2019 SPEAKERS

Fumiko Hoeft Md. Ph.D

Fumiko Hoeft, M.D., Ph.D., a psychiatrist and cognitive neuroscientist, is a professor of psychological sciences and director of the Brain Imaging Research Center at the University of Connecticut. She is also director of the Laboratory for Learning Engineering and Neural Systems (brainLENS) at UConn/UCSF. She plays leadership roles at UCSF Dyslexia Center and at Haskins Laboratories.

 

Her research focuses on the brain mechanisms underlying learning, reading acquisition and dyslexia, as well as concepts like motivation and resilience. Her team develops tools like a school readiness and dyslexia screener app and a toolkit that assesses socio-emotional competencies. 

Monday Morning Keynote Speaker

Brad Barton

How does a dyslexic special education student from a struggling family go on to graduate with honors from university? Having an educator who believed in Brad did not make his journey easy, but it did make it possible.

 

Brad will share inspiring experience as he shares his journey from being a  high risk youth to becoming an honors graduate, NCAA All-American & world record breaking athlete, a best-selling author and master magician.

Monday Lunch Keynote Speaker

Linda Farell M.Ed.

Volunteering to teach adult struggling readers was a natural for Linda, who is a former English teacher (teaching middle school in Utah in the 70's), school counselor, and lifelong bookworm. Linda met her mentor, Dr. Louisa Moats, while she was volunteering to teach adults to read. She has since coauthored the Teaching Reading Essentials Program Guide and Coaches Guide with Dr. Moats.

Linda is also coauthor, with Michael Hunter, of Phonics Blitz™ (1st Edition), Phonics Boost™, and the Diagnostic Decoding Surveys. Linda was a National LETRS Trainer with Dr. Moats for seven years.

Tuesday Morning Keynote Speaker

David Hurford Ph.D.

Psychologist and researcher who specializes in dyslexia/reading difficulties and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). He is a professor and chair of the Department of Psychology and Counseling at Pittsburg State University and directs the Center for Research, Evaluation and Awareness of Dyslexia (Center for READing) at the same institution. In addition, he is the president of Reading Screening, LLC and the manager of the Center for the Assessment and Remediation of Reading Difficulties, Inc. (CARRD, Inc.) a nonprofit created to help individuals become competent readers and was a Spencer Fellow of the National Academy of Education.

National Breakout Speaker

Nancy Coffman

MS, LDT, CALT, QI

An adjunct instructor for Dallas Baptist University and Director of the Shelton Academic Reading Approach at the Shelton School in Dallas, Texas. Nancy holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from The University of the South, a master’s degree in special education from Vanderbilt University. She is a Certified Academic Language Therapist and a Qualified Instructor in Alphabetic Phonics. Nancy is a member of the International Dyslexia Association, the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC), and the Academic Language Therapy Association (ALTA). She is a past president of ALTA and of the Alliance for Accreditation and Certification of Structured Language Education, Inc. (Alliance).

National Breakout Speaker

Donell Pons 

M.Ed. 

Donell Pons has a husband and several children with dyslexia.  When Ms. Pons discovered her son had dyslexia and was struggling to find appropriate services, she went back to school and received a dual MED and MAT in teaching and learning from Westminster College with a special education certification.  Ms. Pons has taught secondary Language Arts and worked at a charter school focusing on supporting students on the Autism spectrum. Ms. Pons is trained in multiple Structured Literacy based reading instruction methods. She was the Literacy and Reading Coordinator and ELL Director at AISU, a public charter school in Murray, Utah.  She had presented on dyslexia for national webinars and has had many articles on dyslexia published at a national level.

National Breakout Speaker

Eric Price

M.Ed. 

Eric Price spent several years as a teacher and administrator in Title 1 schools in the Houston, Texas, area. He spent 4 years as middle school assistant principal in Utah before his current position as the Principal at Fort Herriman Middle School, a National School to Watch, in Jordan School District. Price has an M.Ed from Lamar University in educational administration and a bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University in history education. Eric was identified as a struggling reader at an early age. He is the father of four amazing kids, three of whom have been diagnosed with dyslexia and are currently on IEP's. Mr. Price has presented at regional conferences, national webinars, and has been published in EdWeek. 

