Board of Directors
Lisa Harrah, M.S.
Lisa A. Harrah – A native of the Richmond area, Lisa received her undergraduate degree in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University and a master of science in Special Education from Longwood University. She is a licensed teacher in the state of Virginia with an endorsement in Learning Disabilities K-12. She is also a Wilson Language System certified instructor.
Lisa owns a specialized instruction business, All About Words, where she implements individualized, multi-sensory instruction in reading and writing to students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. Prior to opening her business, Lisa was the Reading Resource Teacher at Stonewall Jackson Middle School in Hanover County where she taught language skills to students with dyslexia and learning disabilities in multiple settings. While with Hanover, she also coordinated reading services for students with learning disabilities within her school, as well as with other Reading Resource Teachers across the County.
Prior to 2006, Lisa served as a Head Start Family Services Coordinator with Hanover County Schools. During her time as a Social Worker, Lisa worked with children and adults with all types of disabilities for Hanover Community Services Board, Chesterfield Community Services Board, and The United Way. Of all of her positions within the community, Lisa has found her passion teaching and advocating for those individuals with dyslexia.
Dana Calo received her undergraduate degree in speech language pathology and Master’s degree in Special Education from Old Dominion University. She began her teaching career as a resource teacher for students with learning disabilities and English as a second language at Cape Henry Collegiate School in Virginia Beach, Virginia which led to becoming director of the Academic Enrichment Services program for grades K-12.
From 2007-2013, Dana continued her administrative duties as Director of Lower School at Chesapeake Bay Academy, a private K-12 school for students with various learning differences in Virginia Beach. She is now the Director of Enrollment Management at the school guiding families through the admissions and financial aid process.
Dana is licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia as a Special Educator, Learning Disabilities, K-12. She is pleased to be a board member of VBIDA and seeks opportunities to bring dyslexia awareness to the Hampton Roads community with local workshops and fundraising opportunities.
Lisa Snider has worked with children experiencing academic difficulties due to reading disabilities, ADHD, and processing disorders as a teacher and private tutor. Learning early on the benefits of Orton-Gillingham instruction, she pursued training in a variety of methods including Wilson and Lindmood-Bell programs. She believes early intervention is critical for a child experiencing academic difficulties and currently works as a curriculum and academic support specialist.
Lisa holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Longwood University along with a Master of Science degree in Special Education and has a Post- Master Certification in Supervision from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is certified in Virginia to teach special education in grades NK-12.
Having a child who struggled with reading, Lisa understands the impact of learning disabilities on children and families. She has seen first hand the power of structured remediation and how it can change a child’s outlook.
Zenia Burnett is the Special Education and Transition Services Coordinator for Chesterfield County Public Schools. She supervises instructional programming for students with disabilities and coaches teacher leadership. She has been a special education teacher and worked in various leadership roles in Virginia’s Regions 1 and 2. Dr. Burnett completed a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Virginia Tech where she is an adjunct professor. A lifelong learner, Dr. Burnett is currently pursuing an endorsement as a Reading Specialist at Longwood University. Dr. Burnett is enthusiastic about the meaningful work with VBIDA to help advance the agenda for persons with dyslexia and the committed professionals that teach them!
Dwana Cooper has 28 years in education (25 in Newport News Public Schools), and has lead at school and division levels. Her school leadership experiences have included serving as Freshman Transition Lead Teacher, Special Education Lead Teacher, Youth Development Team Leader, Project LEAP Team Leader and I’m Determined Team Leader. At the district level, she served as the Transition Coordinator and currently serves as an Instructional Supervisor for grades k-12. In this role, she trains special education teachers in literacy practices as a Certified Wilson Language Instructor and District Facilitator for Wilson Just Words Reading Program Supervisor and provides instructional support for special education teachers and instructional assistants through professional development workshops and site-based instructional opportunities. Her previous experience as a Trainer and Scorer for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards through Pearson has also helped her to recognize and understand quality teaching standards. Dwana feels strongly about shaping the minds of young people. She enjoys the love of her family and dog, the fellowship of friends, shopping and laughing, and living life to the fullest.
Dr. Jackie S. Daniel, DNP, WHNP, FNP obtained her Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner certification in 1999 and her Family Nurse Practitioner certification in 2005. Dr. Daniel works full-time as an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Longwood University and part-time as a Nurse Practitioner for VCU-CMH. Dr. Daniel is married to her husband, Bucky, and has three sons. Dr. Daniel enjoys spending time with her family and pets.
Megan Duke received her undergraduate degree from The University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Masters in Special Education from The College of William and Mary. Megan Is licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia as a Special Educator, Learning Disabilities, K-12. She began teaching at Chesapeake Bay Academy in Virginia Beach and is currently a Teacher for Virginia Beach City Public Schools. She works as the special education committee chairperson and department chair for her school. She has been on various committees throughout the city for continued improvement in the area of special education in the public school system. She loves teaching her students with varying disabilities including dyslexia and educating families about school and community resources.
Lorraine M. Hightower
As an Educational Advocate, Lorraine Hightower works with all stakeholders to create a positive relationship that ensures the best possible outcome for the child. Lorraine assists families at every stage of the special education process and remains dedicated to her mission ~ to ensure that the 1 in 5 children with dyslexia have the supports and services they need to be successful!
