Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Board of Directors


Emily Visinsky, M.Ed.
President

Emily Visinsky has worked in private practice as an Academic Therapist specializing in working with students that have learning differences for the last twenty-one years.  Emily received her Bachelor of Science from Purdue University and her Masters of Education from Concordia University.  Emily believes that there is little else more important than helping students realize their worth and potential. Although many of her students have dyslexia, she does not exclusively work in that field. Reading, comprehension, written expression, and math are the subjects she covers.

Having had the opportunity to grow up overseas, Emily has a profound appreciation for the freedoms and opportunities that abound in the United States.  Travel is an important part of her life and she enjoys experiencing new cultures and experiences with her teenage daughter.

Ms. Visinsky joined the Dallas IDA board in the fall of 2014, held the Scholarship Chair position 2015-2017, served as Vice-President 2016-2017, and was appointed to her current role as President in 2018.


Misty Clack, M.Ed.
Vice-President

Misty Clack is currently a private Academic Therapist in the Richardson area. She received her Master’s Degree in Special Education from Texas Woman’s University and is a Texas certified Educational Diagnostician. Misty has twenty four years of professional experience in working with students with learning differences. Misty has held positions in both academic and in administrative settings. Mrs. Clack is experienced in working with a variety of learning differences including, but not limited to, dyslexia, reading, writing, and math processing difficulties, as well as Asperger’s Syndrome. Misty is trained in various multisensory reading strategies such as the Orton-Gillingham program.

As a Dallas IDA board member, Misty is passionate about providing education and support through the monthly Dallas Dyslexia Information Group meetings, chairing the TeamQuest committee, the IDA national fundraising and endurance training program, in the North Texas regions, promoting literacy for children and adults and bringing awareness of the importance of dyslexia identification.

Mrs. Clack joined the board of the Dallas IDA in 2014 and was elected as Secretary in 2015. She was appointed to her current role as Vice-President in the fall of 2019.


Samantha Varadarajan, MAT, CALT, LDP

Treasurer

Samantha Varadarajan has worked in public education serving in several roles including reading interventionist, English as a second language coordinator, dyslexia interventionist, English as a second language interventionist, and lead dyslexia evaluator. Samantha privately provides therapy to students who struggle with reading and writing and enjoys being able to see the significant growth students make in reading and writing from a one-on-one setting.

Samantha values making learning accessible and engaging for all learners. She is a Wilson Certified Dyslexia Practitioner and Certified Academic Language Therapist. Samantha is certified in Multisensory Teaching Approach through Southern Methodist University’s Learning Therapy Program. Samantha graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2010 with a B.S. in Business and Marketing Education where she served as President of the College of Education and Human Development, and later as a Board Member for the University of Minnesota Alumni Society. She holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from Hamline University.

Samantha enjoys spending time with her husband, son, and their very needy and lovable rescue dog, Buddy.


Amy Amaro, MA, LDT, CALT

Secretary

Amy Amaro is an educator with 13 years experience in public schools.  Eight years with Richardson Independent School District as a 1st grade teacher, and 5 years with RISD as a Dyslexia Teacher certified in the Multisensory Teaching Approach as known as MTA. She was appointed to the Board of Directors of the International Dyslexia Association – Dallas Branch in 2017.  She holds a BS in Early Childhood Education and a Masters of Arts in Teaching Mutltisensory Learning from Dallas Baptist University. Amaro, dyslexic herself, is passionate about helping children and adults learn to unlock the power of reading.

Amy Amaro joined the board of the Dallas IDA in 2017 and appointed to the Secretary position in 2019.


Courtney Clemmons, MA, LPC
Director

Courtney Clemmons is a licensed professional counselor with over 18 years experience primarily working in criminal justice and public behavioral health systems. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Anthropology and a Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling Psychology from Southern Methodist University.

Prior to her concentration in criminal justice, she spent time researching and working in the area of learning differences. Courtney’s interest in the field of dyslexia-related disorders began with her own struggles as a child, and she became an eager advocate as she has witnessed the challenges her own sons face in school due to their dyslexia. She is especially interested in the sociological implications of unremediated reading disorders and the devastating effects it can have on a child’s emotional well-being. She joined the Dallas Branch of the IDA in 2018.


Mandi Davis Skerbetz, EdD
Director

Mandi Davis Skerbetz is currently the Principal of a private school for students with learning differences in Dallas. She has focused her career as a teacher, school administrator, professor, researcher, and consultant in the area of implementing evidence-based practices for students receiving Special Education for over 19 years.   