Local Breakout Speaker

Karee Atkinson 

Karee Atkinson attended Brigham Young University and received a B.A. in Political Science.  She then attended the University of Utah where she received her Master’s Degree in Political Science.  Karee worked as a lobbyist for the American Federation of Teachers and as a trainer for the Utah State Department of Health, before deciding to be a stay at home mom.  Karee is a founding member of Decoding Dyslexia Utah.  Decoding Dyslexia Utah is a grassroots movement driven by Utah families concerned with the limited access to educational interventions for dyslexia.

Local Breakout Speaker

Dr. Jennifer Throndsen

Dr. Throndsen is the Director of Teaching and Learning at the Utah State Board of Education. She has served as a PreK-12 Literacy Coordinator, district level specialist, instructional coach, adjunct professor, and classroom teacher. She holds a doctorate in curriculum and instruction and endorsements in reading, math, gifted and talented, and English as a second language.

Local Breakout Speaker

Sara Wiebke

Local Breakout Speaker

Sharon Plante

Sharon Plante, an educator with over 23 years teaching experience in special education, currently serves as teacher and Director of Technology at The Southport School. As a Classroom Educator certified Orton-Gillingham tutor (CE/AOGPE), she uses her training and understanding of technology to empower students with learning disabilities. Sharon is the co-author of Using Technology to Engage Students with Learning Disabilities, which highlights the incorporation of technology through the Universal Design Model to reach all learners. She has presented at IDA, The Dyslexia Foundation, Everyone Reading, EdRev, ATIA, New York Chapter of ALTA, Spotlight on Dyslexia and Pennsylvania Department of Education. Sharon is a member of the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools Commission on School Growth and Collaboration. Additionally, she was awarded the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award from George Mason University College of Education and Human Development.

National Breakout Speaker

Barbara Wirostko MD

Barbara Wirostko is a Doctor of Ophthalmology, fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, clinician at the John A. Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, and Adjunct Professor, University of Utah Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Department of BioMedical Engineering. Dr. Wirostko’s expertise is in clinical research and ophthalmic drug/device development having worked in large and small pharma holding executive positions. She lives in Park City with her husband and children and in 2014 started a nationally recognized nonprofit in memory of their son, Joseph James Morelli, to award scholarships to high school and college students with dyslexia pursing a STEM career. To date the Joseph James Morelli Scholarship Fund has awarded close to 100 K to 80 students across the country, with this year awarding 27 K to 11 Utah students. She is passionate about sharing an understanding of visual processing and how it relates to dyslexia.

National Breakout Speaker

Stacy Hurst

Stacy Hurst has degrees in Sociology and Elementary Education and Reading, and she has Advanced Reading and ESL Endorsements. During her twenty years as an educator, she has been a first grade teacher, ELL teacher, literacy coach, and reading specialist. Her extensive experience also includes coordinating interventions for struggling readers, implementing blended learning, and training thousands of teachers on effective literacy instruction. Stacy is the Curriculum Director at Reading Horizons.

Local Breakout Speaker

Paula Kashiwaeda

Paula Kashiwaeda received a Bachelor of Education in Elementary Education from the University of Hawaii and a Master of Arts in Special Education from the University of Northern Colorado. She retired from Ogden City School District in 2016 after eight years of teaching students with disabilities at the junior high level, and twenty-two years as a Special Education Teacher Specialist. Her passion for the University of Utah Reading Clinic's interventions began in 2009 after becoming a certified Level 1 tutor in the Wilson Reading System®. Since then, she facilitated professional development for special education teachers and paraeducators using the UURC's highly successful clinical practicum model, and earned certification in Early StepsSM, Next StepsSM, Next StepsSM Triads, and Higher StepsSM. 

Local Breakout Speaker

Amy Sandgren

Amy Sandgren has a passion for teaching and believes every student can be successful at school with the right tools and supports.  She has taught first and sixths grades and especially enjoys teaching children to read and develop a love for reading. Amy has a reading endorsement through Southern Utah University and has a Master's in Educational Leadership.  She is a proud mother of three boys, one of which has dyslexia.  Amy currently serves as a board member of Decoding Dyslexia Utah and loves teaching students about self advocacy and grit.