She is a recognized advocate with proven success, supporting children of all ages in both public and private school settings. Through personal outreach, she continues to inform and influence local education leaders, legislators and community members on best practices for children with specific learning disabilities. She has been instrumental in affecting change both locally and statewide to include providing teachers with specialized reading instruction and helping pass four state laws that benefit students with dyslexia and the staff who work with them.
Lorraine is a trained Mediator and a Certified Dyslexia Advocate. She holds a B.S. degree from the University of South Carolina, is a state leader for Decoding Dyslexia Virginia and serves on the Virginia Branch International Dyslexia Association Board. In 2016, she was selected as the state “Child Advocate of the Year” by the Virginia Parent Teachers Association. She has received national recognition for her work in improving the health and welfare of all children. Her advocacy and consulting business is based out of Lansdowne, Virginia with a focus on serving children in Loudoun, Fairfax, Prince William, Frederick and Fauquier counties.
Jill McGlaughlin, her husband, Chad, and two children, Grady and Marley, live in Keezletown, Va. She is the President and Owner of Classic Kitchen & Bath in Harrisonburg, VA. Jill’s professional and community involvement includes serving as the current 2nd Vice President for Region 2 of the Home Builders Association of Virginia; Board of Directors member of GO Virginia Region-8 and the ALS Association DC/MD/VA Chapter as well as a Life-Director of the Shenandoah Valley Builders Association (SVBA); Past-President of the SVBA for 2011-2012; Past-Chairwoman of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors in 2014; Past-Board of directors for the Explore More Discovery Museum, Rockingham Educational Foundation (REFI) and, James Madison University Duke Club. Jill is also a dedicated member of Decoding Dyslexia Virginia and is active in the General Assembly sessions with the grass-roots organization. She is a passionate advocate for dyslexia as both her children and husband are all dyslexic.
Sandra T. Morton
Sandra T. Morton is a Virginia certified language arts teacher and school librarian who holds a Master degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Sandra has worked with public school students from levels Pre-K through grade 12. She became interested in dyslexia when she noticed that there were many students who moved through her language arts and library programs who could not read.
Over the last few years, Sandra has completed training in using Orton-Gillingham based instructional tools to work with students who are dyslexic or have a related learning disorder. She recently founded a nonprofit organization with a mission to provide “multi-sensory teaching and tutoring and other related services to students in grades three through twelve who have learning challenges including reading problems and associated language based learning difficulties…”
Sandra works a regular schedule as a volunteer tutoring students at a local junior high school. She is excited to see her time and energy and the student’s hard work have such a notable impact on their reading progress.
Angela Taylor received a degree in Chemistry from Rutgers University. She worked for Ortho Biotech before becoming alternate route certified through the critical needs program. She is a licensed teacher in Virginia and South Carolina and is National Board Certified in Early Adolescence Science. She has worked with public and private school students from levels 5 through 12. She has worked with children with learning differences throughout her 17 years of teaching. She is currently an upper school science teacher at The New Community School in Richmond, Virginia. This will be her fifth year at The New Community School. Prior to moving to Richmond four years ago, she taught in South Carolina. She is a South Carolina Master Naturalist and volunteers with Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Angela loves to share her passion for science with her students and feels it is a great subject to teach to students with learning differences because it is hands-on and can build on their strengths and help them find their passion.
Wendy Wall is the Owner and Director of Learning & Behavior Specialists, LLC. She received her undergraduate degree in Learning Disabilities from James Madison University in 1991. She graduated with honors and attended the University of Arizona where she received her master’s degree in Special Education and Rehabilitation in 1994. She participated in a unique program of study designed by Dr. Samuel Kirk, who is recognized as “The Father of Learning Disabilities,” for coining the term learning disability and pioneering the field.
While at Arizona, Wendy assisted Dr. Nancy Mather and Dr. Rhia Roberts in the process of writing Informal Assessment and Instruction in Written Language: A Practitioner’s Guide for Students with Learning Disabilities. Her university training was under the tutelage of many of the world’s most renowned experts, researchers, and authors in the field of special education. Under the direction of these experts, Wendy extensively studied advanced assessment, reading and written language instruction, dyslexia diagnosis and intervention, oral language disabilities, multicultural-bilingual disabilities, special education, consultation, and assessment. She also completed field work as a diagnostician, oral language therapist, and prescriptive educator.
Currently, Wendy is on the board of the Virginia Branch of the International Dyslexia Association. Wendy is a Certified Academic Language Practitioner through the Academic Language Therapy Association and a Structured Literacy Dyslexia Specialist through the International Dyslexia Association’s Center for Effective Reading Instruction. She recently earned her Certificate of Trainer of Teachers through the Simultaneous Multisensory Institute of Language Arts, which is accredited by the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council. She is the only professional in Western VA with those designations. In addition to her remarkable professional training, has completed “Highly Qualified Special Educator” training and certification in Processing and Cognitive Enhancement and Master the Code. She provides several structured literacy/Orton-Gillingham based programs including the highly regarded Slingerland program. She has earned membership in the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators.
Her many years of experience include assessing and educating students with learning disabilities, dyslexia, and attention deficit disorders (grades K-12) in the public schools and in the private sector. She has mentored student teachers and has guest lectured for teachers in training for University of Arizona, University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Hollins University, and Virginia Western Community College. She is married and has two sons and a daughter.
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