IDA Oregon ♦ Board of Directors 

Danielle Thompson

Danielle Thompson – President

Danielle’s journey into dyslexia began when people she cared about found out they were dyslexic and she realized she needed to learn more.  The more she learned of the science of dyslexia and the science of reading, the more she began to understand why many of her high school students continued to struggle with reading, writing, and spelling despite their best efforts over the years.  A public high school teacher for over 20 years, and a dyslexia screener and tutor, Danielle joined the Board of Directors of IDA-Oregon Branch out of a desire to improve the life of the next struggling student in her classroom, as well as all students and adults with dyslexia, and to share best practices with the educators, parents, and professionals who want to learn more.

Jared Blank – Vice President

In January 2018 I ran the World Marathon Challenge (7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days) to raise awareness and $50,000 for the International Dyslexia Foundation. Why? Because at the age of five I was diagnosed with Dyslexia and Sensory Processing Disorder, and with the support of my incredible family and community, I beat the odds.  I graduated from USC and then went on to earn two Masters degrees.  I kept this part of my life secret for a very long time, afraid that the stigma of a Learning Challenge would alter how people saw me and the opportunities that I’d have.  Now, I’m sharing my story and your support means the world to me; dyslexia is not a limiting factor, it’s a superpower.  For more information, let’s talk!



Dr. Jim Snyder – Treasurer

Jim Snyder has spent the last 16 years in the education field as a marketer and researcher working with educators around the world.  He has a BA in physics and mathematics from Kenyon College, an MS in Physics from the University of Oklahoma and an MBA from Portland State University.  He earned an Ed.D. in 2010 from George Fox University and his dissertation was on the use of audio in computerized adaptive assessments.  In August 2013 he joined Quality Matters working to market quality assurance in online education to Higher Ed and K12 institutions.  His focus is on expanding Quality Matters presence in K-16 education space.  In addition, since 2003, Dr. Snyder has been the director of the NW Education Cluster (collection of more than three dozen Portland area companies networking to learn about each other’s businesses, discover synergies, and explore the potential of the education/training industry as an economic driver for Portland and its metro area).  Jim is married with 2 kids (17 and 15) and enjoys running and playing soccer in his free time.


Andrew Peterson – Secretary

Andrew Peterson moved from NYC to Portland in 2014.  He grew up in the Midwest and earned his B.A. in Spanish, International Relations, and Latin American Studies at UW-Madison.  He later earned his M.S. Ed in Childhood Education from Hunter College in Manhattan.  Andrew taught 4th grade in the NYC area, was Director of Education at an elite test-prep company in NYC, and founded NW Budding Scholars in 2014.  He is trained in the NOW! Foundations for Speech, Language, Reading, and Spelling, a multi-sensory program designed to increase phonological awareness and processing which improves reading and spelling.  He is an avid reader of the latest research in the field of dyslexia, and empowers students intellectually and emotionally by teaching them how dyslexia “works”.  Andrew currently lives in Vancouver, WA with his wife and son, and counts Cannon Beach as his favorite Oregon getaway.

Michele Barnett – Director

Michele is driven to help families and schools understand both the advantages and challenges that dyslexia creates, and to implement practical plans that empower dyslexic students to excel.  Michele is Certified as a Dyslexia Screener and Consultant, Dyslexia Advocate and  Certified Barton Tutor.  Michele is a Decoding Dyslexia Ambassador and the Co-Founder of the Lake Oswego Parent Dyslexia Community.  Michele’s background includes over 20 years in consultative sales and client management in the healthcare industry. She holds an MBA from St. Mary’s College, a B.A. from Cornell University with a major in Psychology.

Kate Franken – Director

Kate Franken, MAT, started her professional life as an adolescent counselor, but soon learned that helping students with literacy issues brought out her love of both teaching and language.  She began her training in Orton-Gillingham with Dorothy Whitehead in 1994, and has been supporting students with dyslexia and their families, teachers, and communities ever since.   She is now a Special Education teacher in the Parkrose District, and is certified by IDA as a Dyslexia Therapist and AOGPE as a Certified Orton-Gillingham Practitioner and Educator.  A Colorado native, Kate has lived in southeast Portland since 1985, raising two (currently) teenage sons and, over the years, a small herd of dogs and cats.  She feeds birds, and is learning at a remedial pace to identify them.  Kate is always curious, and appreciates good books, good friends, good food (cooking less than eating), a good laugh, and living in this fine community in the Pacific Northwest.

