IDA Oregon ♦ Board of Directors
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! email@example.com
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 and enjoys running and playing soccer in his free time.
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.
Ebonee Bell – Director
Ebonee Bell graduated from Smith College with a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Language, and received her Master’s degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Ebonee has been an Amazon Diversity series speaker, a Multnomah County Black History Month speaker, and a speaker at the Tualatin Martin Luther King Day celebration. She has spoken at the Rosewood Initiative, the Tribute to Toni Morrison, and the Tribute to Ursula Leguin. She works for the Books2U literacy promotion program — a program that encourages reading for public school kids in the 3rd – 5th grades, and she provides library services to pre-adjudicated minors in juvenile detention. Ebonee has dedicated her career to advancing the education of children and youth through the various literacy initiatives she promotes locally and nationally. She believes that books have the power to change lives.
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 the University of California, Davis (BS) and the 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.
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 recognize 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
For more information on IDA Oregon…please email: firstname.lastname@example.org