Dr. Skerbetz holds an Ed.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in the Education of Students with Mental and Physical Disabilities, a M.Ed. in Special Education and a B.S. in Elementary Education from Duquesne University. Mandi is experienced in working with a variety of individuals with special needs and age groups. She has worked with individuals, with Specific Learning Disabilities, Processing Disorders, ADHD, Autism, Intellectual Disabilities, Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, as well as Dual Exceptionalities.

Mandi enjoys traveling, gardening, and spending time with her husband. Dr. Skerbetz joined the board of the Dallas Branch of IDA in 2022 and is looking forward to supporting students and families with understanding evidence-based practices for individuals with Dyslexia and comorbid disabilities.


 

Christine Duffy, M.Ed., CALP, LDP
Director

Christine Duffy is currently a Lead Dyslexia Interventionist at Lakewood Elementary in Dallas ISD. She received her Bachelor of Arts from University of Texas at Austin and M.Ed. from SMU with a concentration in early literacy and dyslexia therapy. Christine strongly believes the key to ALL children’s academic success is to ensure they have equal opportunity to early literacy skills. She is also passionate about assisting teens who are currently in the juvenile court system to ensure they have access to literacy therapy in hopes of reducing their recidivism rate. She is hopeful that during her term as a new Dallas IDA board member, she will be able to contribute to the growth of dyslexia awareness and remediation in the DFW community. 

Christine grew up in San Antonio and met her husband while living in Chicago. She is a mother of two small children and resides in Lake Highlands. She travels throughout the summer, is an avid reader and enjoys working out and spending time with her family.


Hercules Gray, MBA

Director

Hercules Gray is the Head of North America Consumer Operations Consumer Business Operational Risk Control (CBORC) at CitiBank and is responsible for leading efforts to identify, anticipate and mitigate regulatory, reputational, and operational risks. He accomplishes this through close partnerships with functional leadership and experts across all lines of defense.  Hercules works closely with functional heads to ensure effective execution of risk management challenges, operational control frameworks, and processes across North America Operations. His areas of expertise include identifying, designing and implementing enhanced control-related tools and monitoring processes and his strategic, analytical, and operational insights to improve our business economics, reduce process defects and enhance operational and compliance risk profiles. Hercules joined Citi in 2017 as Director of North America Consumer Operational Risk Management (ORM) overseeing Global  Operations, Third Party, Business Continuity, and Processing Risk. In 2019, he was the Voice of the Employee (VOE)  Champion for NAM Consumer Operational Risk and has been a mentor throughout his career at Citi. 

He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Millsaps College, Jackson, MS and a Master in Business Administration  (MBA) from Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio, TX. 

Hercules is a native Floridian but has spent most of his career in Texas. Hercules and Michele are proud parents to Cristina, a sophomore at University of Washington, and Ethan, a freshman at University of Missouri. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and using his private pilot license to fly around North Texas. Mr. Gray joined the Dallas IDA Board of Directors in 2022.


Rob Kelton

Director

 

 

 


 

Victoria Mancuso

Director

Victoria Mancuso is a recent graduate from Texas A&M University (May 2020) where she graduated in Honors Communication and minored in Business. Growing up she was diagnosed with dyslexia in the second grade. She went through the Houston Neuhaus Dyslexia program for three years. From elementary to college, she always had to advocate for herself for the accommodation she needed to be successful in school. She became very close to her community and was asked to speak to other dyslexic children and parents of children with dyslexia. When she got to A&M, she continued her passion for advocacy by speaking on behalf of dyslexic students all around campus. Victoria is excited and honored to serve on the Board of Directors of the Dallas IDA starting in 2022.


LaShaila Mitchum

Director

LaShaila Mitchum is a well-versed and experienced Workforce Specialist and advocates for community inclusion and access for all.  She started her current role as Student HireAbility Navigator in 2019, supporting youth and families to gain access to vocational services and employment opportunities. Raised in the inner city of Dallas, Texas by way of Oklahoma, LaShaila developed a passion for service and studying the intricacy of ecosystems and the impact of programming at a young age. She is passionate about sharing knowledge obtained and developing innovative ways to serve a variety of demographics. She contributes over 12 years of experience serving young adults and families within various government and non-profit agencies. She attended The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work with concentrations in community development and urban planning. LaShaila serves as a board member of REACH Inc.- Resource Center for Independent Living and partners with a variety of non-profit agencies and community organizations to foster systems of program awareness and resource connections to support Greater Dallas Community Families. She relishes the opportunity to share local resources to assist individuals with meeting their personal and socio-economic goals to live their best life.

