International Dyslexia Association Central Ohio
2023 Board of Directors
IDA Central Ohio’s all-volunteer Board of Directors meets regularly during the year to manage the operation of the Board.
Mike McGovern – President
Mike is an entrepreneur focused on providing dyslexic children with superior educational and life opportunities. After discovering his youngest son had dyslexia, Mike joined the growing community of dyslexia advocates fighting for change in our education laws and school policies. In addition to his involvement with IDA, Mike has been on the Board of the nationally acclaimed Marburn Academy, a school that specializes in dyslexia and ADHD. Mike started and lead the effort to get the Ohio Dyslexia Law passed in 2021. He was the inaugural chair of the Ohio Dyslexia Committee for this law. Mike, whose career spanned banking, credit, retail, manufacturing, transportation, insurance, and publishing, was the Founder and President of Odyssey Consulting Services. He received his bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University with a major in Computer Science.
Blythe Wood – Vice President
Blythe is an instructional coach in the special education department. She has received Orton-Gillingham (OG) training at the Children’s Dyslexia Center and is providing training in the OG methodology as a Certified Instructor of Therapists. Blythe is a member of the Ohio School Boards Association, the National School Boards Association, and the Ohio Education Association. Blythe received her bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University in Special Education and her master’s degree in School Counseling from the University of Dayton. She continues to take classes to update her knowledge base. She has served the field of education since 1992.
Sara Hallermann – Secretary
Sara is the Senior Director for Professional Learning with EdLeader21, a network of Battelle for Kids. She is a former elementary teacher, intervention specialist, and school administrator. Sara is a member of Dublin Dyslexia Parent Network, a grassroots movement driven by parents concerned with early identification and services for students with dyslexic profiles that aims to raise dyslexia awareness, empower families to support their children, and advocate for equity for the 1 in 5 students with dyslexia in Dublin City Schools. Sara received undergraduate degrees in elementary and special education from Creighton University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Dominican University.
Diana McGovern -Treasurer
Diana is a proud mom of a son with dyslexia and an advocate for the dyslexia community. She has been the Treasurer for the Board for many years and is excited to help continue to bring awareness about dyslexia to Central Ohio. This journey started when her son was identified as having dyslexia and the school did not know how to properly help him read. Diana’s professional background is in Information Technology (IT) as a computer engineer where she served as a consultant to many firms around the Columbus area. Later she was part owner and solely responsible for AR/AP, Payroll and HR for Odyssey Consulting Services (an IT company) for 20 years. She graduated from the University of Toledo.
Roger Beggs – Board Member
Roger is an executive with a leading Private Equity firm with 23+ years of private sector experience working across a wide array of industry sectors. His personal tie to dyslexia began when his youngest daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia in Kindergarten. Over the past 8 years, he has had the opportunity to become exposed to the incredible public and private sector professionals across central Ohio that have supported his daughter. He has seen the impact of highly technical, professional, timely, and sustained intervention in his own daughter’s education, and is passionate about finding creative solutions to fund, scale, and make accessible these resources to parents and children across central Ohio. Roger lives in Dublin, Ohio with his wife Leeanne and three children.
Kirsten Drummond – Board Member
Kirsten is a special education instructional coach in Westerville Local School District. She received her Orton-Gillingham training through the Children’s Dyslexia Center and is providing multisensory reading training in the Westerville School District. Kirsten is certified as an Academic Language Practicioner through the Academic Language Therapy Association and is currently working on obtaining her therapy license through ALTA. Kirsten received her bachelor’s degree from Oral Roberts University in Special Education and Elementary Education and her master’s degree in Educational Leadership from The American College of Education. She has been a teacher since 1996.
Amy Duncan – Board Member
Amy is a special education doctoral candidate at The Ohio State University. She focuses her studies on dyslexia. Her mission is to improve preservice teacher education. She is a licensed intervention specialist with a master’s degree in Special Education. She earned her certificate in the Orton Gillingham approach through DTI (The Dyslexia Training Institute) in 2016. She taught students with dyslexia while being mentored by a literacy specialist for six years at a private literacy center. She spent time in public school as a third-grade interventionist as well. As a parent, Amy has three wonderful and unique children, one of whom has ADHD. She had the privilege of homeschooling them for several years. Finding joy in differentiating and individualizing instruction while homeschooling helped to prepare and propel her into teaching students with dyslexia.
Maria Goldman – Board Member
Maria Goldman is a pediatric neuropsychologist in private practice with the office of Dr. Steven C. Guy, Pediatric Neuropsychologist and Associates. She works with preschoolers, school-age, and adolescents with a wide range of neurodevelopmental concerns and acquired conditions. Maria’s practice is focused on comprehensive evaluations to understand children’s strengths and weaknesses that may lead to relevant diagnoses, including ADHD, learning disabilities (e.g., dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, etc.), autism spectrum disorder, and co-existing social-emotional concerns (e.g., anxiety, depression). Maria received her undergraduate degree from Boston College and her doctoral degree from Wright State University School of Professional Psychology. She completed her clinical internship and post-doctoral fellowship in pediatric neuropsychology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Mailman Center for Child Development.
