The LDA Nominating Committee is pleased to introduce the candidates who will be placed in nomination at the Assembly of Delegates during the Annual Meeting, February 19, 2020, in Orlando, Florida. The Committee worked diligently to select candidates who bring a variety of skills and experience to their respective positions and to the Board of Directors of the Learning Disabilities Association of America.
Monica McHale-Small, President
Monica McHale-Small is currently an Adjunct, Associate Professor of School Psychology at Temple University and project manager for Pennsylvania’s Dyslexia Screening and Early Literacy Intervention Pilot. She previously served as Director of Program Accreditation for the International Dyslexia Association. Monica retired from public education after twenty-seven years of service in Pennsylvania. She started her career as a school psychologist but spent her last fourteen years in a variety of administrative positions including superintendent. She earned her doctorate and masters’ degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education.
Dr. McHale-Small has long advocated bringing sound research into practice in public schools and advocates for responsible inclusion and equity for historically underserved students including racially, culturally and linguistically diverse students and students with disabilities. She co-founded the Greater Lehigh Valley Consortium for Equity and Excellence and she currently consults with the ACLU of PA on School to Prison Pipeline issues. She is currently 1st Vice President of the Learning Disabilities Association of America, Co-chair of the Public Policy and Advocacy Committee, and one of LDA’s representatives to the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities. Monica has previously served on the boards of the International Dyslexia Association, the Pennsylvania Branch of IDA, and the National Association of Pupil Services Administrators. She serves her own community as a board member and volunteer advocate for Coatesville Citizens Who Seek Educational Equality.
Monica is a passionate advocate for children with learning disabilities. As a mother of four individuals challenged with learning and attention difficulties, and as an educator, she knows the struggles and unique potential of each child. LDA’s mission to Support, Educate, and Advocate for individuals with learning disabilities is consistent with Monica’s own personal mission.
JoAnna Barnes, First Vice President
JoAnna is the parent of two young adults with learning disabilities. She has been involved with LDA since 2002 when her older child, then in 2nd grade, was struggling in school. She credits LDA for her daughter finally being identified as LD in 3rd grade. JoAnna lives in Chapel Hill, NC, and is active with LDA of North Carolina serving on its Board of Directors and now as President. She is Co-Chair of the LDA Public Policy & Advocacy Committee, and one of three LDA representatives to the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities. She frequently presents on behalf of LDA at national meetings and conferences. In 2015 JoAnna chaired a LDA task force on accessibility of testing accommodations for adults with LD who apply to take the high school equivalency exam. JoAnna holds a B.A. and J.D. from Georgetown University, and is a member of the Maryland and District of Columbia Bars.
Kevin Gailey, Second Vice President
As the Head of School for Midwest Academy and as a parent of a child with learning differences, Kevin’s focus is keeping the child at the center. His passion is providing a progressive education for kids with learning differences since he has seen the tremendous difference that it makes in their lives. After being drawn to these complex learners as a teacher over 25 years ago, he believes that progressive education fits with students’ unique stages of development. Kevin received his B.S. in Psychology from Springfield College; an M.Ed. in Elementary Education from Lesley University; and his M.A. in Administration/Exercise Sports Science from the University of North Carolina. He has also earned Certificates in Fundraising Management at the IU School of Philanthropy; Non-Profit Business Management at IU Kelley School of Business; and Organizational Consulting and Change Leadership from Georgetown University. He enjoys coaching soccer, tinkering with tools, reading, kayaking, hiking, and fly fishing.
Anne Huntington, Secretary
Anne Huntington is President of Huntington Learning Center, the nation’s leading tutoring and test prep provider. Since 2015, Anne has led Huntington Compensatory Education Services, a program designed to support special education students who have been denied their federal right to a free and appropriate education. Before joining Huntington Learning Center in 2014, Anne launched and remains the Principal of AMH, a creative agency for contemporary art and culture. In this capacity, she has curated over 30 exhibits across the country with organizations to help build awareness and raised over $30 millions of dollars for various causes. Her involvement with LDA began in 2014 and has included speaking at the annual conferences, company sponsorship of local (New Jersey) and national events, as well as serving as head of the Development Committee. Anne is an active chair and member of other education and arts-based groups such as the Young Collectors Council at the Guggenheim Museum, the Future Leadership Council at the Whitney Museum, the Women’s Franchise Committee for the International Franchise Association, NYC’s Coalition for the Homeless, Teaching Matters, CHADD and COPAA. Anne received a Bachelor of Arts from Colgate University.
