LDA Officers and Directors Elected

The following officers and directors were elected by the Assembly of Delegates during their Annual Meeting on Friday, February 17, 2017, at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. Patricia M. Lillie, LDA President, will continue in the second year of her two-year term.

BethMcGaw1st Vice President: 1-year term, 2017-2018
Beth McGaw, Texas

Beth McGaw became an outspoken advocate for children with learning disabilities after her youngest son was diagnosed at an early age. She has served the LDA Georgia state chapter as vice president and was voted Volunteer of the Year in 2009. Although Beth started her career as an industrial engineer, she pursued a passion for education, obtaining an EdM from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She co-founded the award-winning, Atlanta-based magazine Kids Enabled and led its conversion to a not-for-profit digital resource. After moving to Dallas in 2010, Beth received certification in nonprofit management. In 2012, she was elected to the LDA Board of Directors and currently serves as co-chair of the Communications Committee. Beth works as an independent educational consultant, helping families and their students with learning disabilities, attention deficit and/or autism spectrum disorders locate options to transition to the post-secondary level. She also serves as director of transition services for LaunchAbility a nonprofit based in Dallas, TX.


Running for a 1-year term for 2017-2018
2nd Vice President:
Analisa Smith from South Carolina

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 EdM 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.  The mother of two children, she has a son with Asperger’s and several learning disabilities.  Her passion is to work with LDA to promote advocacy and support for individuals with LD to ease their path of learning.

Loreena ParksRunning for a 1-year term for 2017-2018
Secretary: Lori Parks from Michigan

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.

Running for a 1-year term for 2017-2018
Treasurer: Jonathan Jones from Wyoming

Jonathan Jones is founder and director emeritus of SOAR, 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 has served on the LDA Board of Directors, is currently treasurer, and has served on or chaired numerous committees including Finance, Mental Health/Juvenile Justice, Adult Topics, 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 LDA 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.

rosecallowayRunning as a member of the Board of Directors for a 3-year term from 2017-2020
Rose Calloway from Georgia

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 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.  Today Rose works as a family engagement specialist for the Morehouse School of Medicine’s REACH (Racial & Ethical Approaches to Community Health) program in 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.    Rose also volunteers with the Atlanta Public Schools as a parent mentor, sitting on panels, hosting workshops, and providing one-to-one consultation with parents at their request.

evieRunning as a member of the Board of Directors for a 3-year term from 2017-2020
Evie Lindberg from Oklahoma

Evalynne (Evie) W. Lindberg has experience in special education, academics, accreditation, and assessments to provide the background needed to address critical issues in special education today. She holds a BA from Oral Roberts University (ORU), an MA from the University of Tulsa, and an EdD in Educational Leadership: Public School Administration from ORU.  Evie has been a special education instructor for more than 35 years, has worked as a psychiatric adolescent unit instructor, a visual therapist, and an advocate for individuals with disabilities. She also has served as a committee member for the National Evaluation Systems and has experience administering in-service training and diagnostic assessments for the ORU and Tulsa communities. More recently Evie has worked as an associate professor in ORU’s Undergraduate Department, College of Education, where she prepares special education teacher candidates.  She has published numerous articles and authored a book chapter on “Religion, Culture, Curriculum, and Diversity in the 21st Century.” Evie has been an LDA member for more than 35 years. She is currently president of LDA of Oklahoma, serves on the LDA Board of Directors, and co-chairs the Education Committee. She was designated “Top Female of the Year” by Worldwide Branding for Excellence in Special Education Management. A member of the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society, Evie was Scholar of the Year for the ORU College of Education.  She presents at the local, state and national levels.

Running as a member of the Board of Directors for a 3-year term from 2017-2020
BJ Wiemer from Missouri

B.J. Wiemer has many years of LDA service in her experience. She has held the positions of first and second vice president, secretary, board liaison, state presidents’ representative, and member of the Board of Directors, as well as participating on the Advocacy, Affiliate Support/Membership, Education, Public Policy, Bylaws/Policy, Conference, Conference Program, and Nominating committees. She also has 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, developing an extensive resource library, and fostering 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 BS in Elementary and Special Education from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, an EdM in Counseling from the University of Missouri, and a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from Saint Louis University.

SylviaRunning as a member of the Board of Directors for a 3-year term from 2017-2020
Sylvia Youngblood from California

Sylvia is the mother of four children, one girl and three boys: All have specific learning disabilities, and her three boys are on the autism spectrum. For more than 20 years, Sylvia has been advocating for her own children and assisting other parents in their advocacy efforts.  As a parent of children with special needs, she said you 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.  To that end, she has attended numerous conferences, seminars, presentations, workshops, trainings, and classes to further her advocacy skills.  Sylvia has worked in administration for more than 25 years with companies that have cultivated her knowledge and abilities, an experience that has proved invaluable as she has applied administrative and leadership skills to managing IEPs and advocating for her children. Sylvia is co-founder and Southern California administrator of the Community Advisory Committee Leadership Collaborative (CACLC), a grass roots organization dedicated to connecting CACs across California and raising awareness in the special needs community of the importance of legislative process, community involvement, decision making, and the vital role of public input. She participates in various collaborative groups and task forces that address the issues of the special needs community.  Sylvia is a strong supporter of giving back; positive, effective and meaningful collaboration; and bridging and filling the gaps to strengthen and build positive role models and leaders within our special needs community.

nancyRunning as a member of the Board of Directors for a 1-year term from 2017-2018
Nancy Hammill from New Jersey

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.

Return to LDA Today, Vol.4 No.1- Home Page