Board of Directors
Emily Visinsky, M.Ed.
Emily Visinsky has worked in private practice as an Academic Therapist specializing in working with students that have learning differences for the last sixteen 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.
Shanara Hawkins, M.Ed., CALT
Shanara Hawkins has been in the Education field since 2007. She began her career as a Dyslexia Therapist in 2010, and currently serves her campus as the Reading Specialist, Dyslexia Therapist, and Mentor Teacher. She is an SMU alumnus where she received her B.A. in English and her M.Ed. in Reading and Writing. Shanara is an avid researcher of topics related to the inner and outer workings of the English Language and how the human brain works to comprehend it. Language is an immense fascination of hers and she is amazed at the things she knows and the things she has yet to learn about it. Teaching is her passion and her calling; it is one of the moments she feels she is at her absolute best while having a profound impact on student achievement.
Shanara has served on the Dallas IDA board since 2013 and is honored to be a part of such a dynamic and progressive organization. She held the Treasurer position for 2016-2017, and assumed the position of Vice-President in 2018.
In her personal life, she enjoys weightlifting, reading metaphysical books, and is in the process of transitioning to a raw vegan lifestyle. Oh, and, there is this boy in her life who she says has captured her heart and soul. His name is Saint, and he calls her mom.
Paul Niemyski, M.S., MBA
Paul Niemyski has been with Texas Instruments for over 20 years and is currently the Director of Foundry Management. Paul has held several leadership positions at Texas Instruments in the manufacturing and development organizations. He has been an adult literacy teacher for LIFT since 2013 and currently supports them as a teacher in the high school equivalency program teaching math, science and language arts. He and his wife Kamela are also the owners of a Primrose Preschool Franchise in Allen TX.
Paul’s advocacy for dyslexia comes from his experience with his daughter and his own struggles. Paul and Kamela have two daughters, one of whom struggles with several dyslexia associated learning differences. Paul also believes he was an undiagnosed dyslexic based on remediation he received in grade school for troubles with reading and specifically, phonics.
Paul received his Bachelors of Science in Materials Science and Engineering from North Carolina State University, his Masters of Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Engineering Science and a MBA from the University of Texas, Austin. Mr. Niemyski joined the Dallas IDA board in 2017 and was appointed to the Treasurer position in 2018.
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 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 importance of dyslexia identification.
Mrs. Clack joined the board of the Dallas IDA in 2014 and was elected as Secretary in 2015.
LaNaye Reid, M.Ed.
LaNaye Reid is an educator with eighteen years’ experience in the public school system as a teacher, dyslexia therapist, and intervention specialist. Her expertise is in identifying strengths and weaknesses in struggling learners and implementing effective interventions for student growth and achievement.
LaNaye Reid joined the board in 2012 and held the office of President from 2013-2017. She currently serves as the Immediate Past-president of the Dallas Branch of the International Dyslexia Association where she uses her leadership skills to collaborate to promote education, awareness and advocacy for individuals with dyslexia and related disorders.
Mrs. Reid received both a BA in English and a Master’s of Educational Leadership from Dallas Baptist University. She received a Master’s of Education from Southern Methodist University as well as a graduate certificate from Southern Methodist University’s Learning Therapy Program. She is also a Certified Academic Language Therapist (CALT) as designated by the Academic Language Therapy Association. She is the author of one article, “Teacher Leaders: A Future Vision,” which was published in the Journal of Staff Development, June 2011.
Amy Amaro is an educator with 11 years’ experience in public schools. Eight years with Richardson Independent School District as a 1st grade teacher, and 3 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 2016. She holds a BS in Early Childhood Education, and is currently working on her MS in Multisensory Teaching from Dallas Baptist University and CALT certification from The Shelton School. 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 served as chair of the Membership Appreciation Committee.
Inez Freeney Fisher, M.Ed., CALT
Inez Fisher is an educator with 16 years’ experience in public schools. Thirteen years with Richardson Independent School District as a teacher, Campus Reading Specialist, and Dyslexia Therapist, and three years as a Dyslexia Therapist with Wylie Independent School District. Prior to becoming an educator, Fisher was a Clinical Audiologist. She was appointed to the Board of Directors of the International Dyslexia Association – Dallas Branch in 2017. She holds a BS in Speech Pathology, MS in Audiology, and MS in Educational Leadership from SMU and Lamar Universities. Fisher is passionate about reading and helping children and adults unlock the mysteries in learning to read.
Inez has been married to her high school sweetheart for 37 years and has two daughters, a son-in-law, and two grand dogs. She enjoys spending time with her mother and siblings each Sunday afternoon, and going to track meets all over the state. Mrs. Fisher joined the Dallas IDA Board in 2017.