Gabrielle Miller, Treasurer
Gabrielle E. Miller, EdD is the Assistant Vice Provost for Learning Services and Executive Director of the SALT Center; Student Support and Retention Innovation (SSRI) at the University of Arizona. In her role as Assistant Vice Provost, Dr. Miller leads UA’s SALT Center, Think Tank and Wellness Services. Using a strengths-based entrepreneurial approach, evidence-based practices, and robust assessment; she is responsible for strengthening the capacity of units to support student learning. She is also responsible for engaging a wide range of UA and external stakeholders in support of fundraising efforts to build programmatic and financial sustainability of SSRI learning services.
As Executive Director of the SALT Center she leads one of the nation’s most prestigious programs for undergraduates who learn differently. The SALT Center consists of a large multi-disciplinary team of professionals providing a comprehensive range of services to students with learning and attention challenges. She also oversees the newly formed applied, multi-disciplinary research unit within the SALT Center, Bartlett Labs.
Prior to her current role, Dr. Miller spent ten years in the nonprofit world, first as VP of Programs at Reading Is Fundamental and as President/CEO of Raising A Reader (RAR) National Office. In both roles, particularly CEO of Raising A Reader, Dr. Miller was responsible for ensuring programmatic and financial integrity and sustainability.
Before her time in the nonprofit world Dr. Miller spent more than fifteen years assuming progressively more responsible roles in special education clinical service, program administration and graduate teacher training/research at The Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI) and The Johns Hopkins University (JHU). During her time at KKI she began as a classroom teacher and ultimately held a leadership role in the development of a model school-to-work secondary program for students with multiple and complex disabilities (Kennedy Krieger High School). Simultaneously, she taught core courses and assumed practicum supervision responsibilities in JHU’s Graduate School of Education and was awarded a tenure track faculty joint-appointment to both JHU’s Graduate School of Education and KKI’s Department of Special Education.
Dr. Miller began her career as a special education teacher in Queen Anne’s County Maryland public school system where her interests in transition at all stages of development (early education, adolescent, and post-secondary), family engagement, and research to practice began.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education from the University of Delaware and completed her Masters and Doctorate in special education and administration at The Johns Hopkins University.
In addition to her Board service for LDA, Dr. Miller also serves as a board member of the National Association of Family, School, and Community Engagement (NAFSCE).
Board Members (3 year terms, 2020 – 2023)
Vincent C. Alfonso, PhD, is Interim Dean of the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology at Yeshiva University. Prior to this position, he was Professor in and Dean of the School of Education at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington and Professor in and Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Education, Fordham University, New York City. He is past president of Division 16 (School Psychology) of the American Psychological Association (APA), and Fellow of Divisions 16, 5, and 43 of the APA. He is also Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. In February 2014, he received the Outstanding Contributions to Training award from the Trainers of School Psychologists and in August 2017, he received the Jack Bardon Distinguished Service Award from Division 16 of the APA. He is co-author of Essentials of WISC-V Assessment, Essentials of Cross-Battery Assessment (3rd Edition), co-editor of Essentials of Specific Learning Disability Identification (2nd Edition) and Essentials of Planning, Selecting, and Tailoring Interventions for the Unique Learner all published by Wiley. In addition, he is co-editor of Promoting Healthy Growth and Development in Young Children: Bridging the Science-Practice Gap in Educational Settings published by the APA and Psychoeducational Assessment of Preschool Children (5th Edition) published by Routledge.
As Executive Vice President of External Relations and Chief Development Officer of Easterseals Midwest, Tom is responsible for guiding and developing the organization’s relationships with external stakeholders through strategic marketing, government relations, and philanthropic endeavors.
Tom is an expert in the field of organizational leadership, specializing in developing nonprofit strategies as it relates to fundraising, advocacy, communication, and stakeholder engagement.
Tom brings nearly 20 years of experience in philanthropy, advertising, and government relations. He has spent the last ten years focused on health-care and intellectual and developmental disabilities within social justice organizations.
Tom began his career in the online advertising industry. He has spent most of his career working with some of the most respected institutions in the nation, including St. Louis Zoological Society, St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis Science Center, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of America, and Planned Parenthood.
Tom is the recipient of many industry accolades, including Fundraiser of the Year (2012), State Public Affairs Award for Leadership (2013), Annet Ruiter Award for Leadership and Service (2014). Tom lives in St. Louis, Missouri.
Jamie has been a nurse for 25 years as a professional serving in various capacities. Currently, she works as a Healthcare Coordinator at Joint Base Andrews AFB. Prior to working at Andrews Air Force Base, she worked at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC for five years as a Healthcare Manager. Working at Andrews AFB Jamie received Civilian of the Quarter and Department of Defense National Capital Area Public Service Nominee (DoD National Capital Region “Spirit of Service” Award”). It gives her great pleasure to have served as Learning Disabilities Association of Maryland (LDAMD) President for the last 2 years and as Secretary for LDAMD for 2 years. JamieI has been a member of LDAMD for 9 years.
Jamie obtained her Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State University and obtained a Master’s Degree from Bowie State University.