Local Breakout Speaker

Kathy Tenney

Kathy Tenney, MS, CALT, is the sister, mother, and aunt of gifted individuals with dyslexia.  She was trained in Orton-Gillingham based programs as a therapist at Southern Methodist University, and completed additional training at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.  She taught preschool at Stanford University, worked at a Montessori school in Indiana, and homeschooled her dyslexic son through junior high and high school. Kathy’s had a private structured literacy practice for 22 years.    

Local Breakout Speaker

Adrianne Meldrum

Adrianne Meldrum is the owner of MFM and a certified teacher with over a decade of experience tutoring middle and high school students in math. She received training from Marilyn Zecher in Multisensory Math 1 & 2. She's close to having her trainers certificate in the multisensory method. She has seen up close how using multisensory math techniques with her students leads to more confidence, higher grades, but also a rooted understanding of how math works.

National Breakout Speaker

Heather Brand

Heather Brand is a licensed educator with a bachelors degree in Elementary Education and a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. She first trained as a reading interventionist to better reach students with dyslexia. Heather then went looking for training on multi-sensory techniques for math and found Math for Middles and fell in love. Heather has worked in a variety of educational settings with students from K – 12. She has a passion for teaching students who learn differently , especially for twice exceptional students. Their giftedness and areas of disability make for very unique learning needs.

Local Breakout Speaker

Karen Kemp Ph.D.

Karen Kemp, PhD has worked in the public school system for 33 years, in positions that include director of special education, assistant principal, pupil services coordinator, adjunct faculty, and classroom teacher.

She is the author/co-author of over 30 publications. 

Dr. Kemp has presented workshops and professional development seminars in the United States and Europe and is currently a consultant for 95 Percent Group, a company focused on reading improvement for all students. Areas of expertise include: reading strategies for intervention and classrooms, effective design and delivery of instruction, progress monitoring techniques and coaching for successful implementation. 

National Breakout Speaker

Linda Hafen

Linda Hafen currently works for Voyager Sopris Learning providing support, sales, and product

training. She has provided training and support in districts for various literacy programs and

interventions. She has over 31 years of experience as an educator. She was a classroom teacher, worked

as a literacy specialist and coach, and as a K-12 Literacy, Project Facilitator for the Clark County School

District in Nevada.

National Breakout Speaker

Barbra Conway

Coming Soon

National Breakout Speaker

Michelle Searle

Michelle is a Special Ed. Director and School Administrator for all Intermountain Healthcare and

Primary Children’s Hospital Intensive Services. Almost two decades ago, she graduated with her B.S in

Special Education from the University of Nevada. Later, completing two years of an Ed.S in School Psychology, through the University of Idaho, before graduating with an M.Ed. in Education Leadership

and Supervision. In October, Michelle will begin work on a PhD in School Psychology.

Local Breakout Speaker

Lindsey Kemeny

Lindsay Kemeny has been teaching elementary school for 8 years. She currently teaches kindergarten and reading intervention for the Davis School District. After her son was diagnosed with dyslexia and depression, she began her deep dive into effective literacy instruction and what students with learning disabilities really need. She and her husband live in Kaysville, Utah with their 4 children.

Local Breakout Speaker

Ellen Bailey M.Ed.

Ellen has worked in education for many years in both the general education and special education classroom. She has worked closely with students K-12 as a resource teacher and is now working for the Utah State Board of Education as the literacy specialist in the department of special education. Her mission is working to improve outcomes for all students.

Local Breakout Speaker

Ashley Lennox M.Ed.

Ashley has been an elementary teacher for ten years and is now working as a teacher specialist. She has received awards for Teacher of the Year, UCET outstanding young educator, and is a WGBH stem pioneer Utah representative. She is a passionate advocate for all learners.

Local Breakout Speaker

AdreAnn Paul

Coming Soon

Local Breakout Speaker

Elissa Aten

Elissa Aten is the Executive Director of PC READS. As a Certified Dyslexia Advocate, she assists families with developing action plans to ensure that their children receive the support and resources necessary to succeed in school.  Originally from update New York, Elissa graduated from Dartmouth College and received her J.D. from Boston College Law School. She and her husband have lived in Park City for over 10 years and have two children, one of whom is dyslexic.  

Local Breakout Speaker

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