Paula was diagnosed with a learning disability when she was in second grade. School was very difficult for her especially in the areas of reading and math. She struggled through elementary, middle school and high school, but had phenomenal people in her life who helped her discover her strengths. She went on to college and majored in education; she went on to earn her master’s degree in special education. She has used her learning disability to help her students find their strengths and discover ways to help them learn. She was honored to have been chosen as Teacher of the Year – 1994 for her school district, CLD Outstanding Teacher of the Year – 2005 and LDA-Iowa Outstanding Educator Award – 2014. It proves to her and to others that one can accomplish anything no matter what their disability may be. She is a professional developer for KU-SIM, teaches learning strategies to high school students, and is a Lead Adjunct Professor at Morningside College.
Patty retired in May 2016 after many years as a special educator. She taught in the Cherokee Community School District, serving as Alternative High School Administrator and High School ResourceTeacher. In her role as 1st Vice-President, Patty is involved in many of the activities of the association including advocacy, conference, membership, and scholarships.
Gayle fell in love with special education when her nephew was born with special needs and she was only a teenager. Inspired by her desire to work in the field of education, she developed a deep passion for the area of learning disabilities when it was a relatively new field. This resolve stuck with her through college and beyond.
Gayle spent several years teaching special education at the elementary, middle school and high school levels and then worked at an Area Education Agency as a special education Consultant and Strategist for more than thirty years. She also enjoyed being a certified Professional Developer for the University of Kansas Strategic Instruction Model for many years while with the AEA. As 2nd Vice-President, Gayle is in charge of the Membership Committee; she also serves on the Executive Board.
Theresa has been a Special Education Consultant for AEA 267 for 31 years. She earned her B.Ed and Master’s Degrees from the University of Northern Iowa. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the organization. Even when she was a new board member, Theresa volunteered for several activities including the position of Secretary.
Vicki Goshon is a leader in the state of Iowa in the field of Learning Disabilities. She is a Past and now current President of LDA of Iowa. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education and an Administrator of Special Education degree. Vicki has taught students with Learning Disabilities for 33 years. In addition to her work with LDA, she has served on the Iowa Department of Education’s Special Education Advisory Panel.
Throughout her career in special education, Vicki has written several successful grants in order to obtain funding for materials and educational services for her students. An exciting outcome of one of these grants is a literacy project taking place in Iowa Correctional Institutions. She also operates a private tutoring service in order to provide affordable academic support to students. Honors and awards include: 2012 Helping Hands Award – Iowa LDA, 2008 Sam Kirk Award – National LDA- 2009 and 2002 President’s Award – Iowa LDA. Vicki considers it an honor and privilege to lead students with learning disabilities to acknowledge their strengths and become successful adults with meaningful careers.
Dave is a retired school social worker and mental health therapist who worked with children with learning disabilities for over 30 years. Dave had been on the LDA Board for about 10 years in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s serving on the executive board for 7 years and as board president for 2 years. Dave is excited to return to the board and utilize his experience with our advocacy for both children and their parents.
Dave lives in Everly with his wife Cheryl. They have 2 daughters and 6 grandchildren who all live in South Dakota. He has a learning disability in reading. He also has a daughter with a reading disability and a grandson recently diagnosed with dyslexia.
Donna Schletzbaum is a long-time board member who lives in Indianola, Iowa. Donna is the parent of an adult with learning disabilities and served as a parent advisor with Family Educator Connection program in AEA 267 at Cedar Falls, IA before moving to Indianola about ten years ago. Helping provide support and information to parents of children and young adults with learning disabilities has been one of her goals while serving on the state learning disabilities board.
Barbara Van Sickle
Barb was born and raised in Dubuque, IA, received her BA at Iowa Teachers College, now UNI. She earned a Masters degree in reading at Clarke College in Dubuque and taught for 10 years in the ESEA remedial reading program. It was apparent to her that there were students who were not benefitting from a remedial-type program. Clarke College offered classes in Learning Disabilities, and she was quick to register for that program. Barb knew the public schools would soon be offering the opportunity to set up resource programs, thanks to PL94-142. Her family moved to Indianola in 1976, and she taught elementary resource for 17 years in the Indianola School District. Barb joined LDA-IA early in her career and knows firsthand of its dedication to students and parents of students and adults with LD.
Betty Bollard has been teaching in the Pella Community School District for 30 years. She is a Resource Teacher at Jefferson Intermediate working with students in grades 4-6. Betty graduated from Central College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education. During her first teaching opportunity in a self-contained learning center, she found a new love….teaching students with special needs! Betty pursued her passion by getting her endorsements in K-8 Multicategorical Resource to be a K-8 Instructional Strategist 1: Mild to Moderate teacher. In 2012, Betty graduated from Drake University with a Master of Science in Education. Betty also enjoys being an adjunct professor at Central College in Pella, teaching night classes as needed in the area of learning disabilities (Children with Exceptionalities and Intro to Mild to Moderate Disabilities).
This is Betty’s third year on the LDA-IA board. She is excited to bring her classroom experiences to share with members of LDA of Iowa. One of her favorite quotes: “You are only as disabled as you perceive yourself to be.” Brian O’Donnell
Dr. Christina Curran
Christina Curran, Ph.D., is Director of T2 PAL (Teachers and Technology: Promoting Accessible Learning) at the University of Northern Iowa and an Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education. T2 PAL supports the use of accessible technology by preservice general and special education teachers; provides professional development; and features an open lab to explore accessible technology. Chris has been a teacher and teacher educator for 28 years. As a special education teacher she has worked in at the elementary and secondary level in Kansas and New Mexico. While a faculty member at Central Washington University for 11 years, Chris incorporated and used assistive and accessible technology in teacher preparation curriculum and in consulting with classroom teachers. Her research is currently centered on effective practices for professional development and pre-service teacher education in the use of universal design and accessible technology, as well as school-based models of accessible technology. She is a Past President of the Council for Learning Disabilities and was recognized as an Outstanding Teacher of the Year in Learning Disabilities as a classroom teacher.
