Board of Directors
- Nancy Hennessy
Nancy has a B.A. in Psychology, an M.Ed. Learning Disabilities, is a Certified Regular Education Teacher, a Special Education Teacher, and a Learning Disabilities Consultant & Supervisor of Instruction (New Jersey). She is a former Lead Trainer of Wilson Language Systems & National Trainer for Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS), OG Training. Nancy also served as the president of the International Dyslexia Association from 2003-2005. She has developed teacher training programs and presented speeches throughout the United States.
- Laura Daniels
Laura Daniels has taught elementary school for sixteen years. She has enjoyed teaching second, third and fourth grades and serving as a Reading Interventionist. Laura’s passion for helping all children learn to read led her to be trained in the Orton-Gillingham approach. Laura has served as a private tutor for elementary aged children.
- Nancy Brewer
Nancy Brewer has been a special educator for 36 years in the public schools of North Carolina. She has also taught five summers at The Hill School in Wilmington, North Carolina. Her current passion is teaching students with dyslexia and other reading struggles. She is trained in several evidence based reading programs and is a certified Reading Research to Classroom Practice instructor. Nancy is also trained to deliver Dyslexia Capacity Building PD. This Fall, Nancy was recognized with the 2017 Exceptional Children’s Teacher of Excellence Award for New Hanover County.
- Nikki Whitley
Nikki Whitley received her B.A. in Elementary Education at Elon University. She has taught in the public and private school settings. Nikki taught at The Hill School of Wilmington for seven years and is level 2 IMSLEC certified. She currently works in Wilmington as a tutor and consultant with families of children with learning differences. She enjoys educating parents and teachers on implementing best practices, helping them establish achievable goals for their children. She advocates for and seeks to find answers for families navigating the world of dyslexia and other learning differences.
- Beth Couch
Beth received her B.A. in Education with a minor in Special Education and M.Ed. from Clarion University in Pennsylvania. Beth taught at Hamilton-Martin in Pittsburgh, PA and taught at Lucille Hunter Elementary School in Raleigh, NC. Additional training included: Reading Certification, O-G training from JoAnn Crawford, and Wilson Level I Certification. Beth, now retired, continues to work with dyslexia students. Beth’s passion is helping students learn to read, write, spell, and speak.
- Kris Cox, Past President
Kris A. Cox is the Executive Director of READ••WRITE••SPELL (READWS) in Winston-Salem, NC. In addition to her duties at READWS, Kris is the President of the North Carolina chapter of the International Dyslexia Association board and serves on the NC Reading Improvement Commission. Kris has a passion for advocating for ALL struggling readers and she believes that structured literacy training should be available to all elementary teachers and structured literacy instruction should be accessible to all students. Kris is a licensed teacher in birth-6th grade. She is married to her husband, Chris Cox, and has 5 children in the public school system.
- Lynne Loeser
Lynne Loeser, M.Ed., is the statewide consultant for Specific Learning Disabilities and ADHD at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Lynne has led statewide efforts on specially designed instruction and progress monitoring within a multi-tiered system of support, dyslexia and revisions of state policy for students with Specific Learning Disabilities. Lynne graduated from the University of Kentucky with a BS in Elementary and Special Education and earned a Master’s Degree from the University of Louisville in Learning and Behavior Disorders. She has earned National Board Certification as an Exceptional Needs Specialist and serves on the boards of the NC branch of the International Dyslexia Association, the NC Council for Exceptional Children Division for Learning Disabilities and the Hill Center of Durham.
- Sara Gray Horne
Sara Gray has a B.A. in Elementary Education and an M.Ed. in Special Education from UNC-Chapel Hill. As a faculty member, teacher trainer, and project coordinator at Hill Learning Center in Durham for 35 years, Sara Gray works with public and private school teachers to help them successfully implement HillRAP, a tech-enabled structured literacy program. Sara Gray is married to Mike, and they live in Bermuda Run, North Carolina, with their beagle, Daisy.
- Jennifer Hunt
- Jennie Creason
Jennie Creason is a passionate educator who first developed her love of literacy instruction while teaching second and third grade in Charlotte, North Carolina. After earning a Masters of Education (2012) with a focus in literacy from Charlotte’s Queens University, her interest in individualized instruction continued to grow. She went on to complete more than 100 hours of Orton-Gillingham coursework, and she’s certified at the Associate’s Level. Additionally, she’s recognized by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) as a certified dyslexia practitioner. Determined to support as many students as possible, Jennie tutors full time using the Orton-Gillingham approach, teaches an undergrad course on literacy at her alma mater Queens, creates and shares literacy materials, and conducts local professional developments for educators interested in learning more about dyslexia and multisensory education.
- Kyla Crews
As the reading specialist for my school, I believe that it is part of my role to consistently obtain/expand on any knowledge as it relates to literacy/language instruction. This supports my instruction/interventions for my students as well supports the knowledge I deliver to other educators. I believe becoming a candidate for board membership will deepen my knowledge on dyslexia. This will then help me in spreading awareness , educating, and supporting teachers, colleagues, and students.
- Margaret Hemric
I began my career providing therapy for adult stroke and head injury patients in hospitals and clinics, and I continued to build on those language-based and cognitive skills as I moved to a school setting at Charlotte Country Day School to provide support for students struggling with reading and learning. My focus on JK-4th grade students gave me a great lab in which to develop strengths in early intervention, assessment, and discernment about the most important skills needed for teachers and students. While I retired two years ago, I consider myself a lifelong learner and remain interested in and passionate about dyslexia and other factors that impact learning.
