by Joan K. Teach, State Presidents' Representative
by Joan K. Teach, State Presidents’ Representative

The Holidays are over but the percolation of excitement has not died down at the Affiliates level with LDA’s Annual Conference on the horizon.  As our official year of service comes to an end, those Presidents in your local area are as busy as ever.   A highly energetic week will be available to them starting early Monday afternoon and extending to Saturday at the close of Conference.  You may wonder just how involved our State Presidents have become, well – here is just the tip of that iceberg! 

Due to the brainstorming of Shirley Hilts-Adams and Pat Lillie, State Presidents will be able to attend a Local Political Preparedness Boot Camp.  Through a grant from the Learning Disabilities Foundation of America, the Public Policy Committee will provide training on Monday afternoon, and Tuesday morning prior to Conference.  Training, delivered by the LDA Director of Public Policy, Myrna Mandlawitz, Esq., will expand our understanding of the Legislative Process, and teach us how to involve those key approaches necessary to impact law and policy.  The presentation will also help everyone, by defining those specific issues that are critical to assisting individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities.  This is an awesome opportunity to enhance our grass roots impact and spread political impact throughout the states.  Many thanks to these two activists who made this happen. 

February 17, 2015, Tuesday evening, 7:00 – 9:00 PM, will embrace a renewal of friendship with our Annual Membership Reception.  This is a chance for each of you to meet the LDA President’s from each state who are attending the conference, connect with those from your own area and across the nation.  Your National Board President, Nancie Payne, Board of Directors, Professional Advisory Board, speakers and presenters will complete the array of book-covers who are slated to attend.   I hear from the grapevine that door prizes may be available as well as another special treat.  We give many thanks to LDA Illinois, LDA Michigan, Lindamood-Bell Processes and The Regional Center for College Students with Learning Disabilities at Fairleigh Dickinson University for their sponsorship. 

From Wednesday noon-time through Friday, your State Presidents will be working and training to bring you the best of a new look for the next year.  They will be reconnecting with old friends and making new ones, rebooting ideas to try anew, reinforcing the value of our grass roots approach and looking for new and better ways to provide local impact.  By the end of the week we anticipate a rejuvenation of enthusiasm so they can return to you renewed with a fresh vision of LDA at the local helm. 

They will present their activities during the year and an honored Affiliate Accolade Award will be given.  It is amazing how many activities are in constant development, and this is the time to share and admire each and every one of them. 

Just in case you have decided that our Presidents are dawdlers, I also need to remind you that they will be providing you with over 12 of the Conference presentations.  Looking over the topics proposed, the common theme SUCCESS was evident, giving the power of understanding that makes the lives of those dealing with a Specific Learning Disability both promising and possible.    Success begins with the teacher who returns home with tools for classroom innovation.  Jean Lokerson, Virginia, and Mary Webster, Virginia, are providing two sessions of Table Talk, 18 sections in all, as well as a teacher friendly strategy session, all guaranteed to enrich anyone who attends.  Mark Halpert, Florida, is presenting Success by 3rd Grade; Beverly Johns, Illinois, Using RTI and then Behavior Management as a road to success.  Vicki Goshon, Iowa, and Joan Teach, Georgia, address Self Advocacy as a Success Story, and Jean Keuker, Texas, presents Movement for Brain Development as the link to successful thinking.  John Willson, North Carolina, will approach – Motivating the Unmotivated Child as his trail to success.  As a tribute to our success, Melody Musgrove from the Office of Special Education Programs will present What Students with SLD/ADHD Need to Succeed in School and Life.  Jerome Schultz, LDA Professional Advisory Board, Joan Teach, LDA State Presidents’ Representative, and Michael Helman, LDA of Western New York will reflect and field questions.  Success is the format and the plan for a better life! 

This brings us to the end of the year with the election of another State Presidents’ Representative. It has been my pleasure to serve you for this year, and I wish each and every one of you an innovative and successful next year.  Look for me at National Conference, February 16th through February 21st in Chicago. 

I challenge you to make the year ahead, the best one yet.


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