Board of Directors
Misty Clack, M.Ed.
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 yearly Regional Conference 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, elected to her role as Vice-President in the fall of 2019, and to President in July 2023.
Courtney Clemmons, MA, LPC
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
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.
Dahlem Dodson, MBA
Dahlem Dodson is an accomplished former executive of Raytheon Technologies with a progressive and extensive background in financial leadership with emphasis on financial, operational, and strategic management, financial planning, Mergers & Acquisitions, and international business. His previous position was Chief Financial Officer of Raytheon’s Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance systems business.
Dahlem holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from Texas A&M University and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of North Texas as well as being a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) from 1995 – 2022. He also served on the board of Raytheon North Texas Financial Leadership Development Program as well as a local United Methodist Church.
Dahlem enjoys spending time with family and being outdoors.
Odera A. Akachukwu, MSc, PMP, CSCP, CSM, LSSBB
Odera A. Akachukwu, the CEO of Gifted Stylus, stands at the forefront of strategic consulting, merging global insights with local market sensitivities to drive growth and innovation across various industries. His work, deeply influenced by his personal journey with dyslexia, exemplifies resilience and a creative approach to problem-solving, qualities that have propelled Gifted Stylus to become a beacon of “Glocal” strategy excellence. This approach has not only positioned SMEs, multinational corporations, and government entities for success but also reflects Odera’s commitment to creating inclusive environments that celebrate diverse talents.
With a career spanning over a decade, Odera has left an indelible mark on supply chain management, e-commerce, retail operations, and omnichannel strategies. His roles as a former leader at Pandion, Regional Manager of Operations at GOPUFF in DFW, TX, and impactful positions at TARGET CORPORATION and Bloomingdales, demonstrate his unmatched ability to enhance operational efficiencies and strategic direction. As an entrepreneur, Odera’s ventures, OM-Kitchen and OM Label, highlight his knack for innovation and scaling businesses.
Odera’s educational background is as impressive as his professional journey, holding an MSc in Logistics and Supply Management from the University of Kent and a B.Eng. in Computer Engineering from Covenant University. His expertise is further solidified by certifications in Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), and Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM).
Joining the board of the Dallas Branch of the International Dyslexia Association, Odera brings his unique perspective and professional acumen to champion the cause of individuals with dyslexia in the workplace and beyond. His vision is to ensure that dyslexia is recognized not as a hindrance but as a valuable perspective that can contribute significantly to innovation and success in the modern business landscape.
Concepción Moncada Cummings, MEd, CALP
Concepción is a bilingual/biliterate Mexican American doctoral student at the University of Florida. Her current research consists of emergent bilingual students, dyslexia, evidence-based literacy practices, early literacy/foundational reading skills, dis/ability, and education policy. Concepción’s experiences as a former bilingual teacher in public education in the United States have steered her focus in graduate school to bilingual children with dis/abilities, families of multicultural children, and stressing their stories so that their abilities can be highlighted, and their needs can be met. Her interests are rooted in equity, cultural diversity, and linguistic diversity.
Concepción es mexicana-estadounidense, es bilingüe, y está en su doctorado en la Universidad de Florida. Su investigación actual consiste de investigaciones con estudiantes bilingües, dislexia, prácticas de alfabetización basadas en la evidencia, alfabetización temprana/habilidades básicas de lectura, discapacidad y política educativa. Las experiencias de Concepción como ex-maestra bilingüe en la educación pública en los Estados Unidos han dirigido su enfoque en la escuela de posgrado a niños bilingües con discapacidades, familias de niños multiculturales, y enfatizando sus historias de las familias para que sus habilidades puedan resaltarse y que reciban ayuda para sus necesidades. Sus intereses se basan en la equidad, la diversidad cultural y la diversidad lingüística.
Charlotte (Showalter) Gregor, CALT, MEd
Natalia Lopez, MEd, CALT, WDT, LDT
Natalia Lopez has worked in education for the past 17 years. She is currently a Lead Dyslexia Interventionist at Charles A. Gill Elementary in Dallas ISD. Recently she earned her Master of Education and Learning Therapy Specialization from SMU, and she holds a bachelor’s in Social Communication and Journalism. She is a Wilson Therapist and Certified Academic Language Therapist.
Natalia grew up in Colombia-South America where she comes from an extensive line of educators. In her free time, she likes to spend time outdoors hiking, camping, and backpacking. She loves trying new recipes and traveling with her husband.
As a therapist, she strongly believes it is imperative to promote equity and empower communities through education, awareness, and advocacy.
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.
Theresa Melia, Esq.
Theresa’s passion for dyslexia advocacy stems from researching the best way to support her child after a dyslexia diagnosis. Theresa is a partner at Champion LLP. Prior to joining Champion LLP, she practiced civil and commercial litigation at a leading Australian law firm and premier litigation firms in the U.S. Theresa maintains a generalist practice, representing defendants and plaintiffs in complex commercial litigation and business disputes as well as white collar defense and investigations. Her clients range from individuals and small businesses to large Fortune 500 companies. An experienced advisor to the C-suite, she helps clients resolve complex commercial matters including contractual obligations, regulatory obligations, and strategic partnerships. Theresa frequently resolves matters that require discretion and sensitivity, as well as situations that make headlines.
Her ability to assist in furthering IDA Dallas’s mission is informed by over ten years of experience providing a broad range of analytical and strategic legal services. Theresa wants to continue her lifelong commitment to learning, aid in disseminating information to dispel misconceptions about dyslexia, and create a cultural shift to embrace meaningful and impactful change for those affected by dyslexia.