Amy Eaton is a special education strategist for Northwest AEA in Sioux City. She facilitates all aspects of the provision of special education and support and related services in assigned schools. Amy earned her master’s degree in Education from Wayne State College and has worked in the past at Hinton Elementary School as a special education and general education classroom teacher.
Patricia (Trish) Gaherty
Trish first became involved in LDA-IA in the early 80’s when she sought help in finding appropriate services for her two sons with learning disabilities. She became an active member of our affiliate at that time and has been a board member for over 30 years!
Throughout the years, Trish has served on the legislative, nominating, fundraising, conference exhibits, and conference hospitality committees. She also held the office of Corresponding Secretary. In these efforts, her dedication and hard work have been an inspiration to all. Even though her children are grown and have families of their own, Trish still offers a valuable parent perspective that helps guide the activities of the organization.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in business management from Buena Vista University, Joy worked in the field of accounting and finance for several years. She is now dedicated to raising her three active daughters with her husband, Ryan. They reside in Ames and enjoy biking, running, and all outdoor activities. She is grateful for the opportunity to use her talents in accounting/finance to support LDA-IA.
Kim has been on the Iowa Learning Disabilities Association Board since 2001. Her major role has been to co-chair the State Learning Disabilities Conference. In addition to co-chairing, Kim also presents at the conference. Some of her presentations have included: “Rejuvenating the IEP Meeting”, “Must-Have Technology”, “Guided Reading Plus”, “Co-Teaching Active Learning Skills”, “Making Sense of Mathematics in Everyday Life”, “Defining, Developing, and Delivering Differentiation”, and “Spelling: It’s Got To Be More Than A Test.”
Kim has also presented at the International Learning Disabilities Conference on various topics. Most recently her presentations have included: “The ABCD’s of Accessible Books,” in Chicago, IL; “You Snooze, You Lose (Active Engagement),” in Anaheim, CA; and “Visual IEP’s” in New York City.
The Learning Disabilities Association has recognized Kim’s service with various awards. They have included: 2012 & 2005 Iowa Helping Hands Award (highest award bestowed by the LDA-IA for an individual that has impacted learning disabilities in our state), and the 2009 President’s Award (given by the president to an individual who has provided outstanding service to LDA-IA). In 2014 she was awarded Iowa’s Outstanding Volunteer at the International Learning Disabilities Conference in Anaheim, CA. Throughout her 33 years of teaching, Kim has continued to live out her lifelong goal of making a difference in the lives of students.
Dr. Richard Owens
Richard Owens received his doctorate in education from the University of Nebraska. He spent over 20 years teaching in K-12 schools, served as an administrator for Western Hills Area Education Agency, and taught more than 20 years at Morningside College. After retiring from his full-time teaching duties, he spent many years working part-time as professional development coordinator for Morningside’s education department. At present, his primary role at the college is in professional development for advanced internships.
Dr. Owens has received many accolades for his work – both in and out of the classroom – on behalf of individuals with disabilities. Honors include the LDA of America’s 2015 Sam Kirk Award, 2007 Governor’s Award, Siouxland’s Celebrating Diversity Project, and many others.
Verlee formerly taught special education at West High School in Sioux City. She earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in education from Chadron State College and the University of South Dakota. She also volunteers for the Siouxland Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (ICADV) and was recently recognized for this work by the Sioux City Celebrating Community Foundation Project. Verlee is Chairperson of the LDA-IA Publicity Committee and assists in many other projects.
Shirley earned her BA and MA from the University of Northern Iowa and has worked in the field of Education/Special Education for 40 years prior to retiring in the spring of 2015. As a teacher, Shirley taught in resource and self-contained special education programs at the elementary and junior high levels. After 19 years of teaching, Shirley continued her work in special education as a special education consultant with AEA 267. She has also served as an adjunct instructor at Upper Iowa University-Waterloo Center, teaching special education classes, and currently volunteers as a mentor in a local school. Shirley is a former LDA-Iowa Board member and previously co-chaired several state conferences. She says she is excited to be returning to the Board and wants to continue to use her knowledge and experience to provide advocacy and support for families and individuals with learning disabilities.
Karen Vander Horst
Dr. Lynne Cannon has been involved with LDA since its early days. At the national level, she held several offices, including President, and was Editor of Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal. She has also been deeply involved in LDA-IA, taking many leadership roles over the years. In her role as board consultant, Lynne continues to offer valuable guidance.
After retiring in 2001 from the University of Iowa Department of Chemistry, Lynne has continued her involvement in educational causes. Among these: LDA America, Grant Wood AEA Board of Directors (receiving a National AESA Award in 2010), and the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation.
Carol Zeigler has been a long-time advocate for children and adults with learning disabilities. She began years ago when her son was in elementary school by sharing her interest in her son’s needs with other parents and with Dr. Mildred Wood at UNI’s education department.
For many years Carol was active in the Black Hawk County chapter. Because of her leadership there, she was invited to be a member of the state board of LDA-IA. After a number of years on the board, she now serves as a consultant to the group.
Carol has not only taken part in all LDA-IA fund drives but has been a generous contributor. She has also provided funds for our Community and College Ambassadors Award Programs. Carol extends this kind of support to a number of other causes in Central Iowa.
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