Larissa Whalen Garfias (PA-C) – Director

I became interested in dyslexia when my 5th-grade son was diagnosed in 2017. I realized that I knew very little about dyslexia despite working in primary care. Through that experience, I learned first-hand the challenges that face children, parents, and educators when identifying and supporting kids with dyslexia. I also began to see how the secondary consequences of reading disabilities such as dyslexia were affecting my patients. Working at Virginia Garcia with families served in the Federally Qualified Health Center, I immediately saw the need to advocate within my organization for sweeping changes to better identify children with reading disabilities and promote dyslexia awareness among my colleagues. I believe that we as a medical system could do far better in identifying dyslexia, advocating for individual and system-wide change, and letting our patients know that they are not alone – just as we have done for autism, ADHD, substance use and depression. It is a failure on our part to treat a 15-year-old boy who is failing school for depression and suicidal ideation when we could have intervened at age 6 or 7 to identify dyslexia and provide the support he needed. As part of this effort, we are partnering with members of the IDA-Oregon Branch to create low-literacy Spanish language materials – materials that are severely lacking throughout the country.

Tanya Haas – Director

Tanya Haas is a graduate of University of California, Davis (BS) and University of Tennessee, Knoxville (MS) and has had the privilege of living and traveling around the world for both work and pleasure.  As a proud mother of 2 boys with dyslexia provided first hand experience of living and navigating the world (and public school) with learning differences.  For the last 25 years Portland, Oregon has been home and Tanya’s mission is to help, educate and support the next family that finds themselves on the same dyslexia journey.

Kara Hanna – Director

Kara Hanna received both her Bachelor of Science and Master’s degrees in Physical Therapy from the University of North Dakota.  Kara is passionate about education, both in her own life and in the lives of her family members. Having homeschooled her 5 children, she realized the need for dyslexia intervention as part of education. Kara is a Certified Screener and Consultant for Dyslexia as well as a Certified Barton Tutor at the Master’s Level.  As a physical therapist, Kara brings the unique skill set of a therapeutic perspective to her evaluations and tutoring.  In her free time, Kara enjoys spending time with her family, staying active, traveling, and gardening–especially with roses.

Rachel Hansen – Director

Rachel Hansen is a graduate of the University of Oregon and obtained a MAT at Pacific University with a focus on Secondary Education. She took a hiatus from teaching to raise her three children, and became an avid volunteer in schools and youth ministry. During this time Rachel became a passionate advocate for students with dyslexia and ADHD. She has first-hand experience with the diversity of learning differences from her experiences with her own 3 children, two of whom have dyslexia and/or ADHD. Rachel is passionate about advocating for dyslexia-related issues by educating parents and teachers about dyslexia and real life application for students.  She currently teaches Art and Biology at Edison High School.  Outside of teaching and dyslexia advocacy, Rachel loves traveling, playing and coaching soccer, running, hiking, reading, doing art projects, and watching and rooting for the Oregon Ducks during football season!

Lynn Lamping – Director

Lynn became interested in learning about dyslexia when one of her four children struggled to learn to read, write, and memorize math facts. She discovered a genetic marker for dyslexia in her family history. Over the next decade, Lynn learned effective methods to help her child learn how to read, write, spell, and achieve success in math. She is a licensed K-12 Special Education Teacher in the state of Oregon. Lynn earned her Fellow Level with the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE) in November 2018, and her Structured Literacy/Dyslexia Specialist with the International Dyslexia Association. Lynn is the director and trainer for the Oregon Dyslexia Institute. She spends her time training Oregon teachers how to recognized dyslexia, understand the foundational skills of the English language, and how to intensify instruction to meet the needs of struggling readers, including dyslexia, in compliance with the Oregon State Approved Dyslexia Training.

Shelbe Park – Director

Shelbe Park is a native Portlander and now lives in Vancouver Washington with her husband, daughter and son.   She became active in the Oregon branch of IDA 13  years ago when her daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia.  Shelbe has served as a  Board of Director , Vice-President and two terms as President.  Her daughter is now a successful college student and Shelbe contributes that to the support she received from IDA.  Shelbe is a full time tutor for students with Dyslexia and believes that it is important to teach students with dyslexia to advocate for themselves.  She is in awe of the amazing students she has met and mentored.

 Katie Vincent – Director

Katie Vincent, Ed.D is a native Oregonian and a long time educator in the Portland area. Having held positions as a teacher, in administration, and as a higher education faculty member, Katie is committed to making certain that educators have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to ensure that each of their students has the literacy skills required for success.  Katie currently serves as Associate Faculty at Prescott College, Prescott AZ and Adjunct Faculty at Warner Pacific University, Portland OR.


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