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.
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.
Kendra Spears, M.Ed., CALT
Kendra Spears is currently a Dyslexia Interventionist for Dallas ISD. She has worked in education for the past 10 years. In 2022, she graduated from SMU with a Master of Education and Learning Therapy Specialization. Her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education is from Oklahoma State University.
Kendra struggled as a student and was diagnosed with her own learning difference in first grade. Throughout her education, her grades did not reflect her capabilities. Pursuing higher education always seemed out of her reach. With the help of some amazing teachers and professors, she found her passion in working with students who also had learning differences. Kendra’s mission is to help struggling readers become proficient readers, improve self-esteem, and become academically successful. She believes raising awareness and advocating for all children and adults with dyslexia is important for their success. She is excited to be working with IDA to continue educating parents and teachers to provide them with tools and resources to help those with dyslexia succeed.
Kathy Woolston is currently a dance instructor for a studio in Plano, High School PTSA president, high school wrestling booster president and North Collin County Fellowship of Christian Athletes board member. She has 3 boys, 2 that have been diagnosed with dyslexia. She has been on a PTA / PTSA for over 19 years, serving as a PTA / PTSA president for 9 of those years. Kathy has been a part of Frisco ISD Council of PTAs, numerous Frisco ISD school advisory boards and the neighborhood HOA board. She started doing research for academic accommodations as a parent in 2008 when her first son was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD. She then developed a dedication in helping other parents advocate for their child’s learning success.
Kathy enjoys spending time with her family and traveling in her free time.
Gabriella Collins is currently an honors student at Abilene Christian University studying to obtain a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre. She is also a member of the Big Purple Marching and Concert Bands playing the flute and piccolo. She is a native of Arkansas and is comfortably becoming a proud Texan. Gabriella was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 11. She then completed a four-year Orton-Gillingham program which changed her life and set her on the path to academic success.
As a result of the struggles she experienced in her early years, she became a fierce advocate and volunteer for dyslexia education and awareness. She is the founder and president of the dyslexia club at her high school and used that as a stepping stone to start her nonprofit Why Dyslexia Matters. Gabriella has created a phone app, Instagram / Facebook page, and website to share interviews with dyslexia specialists, virtual story times, and the warning signs of dyslexia. She works to connect with students, teachers, parents, and community members by sharing her personal story. She has created a phonetic alphabet musical theatre experience designed to help teach children about dyslexia and help dyslexic kids embrace it as their superpower.
When Gabriella is not advocating for dyslexia, she can be found dancing, singing and acting on stage. She loves playing the violin and kazoo, listening to vinyls of Elvis, Elton John, and the Beatles and rewatching episodes of Friends. On a typical day Gabriella can be found hanging out with her rescue standard poodle Amalia and sharing her love for her Greek heritage.
Breckyn Steele is a student at Lake Highlands High School, where she is the Feature Twirler and member of the Wildcat Band, playing in the percussion line. Breckyn was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 11 after her little brother, Xander, was diagnosed. Her mom realized the things Xander struggled with were the exact same things Breckyn was encountering. Once diagnosed she started therapy and dyslexia classes. Academically, Breckyn immediately saw results, no longer struggling through homework, tests, and school in general. Grades that were B’s and C’s, changed to all A’s!
At just 12 years old, Breckyn made dyslexia awareness her passion project. Advocating and volunteering led her to create Breckyn’s Book Box which has donated over 250 books with dyslexic characters to local schools, libraries, fundraisers, and organizations. Her goal is to provide kids with relatable characters in these books. By sharing her dyslexia journey, Breckyn hopes to reach students, teachers, and parents, providing insight and proving that dyslexia doesn’t define you and doesn’t have to hold you back from achieving your goals. Her career path beyond high school includes becoming a certified dyslexia teacher.
In other interests, Breckyn can be found in the gym practicing baton twirling with her team, Texas Touch of Class. She has been a competitive baton twirler since she was two, and has won many local, state, regional, and national awards. Breckyn also enjoys spending weekends at the lake, playing with her dog, Tigger, and hanging out with friends.
Aman Yarlagadda is a high school student at Newman Smith High School in Carrollton Farmers-Branch Independent School District. He is quite interested in scientific research, conducting projects ranging from the use of Artificial Intelligence for pancreatic tumor identification to the synthesis of nanoparticles for chemiluminescence in bioimaging contexts. His passion for scientific research led him to the International Dyslexia Association, discovering the organization through a paper published by the National Institute of Health.
His passion for dyslexia stems from his interest in the human brain. The sheer complexity of the organ, from its intricate neuronal wiring to its puzzling efficiency in long-scale communication, leaves much to be discovered by research scientists across the globe. He believes that the collaboration of scientists from many different disciplines is the key to unlocking the mysteries of the brain. Similarly, raising awareness about dyslexia and other neurological conditions will help foster a global environment that provides access to tools and resources for those who need them.
In his free time, Aman enjoys playing the alto saxophone and watching his hometown sports teams. In particular, you can find him watching the Dallas Cowboys every Sunday (which usually doesn’t bode well for his sanity levels). Aman is excited to be a part of the Dallas IDA Associate Board and looks forward to helping make a difference.
- Karla Bell
- Anna Burton
- Jone Bycel, M.S., BCET, FAET
- Tom Crain
- Shanara Hawkins, M.Ed., CALT
- John Hodges, MA, CALT
- Carla Proctor, Ph.D., NCED, LDT, CALT
- Lisa Ray
- Harrian Stern, Ph.D., RPED, NCED
- Emily Visinsky, MEd
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