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Board of Directors

Mary Cancelmo, M.A.

Mary Cancelmo recently retired from San Francisco Unified School District and is now in private practice tutoring students with Wilson Reading System. Previously, Mary held positions in the SFUSD as a dyslexia screening and support teacher on special assignment working to implement the guidelines of  AB 1369, as a resource specialist, and as an inclusion specialist. After a career in photography, Mary came to special education to learn how to help her own child and provide support for children with learning differences and their families. Mary studied and implemented structured literacy and multisensory mathematics interventions, as well as social thinking and mindfulness practices to meet the needs of her elementary-age students. Mary has an Education Specialist credential and Master of Arts degree in special education from San Francisco State University and is a certified Wilson Dyslexia Practitioner.

Grace Sharma, M.S. Ed

Grace Sharma, currently in private practice, is a credentialed educator in the areas of early childhood education, special education, and pupil administrative services.  She has been active in the field of education for over 15 years as a tutor, teacher, intervention specialist, and administrator.  She holds a Masters degree in Transdisciplinary Early Childhood Education from the University of Dayton (OH) and a Bachelors degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Early Childhood Education and American Literature focus) from Miami University (OH).  She is a certified Structured Literacy Dyslexia Specialist through the Center for Effective Reading Instruction (CERI) and a Certified Level Orton-Gillingham Tutor through the Orton-Gillingham Academy (OGA, formerly AOGPE).  Grace spends much of her time leading teacher trainings as a Fellow for the Orton-Gillingham Academy (OGA, formerly AOGPE) and as a National Trainer for LETRS.

Jennifer Parker, M.A.
Vice President

Jennifer Parker is a program coordinator and teacher in the Resource Specialist Program (RSP) at Archbishop Riordan High School in San Francisco where she supports and teaches students with diagnosed language-based learning differences. Prior to this, she was a Literacy Specialist with the San Francisco Unified School District. She also maintains a private multisensory-based tutoring practice. Before this, Jennifer was a general education classroom teacher. She has a B.S. in Behavioral and Social Sciences from the University of Maryland and an M.A. in Teaching Reading from the University of San Francisco. She holds a Multiple Subject California Teaching Credential. Jennifer is a Wilson Reading System Level 1 certified practitioner.

Erin S. Berg, EdM

Erin Berg is an educational specialist in private practice. She offers educational assessments and often partners with psychologists to provide team-based psychoeducational evaluations. She also consults with families and teachers regarding broad learning differences. Previously, Erin served as director of educational services at Morrissey Compton Educational Center and as an educational consultant with Santa Clara County’s Educational Rights Project. She earned an Ed.M. in Mind, Brain, and Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education.


Beth Lucey, B.S.

Beth Lucey has 20 years of experience as a public school educator, teaching grades Kindergarten through 8th grade, including serving as a Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment provider for the Redwood City School District and a Literacy Specialist in SFUSD providing intensive small group reading intervention for K-2 students in general education and for students in the Mild to Moderate Special Day Classes. Currently, Beth serves as a Literacy Coordinator with San Mateo Foster City School District helping the district make the transition to Structured Literacy in all K-2 classrooms. Beth holds a Multiple Subject Teaching credential with CLAD certification and is trained in Orton-Gillingham practices through the Institute for Multi-Sensory Education. She received her BS from Santa Clara University.


Kimberly Burns, EdM

Kimberly Burns is currently an education specialist at the New School of San Francisco. She holds a B.A. in political science and a California teaching credential. She has been in education for 13 years, having spent the past ten years as an education specialist & case manager in Oakland, CA.  Kimberly has also taught Kindergarten and third grade (general education) in the Bayview district of San Francisco.  She is trained in the Slingerland approach to literacy instruction and is currently on the path to certification. She strives to provide quality access to instruction for students on all learning journeys. She, her husband (also in education), and her 2-year-old daughter enjoy exploring new parks, spending hours in bookstores, and riding bikes through Golden Gate Park.

Jackie Elward

Jackie Elward currently serves as mayor of the City of Rohnert Park. She is the first black woman to hold the title of mayor in northern coastal California. Jackie is pursuing her education in sociology at Chico State University and in criminal justice at Central State University, and also works at the French American Charter School as an instructional assistant. Married and the mother of three children, Jackie has served on a number of Sonoma County committees and commissions.  Born and raised in the Democratic Republic of Congo, she is the founder of the non-profit Les Enfants Baobab, which houses, feeds, and educates street children in Kinshasa.

Ronit Glickman, B.A.

Ronit Glickman is an elementary public school teacher at the Santa Rosa French American Charter School and the mother of a student with dyslexia. She has a background in finance and was the former president of a financial services company before pursuing a second career in education 13 years ago. She earned a Multiple Subjects Credential with CLAD certification from Sonoma State University and has specialized training in multisensory structured literacy and math. She was originally trained by Ron Yoshimoto in the Orton-Gillingham approach, which she applies to both whole-class instruction as well as to small reading intervention groups. Ronit is dedicated to professional development, teacher training, and raising dyslexia awareness. She also enjoys yoga, tennis, and swimming.

Angie Kastner, M.Ed

Angie Kastner is currently a Literacy Specialist with the Ross Valley School District in Marin.  She has been a public school educator for 20 years, including teaching in SFUSD and in Santa Barbara. Angie has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Oregon, a M.Ed and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from University of California Santa Barbara and a Reading Specialist Authorization from University of San Francisco.  Angie is trained in Orton Gillingham at the Associates level through the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE) and is completing her practicum and application for 2023.