Tonya Fleming has been in education in some way or fashion over the past 20 years. She has been an English teacher, English as a second language teacher, journalism teacher, volleyball, basketball and softball coach, assistant principal and principal in the north Texas area. Tonya received her Bachelors of Arts degree from Texas Tech University, Masters of Mid Management
from the University of Texas at Arlington and is currently working on her Educational Doctorate from Texas A & M University in Commerce, Texas.
Mrs. Fleming has been married to her college sweetheart Steve Stump for the past 20 years. They have one daughter, Hollyn, who is in the 7th grade and loves playing softball and twirling. As a family they love going on adventures and traveling. They have a heart for adopting dogs, mostly older dogs, as they have three small rescue ones at home.
Tonya became a strong advocate for dyslexic children when she learned of her daughter’s diagnosis in 2012. She has attended several International Dyslexia Association Conferences and has volunteered for the one that was held in Grapevine in 2015. Mrs. Fleming joined the Dallas IDA board in 2016.
John Hodges, M.A., CALT
John Hodges is the Outreach and Scholars Coordinator for The June Shelton School and Evaluation Center (Shelton) where he coordinates a Saturday program for kids with dyslexia and offers offsite dyslexia simulations for teachers and parents in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. He also teaches a third/fourth grade dyslexia class at Shelton. In May 2015, John received his Master of Arts degree from Dallas Baptist University specializing in Teaching Multi-Sensory Education. He is also a Certified Academic Language Therapist (CALT) and Instructor of the Teaching Level for the Sequential English Education (SEE) dyslexia method. In February 2015, John joined the Board of Directors for the Dallas Branch of the International Dyslexia Association and now serves as the chair of the Scholarship Committee.
John recently celebrated his first year anniversary with his beautiful wife, Rae. As an individual with dyslexia and ADHD, John understands the unique gifts and challenges that come with being learning different. As a result, he is very passionate about guiding dyslexic students in discovering their unique learning style and unlocking their true potential.
Katie Mayfield graduated from Texas A & M University with a BBA in Marketing. In 1997, she started working as an Assistant Service Manager at Sewell Lexus. In 2004, Katie and her husband decided she would stay at home with her newborn daughter, Catherine. Three years later, they expanded their family with a son named Quinn. Katie was excited to join the Dallas Academy team as Front Office Manager in 2013.
Katie Mayfield joined the Dallas IDA Board in the fall of 2017.
Carla McPike, M.Ed., LDT, CALT
Carla McPike is an educator with twelve years’ experience in public schools. She started as a Pre-K and Kindergarten teacher for Dallas ISD and has been working for Richardson ISD for the last seven years, the last three years as a Dyslexia Therapist. She holds a BA in Business Management from the University of Texas at El Paso. In 2015, she was accepted to be part of the 1st K-2 Early Literacy Cohort at Southern Methodist University. After finishing the Early Literacy Program, she continued her studies for a master’s degree. During that time, she took classes in academic language therapy and became passionate about working with dyslexic students. She graduated from Southern Methodist University with a M.Ed. in Reading and Writing. Carla continued attending SMU after graduation to continue with their Academic Language Therapy Program. She is a Certified Academic Language Therapist and a Licensed Dyslexia Therapist in Texas.
Carla started volunteering with Dallas IDA in 2018. She joined the board of the Dallas IDA in 2019. She is married to Erik, a chef, and they have two fur babies. In her spare time, she enjoys listening & attending Broadway musicals, reading, and trying out her husband’s new culinary creations.
Amanda Thornton, MAT, CALT
Amanda Thornton has been working in the field of learning differences for 20 years. Amanda received her training while working at the Shelton School in Dallas, Texas. She holds a B.A. in Sociology and Psychology from Texas Tech University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Dallas Baptist University. Amanda’s mission is to allow each child to reach his or her learning potential through the advocacy of appropriate reading instruction, executive function training or remediation of written expression.
Amanda has been married for 18 years to her wonderful husband, March, and is the proud mom of three fantastic kids. She enjoys reading and running in her spare time as well as outdoor adventures with her family.
Amanda started volunteering with the Dallas IDA in 2018 and then joined the Board of Directors for the Dallas Branch of the International Dyslexia Association in 2019. She is looking forward to furthering the mission of the IDA.
- Lexie Barefoot
- Anna Burton
- Jone Bycel, M.S., BCET
- Gladys Kolenovsky
- Evelyn Madu, CALT, QI
- Carla Proctor, Ph.D., NCED, LDT, CALT
- Harrian Stern, Ph.D., RPED, NCED
- Margaret Taylor Smith, M.Ed., CALT, QI
- Pam Quarterman
- Terri Zerfas
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