Leadership Team Members:
Kristin Allen is a special education teacher in Regional School District 13. She is a certified Dyslexia Practitioner through IDA and IMSLEC and is in the process of getting trained to be an Orton Gillingham trainer through Western Mass Learning Center. Kristin lives and operates a small farm in Durham, CT with her husband and two children.
Lettitia Long is a certified teacher/literacy specialist, endorsed in English as a Second Language, Special Education, Remedial Reading, and Reading and Language Arts Consultant. Her areas of expertise include assessment, curriculum, and instruction targeted at identifying and remediating struggling readers and writers. Lettitia has experience working with children and families in urban and suburban public schools, education nonprofits, private tutoring, and teaching at the graduate level.
Ryan Kilroy is responsible for National Accounts Marketing at Aetna. He leads a team focused on content and distribution marketing strategies across influencer, direct and sales enabled marketing channels to drive results on behalf of the business segment. Ryan’s long-time fascination with human behavior – he holds a B.S. in Business Marketing from Utah State University and certifications in Ideation and Behavioral Economics – has guided his 18-year career at Aetna. He started in claim management and went on to hold leadership roles in product, consumer, business development and running Aetna’s external for hire communications agency. Energized by data tracking and technology that turns the everyday into a fun day, you’ll find Ryan racing for “King of the Mountain” status with his Strava cycling app or logging his daily 11,000 steps between meetings and at home in Middlefield, CT—keeping up with his wife and two daughters.
Sandra Newbury is a special education teacher for Regional School District #6. She loves reading and learning and has a fiery passion for teaching others how to read. She is certified at the Associate Level with AOGPE and is also certified by the International Dyslexia Association as a Structured Literacy Dyslexia Interventionist. She believes strongly that, in school, there is nothing more important than learning to read. “There is nothing we can teach them in high school that they can’t learn on their own if they know how to read.” Sandra lives in the northwest corner of Connecticut with her husband and two children.
Dr. Kearns is an assistant professor of Special Education in the Department of Educational Psychology in the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut (UConn). He is a research scientist for Haskins Laboratory and the Center for Behavioral Education & Research (CBER). He has a Master’s degree in Elementary Literacy from Loyola Marymount University and a Ph.D. in Special Education from Vanderbilt University.
Dr. Kearns researches reading disability—including dyslexia—in elementary- and middle school-age children. He is an investigator on multiple projects to prevent and remediate reading difficulties funded by the Institute for Education Sciences, the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, and other national and local organizations. He has published research in journals like Journal of Educational Psychology, Journal of Learning Disabilities, Reading Research Quarterly, and Scientific Studies of Reading. He has also published papers for teachers in Teaching Exceptional Children and The Reading Teacher. Dr. Kearns is on the editorial boards of Journal of Educational Psychology, Reading Research Quarterly, The Reading Teacher, and several other journals.
Dr. Kearns has extensive experience as an educator, professional development provider, and curriculum developer. He has seven years of classroom experience as a teacher, literacy coach, and reading specialist. He still regularly works in schools, supporting teachers and teaching reading lessons to students. Dr. Kearns has worked with large and small school districts in urban and rural areas in all regions of the United States and with multiple school boards in Canada.
Brynn Lipstreu is an elementary school teacher in eastern Connecticut. She has a BA in Early Childhood Education from Eastern Connecticut State University, a M.Ed of Educational Technology from American College of Education, and a M.Ed of Educational Leadership from Southern New Hampshire University. Brynn has always had a great desire in helping all students access learning in their own ways and became passionate about dyslexia when her own daughter was diagnosed.
Amy Geary, M.S. Ed., is a reading consultant. She holds master’s degrees in special education, literacy and remedial reading, along with an administrator’s certificate. She is also certified as a Wilson Dyslexia Therapist (Wilson Level II) and as a Structured Literacy Dyslexia Specialist through CERI-IDA. As a public educator for almost 20 years, Amy is passionate about teaching literacy skills to struggling students, as well as educating people about dyslexia.
Migdalia Fletcher, M.S. CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist and the founder of A.L.L. Diagnostics & Consulting LLC, an educational evaluation and consulting company that specializes in language and literacy assessment, intervention, and professional development. In addition to her private practice, Migdalia holds a part-time position with West Hartford Public Schools as their districtwide Pupil Services Curriculum Specialist which enables her to work collaboratively with teachers, school teams, and administrators to design practical and effective language and literacy interventions for students with special education needs. Migdalia graduated with a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Gallaudet University in 1998 and has over 20 years of experience working with children in both private and public school settings.
Elissa Arndt Rader, Ph.D. CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist and reading specialist residing in central Connecticut. She teaches in the graduate education program at Gordon College. Elissa has taught courses ranging from assessment, remediation, and intervention to language acquisition and literacy coaching/professional development. She graduated from Florida State University in 2010 with a Ph.D. in Reading and Language Arts and worked at the Florida Center for Reading Research from 2005-2010.
Jeanne Morgan has served in the field of special education for over 26 years in the Waterford Public Schools. She provides evaluative, diagnostic, and intervention service for students with dyslexia as a Level 2 certified Wilson Therapist and recently has begun providing training for teachers as a Wilson Trainer. Jeanne initiated Waterford’s structured literacy K-12 strategic plan by developing the assessment, diagnostic, and implementation teams for students with dyslexia and establishing standards for qualified dyslexia interventionists. She earned her MS in Special Education from University of Connecticut and 092 Administrative Leadership 6th Year from Southern Connecticut State University and is part of Clark Lane Middle School’s administrative team. Jeanne has worked as a consultant, advocate, tutor, and evaluator privately for almost 20 years helping dyslexic students and families in Southeastern Connecticut.
Sean Cavanaugh is an employee in the Plant Accounting Department at Eversource Energy and attained his BA in Economics from Marist College in 2017. He is an adult with dyslexia and during his college years was a treasurer for Alpha Delta Pi, an honor society for high-achieving college and university students with disabilities. Sean brings to the IDA board his firsthand experience with dyslexia and knowledge of the services available at the high school and college level that helped him succeed.
Cindy Jackson is a Special Education teacher in Rocky Hill. She is a certified Orton Gillingham practitioner through IMSLEC and certified by the International Dyslexia Association as a Structured Literacy Dyslexia Interventionist. Cindy is currently in the process of receiving her 6th-year certificate in Literacy and Language Arts at CCSU. She is very passionate about reading and teaching children to read. Cindy lives in the house that she grew up in with her husband and two sons.
Richard P. Zipoli, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is an associate professor and clinical instructor in the Department of Communication Disorders at Southern Connecticut State University. He received a Ph.D. in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut, with a program of study in special education emphasizing learning and reading disabilities. In 2018, Richard was awarded the Connecticut State Universities Board of Regents Systems-Wide Teaching Award. Richard’s clinical and research interests include childhood and adolescent language disorders, learning disabilities, and reading difficulties, as well as service delivery in high need schools.
Jaclyn Manzo has been providing specialized instruction to students both in the public school and private setting for over ten years. Jaclyn received her bachelor’s degree from Providence College in Elementary and Special Education and then went on to pursue a Master’s Degree in Reading. She received her associate-level Orton Gillingham Certification and IDA Dyslexia Practitioner certificate in 2017 and is currently pursuing the Orton Gillingham certified level through the Southport School. She also received training in the Lindamood-Bell Phoneme Sequencing Program (LiPS). She has taught in both the Massachusetts and Connecticut School Systems, in Marlborough and Fairfield respectively.
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