- Jennifer McConnell
Jennifer McConnell is a psychological associate with Southeast Psych in Charlotte, North Carolina. She received a BA in Psychology from the University of Virginia, and both an MA in Psychology and an Ed.S. in School Psychology from The Citadel. She has worked both in public schools and in private practice completing evaluations with children in order to better understand their overall learning strengths and weaknesses, learning differences, attention challenges, and/or emotional challenges. She also provides counseling support for children and their families related to a variety of concerns such as anxiety, depression, and behavior management, as well as academic consultations and coaching. She is passionate about helping children with learning differences and their families better understand their learning profiles, determine strategies to help them compensate for or remediate any underlying challenges, and find more success in all environments.
- Jeanette Meachem
Jeanette Meachem is an advocate and founder of Dyslexia Advocacy Group of the Carolinas. She is dedicated to spreading awareness as well as providing support for parents/guardians, and educators of dyslexic students. Since 2010 Jeanette has made the well being of dyslexic children her primary goal. She has worked with parents and school systems to develop individualized education program and interventions for students with dyslexia. She’s lobbied on behalf of families in the state of North Carolina which has resulted in NC’s first dyslexia law. Jeanette has hosted numerous dyslexia awareness events at local libraries, schools, and universities in an effort to educate the community on dyslexia. She believes by teaching students to embrace dyslexia we open the doors to self discovery as well as give them the lifelong gift of a positive self awareness. Jeanette Meachem is a wife and proud mother of two sons. She enjoys art, music, cooking and baseball (spectator only;-)
- Kristy Privette
Kristy is a parent of a dyslexic child, which ignited her passion to learn more about dyslexia and to educate others. Being a North Carolina educator in Union County, she has taught kindergarten through second grade. Currently, Kristy is an English as a Second Language teacher. She holds an Orton-Gillingham Classroom Level Certification and understands the multisensory approach to teaching dyslexic students. Kristy has served on the Special Needs Advisory Council for Union County Public Schools for three years, completing her tenure in May, 2019. She is a graduate of University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a BA in Education.
- Pryor Rayburn, President
Pryor is the Director of the Lower School Educational Resource Program at Charlotte Country Day School. Pryor taught in the classroom for 4 years and she was a reading tutor at Charlotte Country Day School for two years. After having children, she was a private tutor for ten years. She is a Certified member of the Academy of Orton Gillingham Practitioners and Educators and completed her training under AOGPE fellows Pat Langston and JoAnn Crawford. Pryor is passionate about helping teachers, parents, and students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. She has a BA in Art History. Credentials include CALP (ALTA), Certified AOGPE Orton Tutor, and Dyslexia Practitioner (IDA).
- Hallie Rojeski
Hallie Rojeski serves as the Head of School at The John Crosland School in Charlotte, NC. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Special Education and a master’s degree in Low Incidence Disorders – both earned with honors from East Carolina University. She also holds a Post-Master’s Certificate in School Administration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She brings 17 years of teaching and leadership experience to Crosland.
- Nancy Coffman
Nancy Coffman is the Director of the Shelton Academic Reading Approach (SARA) for the June Shelton School and Evaluation Center in Dallas, Texas. She taught learning different students, oversaw the alphabetic phonics program at The Shelton School, and was an original contributor to the Shelton Model for Organization and Study Skills. Nancy holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from The University of the South, a master’s degree in special education from Vanderbilt University, is a Certified Academic Language Therapist, a Qualified Instructor in Alphabetic Phonics, a Licensed Dyslexia Therapist in Texas, and an adjunct instructor for Dallas Baptist University. In addition to providing training in Structured Literacy, or MSLE techniques, to teachers both nationally and internationally, she is a frequent speaker at conferences related to serving students who learn differently. Nancy is a member of the International Dyslexia Association (serving on the board and on the Standards and Practices subcommittee), the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council, and the Academic Language Therapy Association (ALTA). Nancy is a past president of both the Alliance for Accreditation and Certification of Structured Language Education, Inc. (Alliance) and of ALTA. Most importantly, Nancy is the proud parent of three children, two of whom are diagnosed with dyslexia. These two children, now successful adults, ignited her passion for serving students who learn differently. Nancy lives in Asheville, North Carolina.
- Deb Luckett
Deborah is the Grant Coordinator for the CLASS Grant (Counseling Leaders Advancing School Safety) at Buncombe County Schools. She works with 27 intermediate and elementary schools implementing comprehensive school counseling programs utilizing both the Second Step curricula and the online Devereux Student Strengths Assessment. She also assists with the implementation of the Compassionate Schools model that assists schools in creating caring and nurturing schools while understanding the impact of trauma and chronic stress on students. She recently took on this role after 10 years of working as a school counselor at the elementary, middle and high school levels in North Carolina and Colorado. Deborah integrates her knowledge about chronic stress/trauma into practical classroom strategies to help all students including students with dyslexia. Deborah graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1991 with a degree in Psychology and completed her Masters in Education, Counseling at the University of Houston in 1997. In addition, she has been serving as a Board Member of the North Carolina International Dyslexia Association since 2014. Deborah is also the parent of a high school daughter who was diagnosed with dyslexia in 3rd grade and now attends the Nesbitt Discovery STEM School.
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