Ms. Mitchum joined the Dallas IDA Board Fall of 2021 and is excited to contribute to the great work that the organization is doing in the community to educate and share best practices for serving individuals living with dyslexia. 


Vaidehi Natu, Ph.D.

Director

Dr. Vaidehi Natu is a Research Scientist at Stanford University. She received her doctoral degree in Cognition and Neuroscience from University of Texas at Dallas and then pursued her post-doctoral work from Stanford University and University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center. Vaidehi is a developmental neuroscientist and has over 15 years of experience in scientific research and has published in several high-impact journals including Science, Nature, and PNAS. Her research answers questions about how the human brain matures from infancy to adulthood, as it acquires new skills and behaviors such as learning to recognize objects, reading books, and communicating in a social environment. Her work shows that the brain achieves these complex tasks by growing new tissue structures, forming robust neural fiber connections, fine-tuning brain activity, and learning from its social environment. Vaidehi has extensive experience in communicating scientific research and innovating novel methodologies in developmental neuroscience.

Vaidehi’s passion for dyslexia comes from her experience as a neuroscientist. The human brain undergoes several developmental changes in the primary years of life. It is plastic and can mold itself from early social and learning experiences. There are specific regions in the brain that process words and characters. In a typical developmental trajectory, as a child learns to read and write, these regions grow, become more active, and are well-tuned to focus on words and characters. These developmental changes are highly significant in a child’s life and have long-term consequences for a successful life in adulthood. Hence, early intervention and diagnosis of dyslexia are critical. As a Dallas IDA board member, Vaidehi’s goal is providing scientific education and awareness of the importance of early dyslexia identification. She plans to work with IDA’s fundraising and training programs to achieve these goals. 

Vaidehi enjoys traveling, gardening, practicing yoga, and spending time with her husband, daughter, and her pup. Vaidehi is also the author and illustrator of a children’s picture book titled: “Once upon an idea”. Dr. Natu joined the board of the Dallas IDA in 2020 and is looking forward to working with a wonderful group of passionate individuals to spark the change.


Dr. Sheaneh Sattari, MSc

Director

Sheaneh Sattari received her MSc in Clinical Neuroscience from University College London and is currently a clinical psychology doctoral candidate at Walden University. Her research is focused on the effects of body awareness and cognitive flexibility in individuals who have experienced trauma. Sheaneh worked as a neurofeedback therapist for several years. Her work focused on helping individuals rewire their brainwave patterns to lower their symptoms. She treated a wide variety of patients with both neurological and mental health issues through biofeedback, neurofeedback, and other modalities. Sheaneh also has experience in assessment with children, especially children with neurodevelopmental disabilities. Currently, she is working as an intern performing comprehensive psychological evaluations for children and adults including psychological evaluations for medical/surgical procedures at a private practice in Dallas, Texas.

Sheaneh enjoys scuba diving, traveling, camping, and spending time with her husband and puppy. She joined the Dallas IDA board of directors in 2021 and is looking forward to helping spread awareness and information about learning disabilities such as dyslexia.


Ashley Lauren Zimmerman, Ed. Diag., L.D.T., CALT, M.Ed
Director
 
Lauren Hall has been in the field of education for ten years, six of which has been as a Certified Academic Language Therapist trained through Scottish Rite Hospital.  She originally joined the dyslexia field because she wanted to advocate for and support those identified with dyslexia like her father.  She currently serves as a Supervisor for the Section 504 and Dyslexia Services Department in Dallas ISD.  In Dallas, she has previously served as a Lead Dyslexia Interventionist and Instructional Coordinator.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Texas at Dallas, a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at Arlington, and a Masters of Education in Special Education from Midwestern State University.  She is also certified as a Licensed Dyslexia Therapist, Literacy Specialist, and Educational Diagnostician in the state of Texas.
 
Lauren is an avid dog lover and also currently serves on the Board of Directors for Samoyed Rescue of Texas.  In her free time, she enjoys spending quality time with her family which includes her two dogs, Sven and Bella.
 
Lauren joined the Dallas IDA Board in 2020.  She is excited for this opportunity to promote awareness and support advocacy for dyslexia throughout the community.

Advisory Board

  • Karla Bell
  • Anna Burton
  • Jone Bycel, M.S., BCET, FAET
  • Shanara Hawkins, M.Ed., CALT
  • John Hodges, MA, CALT
  • Carla Proctor, Ph.D., NCED, LDT, CALT
  • Harrian Stern, Ph.D., RPED, NCED

Share this page with your friends…
FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail