The Board of Directors
My name is Kayla Steltenkamp. I am a wife, mother, and special education teacher. I taught for almost seven years before learning about Dyslexia. It is now my passion, and my PhD research interest to promote, educate, and be a resource about dyslexia. I would be happy to serve on the IDA board and help as the treasure to organize finding and be sure that IDA-KY can be a positive influence for our state.
Jamie Miller is an Elementary ECS Instructional Coach for Oldham County Schools. With twenty years of classroom, consulting, and coaching experience, she received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Learning Disabilities from Purdue University and her Master’s degree in Educational Technology and Instructional Design from San Diego State University. Her primary focus is to support teachers, parents, and students by utilizing her expertise and training in Multi-sensory Approach to Reading Success (MARS), The Language Tool Kit, and Orton-Gillingham. The past year, Jamie has played an integral part of Oldham County’s Dyslexia Task Force and has reached out to key community experts and parents in partnership. She believes that partnering and collaborating with these audiences is a key component in promoting the objectives set forth by IDA. Having these entities working together and moving toward real solutions will bring the changes we wish to see .. A Future Full of Readers!
My name is Kevin Ruschman and I am a father of 2 boys, ages 9 and 7. My oldest, Liam, was diagnosed with severe Dyslexia in the second grade and changed the trajectory of our lives. I have experienced the struggles first hand of being a parent and wanting to help your child in any way possible but not knowing where to begin. I came across the IDA Kentucky website and found a nearby Dyslexia simulation which my wife and I attended. Since that day I have continued to learn more about how truly incredible Dyslexia is and, along with my son’s great attitude, we are now going full steam ahead. I have made it my mission to not only help my son have every opportunity possible but to also help to educate parents, teachers, administrators, and anyone else who will listen about Dyslexia. The difference between having the proper knowledge and being lost as a parent can truly change a child’s life and I plan to do anything I can to help be on the positive side of that.
Shirley Carter has just joined the ranks of those carrying the torch for dyslexia. She lives in Lexington with her husband, Austin, and is a lifeline for her granddaughter. Not only does Shirley provide transportation for her granddaughter to her tutoring sessions, but she has begun tutoring herself, using the Barton Reading & Spelling method. One of the most meaningful things she has done on granddaughter’s behalf is to jump in wholeheartedly to learn everything she can about dyslexia. Shirley has attended IEP meetings and conscientiously stood her ground in obtaining classroom accommodations, has purchased a Livescribe pen to encourage the use of technology, and is looking for ways to tutor and advocate for other children with learning differences. Shirley has poured her professional skills into making a difference where it really counts.
Tiffany Ballard has struggled with reading since elementary school. She was told that she had a problem with reading comprehension. These struggles became worse during high school. She was diagnosed with dyslexia in her senior year of high school. She had 3 meetings before she was given a 504 Plan. She started receiving tutoring at The Learning Center in Bowling Green. After receiving the proper tutoring, her ACT scores improved and she met all benchmarks. This summer she told her story at a public forum held by the Kentucky State Advisory Panel for Exceptional Children. This panel then developed a recommendation for KDE for children with dyslexia. Since then, she has contacted and met with a local senator to discuss the lack of services for children with dyslexia in the school system. She is currently looking at HB 69 and if this has been implemented correctly. She wants to continue to advocate for children like herself. She is now a freshman in college. She is honored to be on the IDA Kentucky board.
Mary Balthaser is an adult with dyslexia, who was not identified until the end of 11th grade, because of the struggles she faced with her own learning, she has dedicated her life to educating children like herself. She has a special ed degree from Southeastern Louisiana University and has worked at The de Paul School for over 17 years. She is interested in serving on the IDA-Kentucky Board to help educate those who do not understand dyslexia and to be a part of the solution.
I am a mom of a 16-year-old dyslexic son and a 10-year-old daughter. I want to help spread dyslexia awareness so that every child can learn to read. My goal is twofold: to help parents navigate their dyslexia journey in the best possible way for their child/children and family, and to see the public education system in the state of Kentucky acknowledge and provide appropriate educational strategies for dyslexic children.