Kelly Holbrook – Board Member
Kelly is the Assistant Superintendent of Heath City Schools and oversees curriculum, federal programming, compliance training, and district-wide professional development. During her 20 years in education, Kelly has served as an elementary principal, special education coordinator, behavior specialist, and has taught special education in grades K-12. In the fall of 2016, she received the Exemplary School Employee award from the Ohio School Board Association. Kelly loves getting to know and work with students and families she serves and is passionate about helping students with exceptional needs to learn and grow.
Joy Palmer – Board Member
Cherie Sanders – Board Member
Cherie is a parent to two amazing kids, one of who has dyslexia and dyscalculia. As such, I understand the struggles facing individuals with dyslexia and their families. As a result of my passion I helped establish Hilliard Parents United (HPU), a non-profit organization that advocates for children who learn differently in the Hilliard City School District. I am also active with Ohio Kids Identified with Dyslexia (OH-KID), a collaborations of multiple parent groups throughout Ohio working to address dyslexia issues on a state level. Currently, I work in Finance with the large Health System. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business and Applied Economics from The Ohio State University and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Ashland University.
Ashley Williamson – Board Member
Ashley is a half time intervention specialist in grades 6-8 and a half time intervention specialist coach grades 6-12 in the Gahanna-Jefferson Public School District. She received her initial and advanced Orton-Gillingham training through the Children’s Dyslexia Center. Ashley is certified as an Academic Language Practitioner through the Academic Language Therapy Association and is currently working on obtaining her I-CALP and therapy license through ALTA. Ashley received her bachelor’s degree from Muskingum College in Special Education and her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Ohio Dominican University. She has been a teacher since 2009.
Cassondra Wilson – Board Member
Cassondra is a Speech-Language Pathologist who has worked in both the clinic and school settings with a focus on language-learning disabilities and assistive technology. She joined the OSU Department of Speech and Hearing Science as a Clinical Assistant Professor in 2022. Cassondra teaches graduate coursework in School-Age Language Disorders and serves as a clinical educator to graduate clinicians in the M.A. SLP program. Prior to this, Cassondra worked at The Howard School in Atlanta, GA. Here she developed her knowledge of Dyslexia, structured literacy interventions and a passion for the use of assistive technology to support reading and writing within the classroom. Cassondra completed her M.A. degree in Speech- Language Pathology from Ohio University and completed her master’s certificate in Assistive Technology from Bowling Green State University.
Ross Linscott – Board Member
Ross is the Director of Student Services of Big Walnut Local Schools and oversees special education programming throughout the district, in addition to mental health services, school nursing, English Language services, school counseling, and other district-wide initiatives. During his 19 years in education, Ross has served as a School Psychologist, where he had the opportunity to evaluate students for Dyslexia and many other educational needs. He has also served as a School Principal in Cardington-Lincoln Local Schools and a Pupil Services Supervisor in Olentangy Local Schools prior to his current position in Big Walnut. Ross has started up the Big Walnut Student Services Collaborative, a group that connects the families of the school district with his department to advocate for the needs of all students, to provide resources to families and encourage networking among them, and to provide a feedback mechanism for stakeholder input that leads to direct and substantial improvement of district programming. Ross earned his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Ohio Wesleyan University in addition to earning multiple Master’s degrees from Miami University and The Ohio State University in the fields of School Psychology and Education Administration.
Allyson Harmon Falk – Board Member
Allyson has been an Occupational Therapist since 2009 where she spent the majority of her time working in the acute care setting at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. She graduated from Xavier University in the accelerated Bachelor/Masters Occupational Therapy Program with a minor in Gender and Diversity. It was in that program she worked with a variety of patients and individuals with learning, physical and mental disorders in the school, hospital and community settings. Being dyslexic herself, she knows first hand what challenges individuals with dyslexia face and importance of early identification and intervention. She is a mom to three young children, one of whom is dyslexic. She is passionate about advocating for individuals with dyslexia, connecting families to resources, supporting the science of reading in schools and raising positive awareness of our neurodiverse community. She has been volunteering on the IDA central Ohio helpline along with being a member of the Dublin Dyslexia Parent Network.