William Patterson

William Patterson is a tutor with a private practice in San Francisco where he works with students with language-based learning differences.  Prior to opening his private practice, William worked as a Resource Specialist for the San Francisco Unified School District, an English teacher for the Abu Dhabi Education Council, and a Varying Exceptionality Teacher for Dade County Public Schools.  William was introduced to multisensory structured literacy while attending Slingerland Summer School in San Francisco as a teacher participant.  He is also a member of the Community Advisory Committee for Special Education for San Francisco Unified School District.

Nanette (Sheri) Schonleber, Ph.D.

Nanette (Sheri) Schonleber is an associate professor of early childhood studies at Sonoma State University. An educational psychologist with a focus on the intersection of culture, learning, and development, she has specialties in the Montessori approach and early literacy and language development.  Her academic and research interests include (a) the intersection of place-based, culturally responsive pedagogies, the natural world, and STEAM in early childhood learning and development, (b) professional development activities that increase early childhood teachers’ sense of self efficacy as STEAM learners, doers, and mentors, and (c) the development of early literacy and language in children and adults.  Her deep interest in diagnosing and supporting children and the families of children who have dyslexia was sparked in 1998 when her youngest child was diagnosed with dyslexia. In 2005 after taking additional graduate level course work and completing both the Orton-Gillingham Level 1 and the Schools Attuned trainings, she began a small private practice specializing in psychoeducational testing and assessment for dyslexia and dysgraphia in children and adults ages four –to-twenty. She provided educational and referral information and support to clients, parents, and families and acted as a support/liaison between families, classrooms, and schools. She was elected and served on the board of directors for the Hawai`i International Dyslexia Society from 2007 until 2011 when she and her husband relocated to California for family reasons. Her volunteer service there included conducting workshops describing the signs of dyslexia, related emotional issues, and community resources. 

Advisory Board

Cawley Carr

Cawley Carr is the Branch Council Director on the International Dyslexia Association’s Board of Directors. Cawley is an owner and clinician in private practice setting providing speech/language and educational evaluations and therapy. She contracts with schools, clinics, and families to conduct conferences, in-services, group therapy, and 1:1 therapy. She treats clients with challenges in articulation, receptive/expressive language, executive functioning, NVLD, phonemic awareness, reading/writing, and organization. Also, Cawley mentors other SLPs and educational therapists. She is trained and certified in many Orton-Gillingham methods, educational-based, assistive technology, and social-skills programs and methodologies.

Emma Elizalde, Ed.M., ET

Emma is currently a Reading and Learning Specialist at Town School for Boys. In addition to working at Town, Emma has a small private practice where she works with students on their reading and writing skills. Outside of teaching, Emma is pursuing a doctoral degree in Learning and Instruction from the University of San Francisco. Emma has an Educational Therapy Certificate from Holy Names University, an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a B.A. in Psychology and Education from Mount Holyoke College.



Nancy Redding, M.Ed.

Nancy Redding is a long-time member of The International Dyslexia Association. She served as branch president from 2007 until 2010 and is currently the Regional Representative for the Pacific Region of IDA.  She earned a Masters Degree in Special Education from the U. of Utah and has provided educational therapy for students with learning disabilities in a variety of school and clinical settings. Presently, she is a part-time Learning Disability Specialist at West Valley Community College and is a Fellow-In-Training with the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE). She is the co-author, with Marcia Henry, Ph.D., of Patterns for Success, published by Pro-Ed, and has served as an Orton-Gillingham trainer for teachers both locally and nationally.


Sherry Sachar, M.A.

Originally from New York City, Sherry Sachar has been a member of IDA since 1996 and has served on the board of directors of the Northern California branch for 8 years. After earning her MA and teaching credential, she relocated to San Francisco and began working in public schools. As a teacher and learning specialist for over 25 years, she continues to learn from the students she works with. Sherry maintains a private practice where she employs a variety of multisensory, Orton Gillingham-based approaches. She has also taught at the Slingerland Summer School in San Francisco for many years. In her spare time, Sherry is an avid fan of history and soccer, and she has also been a soccer coach for young children.

John Santonastaso

John Santonastaso recently retired after working for 35 years in public education as a classroom teacher, a reading specialist, and a vice principal.  He holds two master’s degrees in education from UCLA, as well as a reading specialist credential from Cal State East Bay.  He completed the Level 1 Slingerland training in 2013, and taught at the Slingerland Summer School in San Francisco under the directorship of Nancy Cushen White. 



Nancy Cushen White, Ed.D.

Nancy Cushen White is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatrics-Adolescent & Young Adult Medicine-University of CA-San Francisco and a member of the UCSF Dyslexia Research Team; she also teaches classes in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at UCSF. She has more than 40 years of experience in public schools as a classroom teacher, special education teacher, and program specialist in special education curriculum with San Francisco Unified School District; she piloted a special day class for 2e students diagnosed with dyslexia and intellectually gifted. She works as a certified academic language therapist, a board-certified educational therapist, a certified Slingerland teacher training course director, and a dyslexia consultant in her private practice, Dyslexia Evaluation & Remediation Clinic. She has been working as a Literacy Intervention Consultant and Case Manager for Lexicon Reading Center in Dubai–United Arab Emirates since 2010.

As a past member of The International Dyslexia Association Board of Directors, she served as program chair and co-chair for the annual conference several times. Currently, she is the International Dyslexia Association representative to the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities (NJCLD) and editor of the Examiner, IDA’s monthly online newsletter. In addition, she is a past president and current advisory board member of the Northern California Branch of IDA.


Leslie Lingaas Woodward, B.A.

Leslie Lingaas Woodward first joined the IDA Northern California board in 2005 and has served two terms as branch president. She has worked for many years as a San Francisco-based freelance writer, specializing in health care. In 2001, she completed multisensory structured language education training (Slingerland Level 1) and has since maintained a small tutoring practice, helping young writers and readers to build their skills.

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