Susanne Hannigan is the owner of Literacy Links of Louisville, providing research-based literacy support to individuals, families, schools, and organizations interested in identifying and developing literacy abilities. She is a National Board Certified Teacher-Exceptional Needs, with over 25 years of public and private school teaching experience as a special educator and literacy specialist. Throughout her many years of teaching, Susanne has been awarded several public and private education grants to better serve her students, and she has been named a Teacher-of-the-Year for her collaborative work with teachers and exceptional needs students. Trained in Orton-Gillingham, Barton Reading, and Spelling, and other research-based structured literacy methods, Susanne has instructed countless bright students in reading, spelling, and writing. Most recently, Susanne has become a field observer for Georgetown College, with the role of providing direct support, feedback, and professional development to student teachers in the field of LBD. Susanne’s mission with the IDAKY Board is to work collaboratively to increase dyslexia awareness and knowledge, to support the need for appropriate early assessment, identification, intervention, and progress monitoring practices for dyslexic learners, and to provide advocacy to students and families throughout the state of Kentucky.
Laura Noe is the director of Learning Boost Educational Services located in Louisville, KY. She is also a clinician with Lexercise providing structured literacy therapy to students around the United States. She has 25 years of teaching experience and graduated from Western Kentucky University and the University of Louisville.
Rosanna Gabriele lives with her husband and four children in Anchorage, Kentucky. A graduate of the University of Rochester, Rosanna is thrilled to serve on the board for the Kentucky Branch of the International Dyslexia Association. Both of her sons have dyslexia and dysgraphia. She is dedicated to spreading dyslexia awareness and creating greater understanding of the struggles dyslexic students face in our schools.
Mrs. Brenda McCray is a self-employed Dyslexia Consultant with a master’s degree in Reading & Writing K-12. Upon leaving the classroom 6-1/2 years ago, to teach independently, she became certified by Susan Barton to screen for dyslexia. Mrs. McCray provides dyslexia simulations that give people firsthand experience as to what it feels like to have the learning difference. Besides playing the piano and organ for her church, she tutors in Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband, Robert, and makes it a mission to enlighten and encourage parents and kids at every opportunity.
My name is Ashley Wright and I’m currently employed as a school psychologist in a small rural district in South Central Kentucky. As part of my role, I assist with completing evaluations for students suspected of having disabilities that would enable them to receive special education. A common request or interest from parents is whether their child who is struggling with reading could have dyslexia. This has led me to spend time reading more about dyslexia on my own time so I am better equipped to answer questions from both teachers and parents. I am also curious about ways to help students who may struggle with reading despite not qualifying for special education with a specific learning disability in reading. As you can imagine, this outcome can be frustrating for everyone involved. I’ve been able to help the elementary school in my district obtain an intervention program that is designed for children with dyslexia, and I’m currently implementing this program with an elementary school student for 30 minutes a day. At this time we have 2-3 other staff members trained to implement this program, and they are doing so in a one-on-one setting with a handful of students. As a professional in a school district, I can empathize with the frustration felt by parents, and provide information on the perspective of schools and state regulations that staff are required to follow.
I am a wife to a dyslexic husband and a mom to two dyslexic children, ages 8 and 10. My first child was diagnosed in second grade with dyslexia and dyscalculia. My second child was diagnosed this year with the same learning difference. I am passionate about spreading dyslexia awareness in our community and within our school system. I also love learning to be the most effective advocate for my children. I look forward to helping others become knowledgeable about dyslexia and hoping to help implement early diagnosis within our school systems.
Amy Wayne Broyles is a mother of a dyslexic child and a former teacher. She is passionate about spreading dyslexia awareness.
My name is Anita Long, and I am a Montessori teacher, an Orton-Gillingham tutor, and a parent of a child with dyslexia.
I completed my training in the Orton-Gillingham method in 2010 at the Children’s Dyslexia Center of Cincinnati. Since that time, I have provided tutoring at the CDCoC and in private practice. Additionally, I have been an early childhood Montessori teacher since 2004 and have facilitated in-service programs at local schools on recognizing the signs of dyslexia and classroom accommodations. I also provide education and resources to the families and classroom teachers of my private students.
It is my mission to connect families and teachers to the resources that will assist their dyslexic learners and to spread awareness of the signs of dyslexia so that every child whose learning is impacted by dyslexia will receive the appropriate reading instruction to ensure their success.
Rachelle Schmitz, MA, CCC-SLP, CALT, CDT is a speech-language pathologist and reading specialist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in the Division of Speech-Language Pathology (9 years) and the Reading and Literacy Discovery Center (for the past 5 years). She is the mother of three wonderfully crazy children. Her main clinical specialty areas of language and reading disorders led her to fulfill a two-year vice president position for the International Dyslexia Association-Kentucky Branch from 2014-2016. Training and certifications include an IMSLEC accredited Orton-Gillingham prog, Certified Academic Language Therapist, and Certified Dyslexia Therapist. Her passion is educating and empowering families. Helping children access the grade-level curriculum and demonstrate their knowledge to their fullest ability.
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