Van Lemmon – Board Member
Andrea Rowson – Board Member
Brittney Donley – Board Member
Brooklyne Workman – Board Member
Lori Seymour – Board Member
Heather Clouston – Board Member
Brett Tingley – Advisory Council
Brett is the parent of three amazing children, one who has dyslexia. She is also a real estate investor and start-up business consultant. As the President of Upper Arlington Kids Identified with Dyslexia (UA-KID), a parent advocacy group dedicated to ensuring dyslexic children in the Upper Arlington School District reach their full potential, Brett spearheads a movement that is catching fire nation-wide. She has appeared on the All Sides with Ann Fisher radio program, contributed to features from APM Reports and led a successful crowdfunding campaign to develop Our Dyslexic Children a documentary and blueprint for parents across the nation to leverage in seeking school district transformation in service to dyslexic children. Brett received her master’s degrees in Engineering and Business Administration from the University of Michigan.
Christine Johnson – Advisory Council
Christine is a Clinical Lead for Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Speech Therapy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, distinguished as one of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals in the nation by US News & World Report. She is a speech/language pathologist and an Orton-Gillingham (OG) trained therapist. A mother of five children, two that have dyslexia, Christine specializes in the area of evaluation and treatment of dyslexia. She has over 30 years of experience working in a variety of settings including schools, private practice and in the clinical setting. Most notably, she has presented at the American Speech/Language and Hearing Association (ASLHA)’s national conference regarding the speech/language pathologist’s role in the evaluation and treatment of dyslexia and at the Ohio Speech Language Hearing Association (OSLHA)’s conference regarding Comorbidities of Dyslexia: ADHD and Affective Disorders. She recently published an article in the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics titled “Pediatrician’s Guide to the Early Identification of Children at Risk for Dyslexia.” Christine also received her Learning Disability/Behavior Disorder certification from The Ohio State University.
Marianne La Rosa – Advisory Council
Marianne has been a licensed, certified speech-language pathologist for 35 years and has extensive experience in conducting evaluations and providing intervention for children with language-based learning difficulties. She is a Certified Dyslexia Specialist through the Orton-Gillingham Academy (OGA) and the Center for Effective Reading Instruction (CERI) and assists OGA Fellows as a Clinical Supervisor for educators doing their OG practicum training. Marianne works in private practice at the Language & Literacy Clinic in Powell, Ohio. She is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and was Guest Editor of the Dyslexia Issue of the Ohio Speech-Language-Hearing Association electronic journal (Winter 2016). Marianne served on the International Dyslexia Association Central Ohio Branch Board of Directors from 2008 – 2011, and has assisted the Board as a member of the Nominating Committee for several terms. As an Advisory Board member, Marianne has a special interest in early identification of children at-risk for dyslexia and working with parent groups to provide dyslexia resources and support.
Martha Orbovich – Advisory Council
Martha is a special education advocate and owner of Kids First Parent Advocacy, LLC. Her mission is to assist families in obtaining appropriate services for their students with disabilities. She started her business in 2013 after years of advocating for her own son who has dyslexia and ADHD. Martha completed the year-long SEAT (Special Education Advocacy Training) course and a practicum through COPAA (Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates), a professional national advocacy organization for children with disabilities.
Leslie Buford – Advisory Council
Leslie is currently the Orton-Gillingham Language Specialist and Tutoring Coordinator at the prestigious Marburn Academy. She has served at Marburn for 27 years as a teacher, tutor, trainer and curriculum leader, reaching hundreds, perhaps thousands of students over her career. In addition to her extensive professional history in dyslexia and education, Leslie is an advocate for effective literacy instruction in all schools. She is all too aware of the devastating effects of reading failure on students who do not gain access to a program like Marburn’s. Leslie has a BA in English and Theatre from Hanover College, is certified to teach Language Arts Comprehensive 6-12 from Ashland University and is AOGPE Certified/Clinical Supervisor.
Christy Wackler – Project Manager
Christy is a Registered Nurse and IMSLEC-certified Orton-Gillingham reading instructor. She is a former neonatal nurse with experience in bedside care, clinical research, and case management. As a nurse, Christy has seen the impact of health illiteracy as well as general illiteracy. After discovering neurodiversity within her family, she has shifted her passion and focus to advocating and supporting those with reading difficulties. Christy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Wright State University and Orton-Gillingham certification through the Children’s Dyslexia Center of Dublin, Ohio. She resides in Hilliard, Ohio with her husband, Chad, and their two children.
Missy Grether – Project Coordinator
Missy supports the IDA Central Ohio Board and Executive Director with administration and special projects in support of the Board’s mission. She joined the IDA team in Spring 2016. Prior to IDA, Missy worked for Bank One/Chase Bank for 12 years in Retail Communications where she specialized in online publications to business bankers, telephone bankers and banking centers. Missy also has two children, one with dyslexia. Her experience as a parent continues to give her unique insight into those that learn with this challenge. Missy received her bachelor’s from the University of Kentucky in Marketing. She’s a member of the Dublin Dyslexia Parent Group.
Share this page with your friends…