“Until Everyone Can Read”
Judy Wright received a BS and an MS from Portland State University and after a long, successful career, she retired from teaching first grade, resource room, and serving as a literacy coach in the Beaverton School District. She was then an adjunct professor at PSU and supervised students in practicum and student teaching. She was a strong advocate of systematic, cumulative, explicit instruction that included diagnostic teaching. Her professional interests always focused on beginning reading which included phonological awareness and sound-symbol association. These skills have proven to work well for not only students with dyslexia but all beginning readers. She was recognized on Facebook by a parent of a child with dyslexia in her first-grade classroom years ago. “I am beyond grateful that Grant had Judy Wilson Wright in his life! Someone who recognized the signs and took my concerns seriously after his kindergarten teacher told me he was just slow“
Although she did not get any courses in dyslexia at the university level, Judy did have a master teacher who taught her how to identify students and what to do about it. Her teacher Dorothy Whitehead, also the founder of our IDA Oregon Branch, gave Judy a membership to the International Dyslexia Association for Christmas that year. They went to Judy’s first international conference that fall in Seattle. Judy was “hooked” and maintained her membership since that first conference and she went on to become a distinguished “Orton Oak” with continuous membership in IDA for 25 years or more. That membership led to many more national conferences and various positions on the Oregon Branch including four years as President and four years as Vice President. Judy was also chair of the Scholarship Committee, substituted while the Information and Referral person was on vacation, and participated in simulations as needed.
In 2011, the IDA Oregon Branch started the Wright Scholarship in honor of Gary and Judy’s many years of service. This fund has allowed our branch to award scholarships to local teachers and tutors to attend the Oregon Annual Spring Conference. Their generosity and dedication support this forum where nationally-known educators and scholars present their research and strategies for supporting children and adults with dyslexia and other learning differences. To Donate to the Wright Scholarship in Judy’s Memory…please visit this LINK.
In 2017, she and her husband Gary were honored with the Dale Holloway Award for Outstanding Service and Devotion to the Oregon Branch of the International Dyslexia Association. To read an interview with Judy and Gary reflecting on their IDA service and the Holloway Award… click HERE.
Gary and Judy have contributed more than just professional service to ORBIDA and IDA. They have gifted us with their enthusiasm, energy, integrity, discipline, humor, and guidance; they made us their family. Due to their efforts and loyalty, IDA Oregon has been able to expand support and assistance to thousands of dyslexic children and adults in Oregon and Southwest Washington for over three decades.