an instructor in Orton-Gillingham professional development trainings for the Institute for Multi-Sensory Education and teaches reading, language arts, and science in Richardson ISD. She is the parent of a son with learning disabilities and has a brother-in-law with SLD. Ginny considers the three most critical issues facing LDA today to be assessment and evaluation, state standards, and Response to Intervention (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support). She is passionate about literacy instruction using multi-sensory strategies. Ginny expresses excitement and support for advocacy, education and opportunity for all individuals with learning disabilities and their loved ones.
Myrna has been a member of LDA for over 30 years. She holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) and an M.A. with an emphasis in Special Education from Santa Clara University. She has been Oregon's President four times and continues to serve on LDA of Oregon's state board. She chair of the LDA's national Bylaws/Policies Committee, co-chair of its Education Committee, has been treasurer twice and presented on the Finance Committee and serves on the Research Committee. She is a Slingerland trained tutor and consultant after teaching for 49 years. She presently has 14 students to tutor and she tutors adults as well as elementary students including those with Asperger's and Autism. She has started three private schools for students with learning disabilities. She is on a state committee with the Dept. of Education to establish standards for the new Dyslexic Bill passed in the state and to set up teacher training. Her life is devoted to helping individuals with learning disabilities, learn how to learn, advocate for them and to train teachers in how to teach them.
B.J. Wiemer has many years of LDA service in her experience. She has previously served as First and Second Vice-President, Secretary, Board Liaison, State Presidents’ Representative, and member of the Board of Directors, as well as having served on numerous committees, including Advocacy, Affiliate Support, Membership, Education, Public Policy, Bylaws and Policies, Conference, Conference Program and Nominating. She has also served as president of her state and local affiliates. BJ is a special educator, national teacher trainer, educational consultant, and adjunct professor in special education. She has spent 39 years working in public and private settings with students with special needs, most notably as a specialist in specific learning disabilities, behavioral/emotional needs, and the at-risk reader. Since 1997, she has served as Director of Special Services at the Kirk Day School in St. Louis, Missouri, and is currently an adjunct professor with Missouri Baptist University. She is passionate about coming alongside families to provide strong support through proactive instruction and advocacy, as well as providing for staff and parent education, an extensive resource library, and community awareness. She trains and consults with teachers and administrators across the country to address the needs of the at-risk learner. She and her husband, Jack, have three grown daughters, one of whom was diagnosed with a learning disability as a young child. Their recreational time is often shared with their three grandchildren. BJ holds a B.S. in Elementary and Special Education from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, a M.Ed. in Counseling from the University of Missouri, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Saint Louis University.
Sylvia is the mother of four children, one girl and three boys. All of whom have Specific Learning Disabilities and her 3 boys are on the Autism Spectrum. For over 20 years, Sylvia has been advocating for her children and assisting parents in their advocacy. Her qualifications are not from formal training, they are qualifications from real life experience. Sylvia has attended many conferences, seminars, presentations, workshops, trainings and classes to further her advocacy skills. As the parent of children with special needs, Sylvia finds that you now have to become the educator, doctor, psychologist, therapist, social skills, service provider and attorney for your children in order to understand and best advocate for their unique needs. By trade Sylvia's work is in administration, with over 25 years of administrative experience Sylvia has had the opportunity to work for great companies with leadership that allowed for her knowledge and experience to grow on the job. This experience proved invaluable. She applied her administrative skills in IEP’s and when advocating for her children. Sylvia is also the Co-founder and Southern California Administrator of the Community Advisory Committee Leadership Collaborative (CACLC). A grass roots organization dedicated to connecting CAC’s across California and raising awareness in the special needs community on the importance of the legislative process, community involvement, decision making and the important and vital role of public input in the special needs community. She participates in different Collaborative groups and TASK forces’ that address the needs of the Special Needs community… As well as assisting parents, students and adults in their advocacy. Sylvia is a strong supporter of giving back, positive, effective and meaning collaborations, advancing forward and most important bridging and filling the gaps to strengthen and build positive role models and leaders within our special needs community.
Kristina Scott, State President Representative
Mike Helman, Affiliate Consultant Representative
Since 1996, Michael Helman has been the Executive Director of the LDA of Western New York. LDA of WNY is a consumer driven, professionally operated organization; assisting individuals with learning disabilities achieve their full potential. A multi-faceted agency, LDA of WNY provides a comprehensive array of services including residential, vocational, educational and individual and family support services to approximately 1,400 individuals annually. Mr. Helman has been instrumental in helping to create several unique programs for adults with learning disabilities with a special focus on TANF recipients. These include the development of the Empire State Spanish Language Cognitive Screening Tool and Professional Success Sessions, a multi modality job readiness program for TANF recipients with learning disabilities. Both of these programs were recognized by the US Dept of Education, Office of Vocation and Adult Education as promising practices. In addition to his role as Executive Director of LDA of WNY, Mr. Helman is the President of the Learning Disabilities Association of New York State and a member of LDA’s Public Policy Committee. He also serves on the New York State Office of Developmental Disabilities Commissioner’s Advisory Council and a member of the NYSED’s Advisory Council on Post-Secondary Education for Individuals with Disabilities.