With hopes of leveraging her skills in additional leadership roles and family advocacy opportunities, other volunteer efforts consist of serving as a Volunteer Coordinator for Military families, member of the Decoding Dyslexia Association, and volunteer member of the PTA for her children’s respective schools, LDA Justice Committee member, and PG County Coalition Committee Board member.
Jamie is a mother of four beautiful children and an active community leader. Three of her children have Learning differences (Dyslexia and ADHD). She is their biggest advocate. Jamie has, a passion to connect and be an advocate for all students and their families. She strongly feel that schools should ensure that all children receive the appropriate educational requirements needed to be successful independent citizens in society.
Kaci Smith holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education and has 26 years of experience instructing students with disabilities in a wide range of settings and across multiple content areas. She currently teaches in the Springdale Public School District where she empowers teachers to utilize technology to equal the playing field in the classroom for students who not only have learning disabilities but also are English Language Learners. Kaci is the past President and current Secretary of LDA of Arkansas and strives to strengthen Advocacy and Public Policy within her state. Kaci is a mom of three, one of whom has learning disabilities and autism. She values the importance of advocacy and works with other parents to bridge the path from school to adult transition.
Board Members (2 year terms, 2020-2022)
Dr. Collin Diedrich has a PhD in Molecular Virology and Microbiology from University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, a Certificate in Disability Legal Studies from University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and is a postdoctoral associate researching how HIV changes immunological responses to tuberculosis. Dr. Diedrich has multiple learning disabilities and personally understands how thinking differently can be a struggle and a gift.
Dr. Diedrich is an advocate, author, and professional speaker (www.ldphd.org) for students who have learning disabilities. Dr. Diedrich advocates the importance of finding your jet packs (i.e. allies and techniques used to overcome barriers in life)! He is also the founder and president of the reinstated Learning Disabilities Association of Pennsylvania (www.ldaofpa.org). Dr. Diedrich believes everyone has a talent and everyone has a gift! He wants to help you find yours.
Joan K. Teach, PhD has been a special educator working with the LD/ADHD population for over 50 years. As the former Director of Lullwater School, a center for students with neurobiological needs, she investigated techniques that increase success and survival for individuals. Her passion is to initiate strategies that lead to personal understanding. She facilitates support groups for parents, adults, and women with LD/ADHD. Upon retirement, she developed a client specialty with late adolescent–young adults and women–with the specific goal to help them overcome interference with learning and attention difficulties, allowing them to discover their inner strengths. As a gamer, she develops games and simulations for the learning community. Nationally she has served on the AIGE, CHADD LDA Boards, and is involved with CHADD GA, LDA GA. She has lectured on 5 continents, in 22 foreign countries and in over half of the contiguous states. Her passion is to make a change in individuals’ lives to facilitate a richer and fuller life.
Board Members (1 year term, 2020-2021)
Manju Banerjee, PhD is Vice President of Educational Research and Innovation at Landmark College, Putney, Vermont. She oversees the Landmark College Institute for Research and Training (LCIRT) and the Division of Educational Technology and Online Programs (ETOP). Dr. Banerjee has over 35 years of experience in the field of learning disabilities, ADHD, and postsecondary disability services. She is a certified diagnostician and teacher-consultant on learning disabilities. She has published and presented extensively, both nationally and internationally, on topics such as, disability documentation and accommodations, postsecondary transition, online learning, and universal design.
She has been and currently is PI/Co-PI on several federal, foundational, and NSF grants. Manju Banerjee is on the Executive Board of the Learning Disability Association of America and an editorial board member of the Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability; LD: A Multi-Disciplinary Journal, Professional Advisory Board member to the National Center on Learning Disabilities (NCLD), Learning Disability Association of America, and a consultant to Educational Testing Service, and Understood.org. She received her doctoral degree from the Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut, on the application of universal design to high stakes assessment. See Dr. Banerjee’s clip on UDL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HHvRzemuHA.
Analisa L. Smith has served LDA for many years, being active at the national and state level. Smith has served on the Advocacy, Marketing, Affiliate Support/Membership, Early Childhood, and Mental Health/Juvenile Justice Committee. She is currently co-chair of the Affiliate Support and Membership Committee. Dr. Smith is President of LDA of South Carolina and has served in several positions on the State Executive Board of Directors. Smith has worked for 23 years in the public and private education and is a distance educator, SME, and an educational consultant. Smith holds a B.S. in Elementary and Special Education from Columbia College, a M.Ed. in Education from the University of South Carolina, and a Doctorate of Education in Education Administration from Nova Southeastern University. Smith is the author of Transition Toolbox, a book that focuses upon transition issues and services for the mildly disabled individual. She is the mother of two children, with one son having learning disabilities, and two grandchildren. Smith’s passion is to promote advocacy and support for individuals with LD.