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Board of Directors

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.

Moriah Geller, M.A., M.S.

Moriah Geller is the kindergarten teacher and literacy specialist at Marin Horizon School in Mill Valley. She is passionate about bridging early literacy research and practice by providing teachers and families with an understanding of literacy development and evidence-based ways to support young children. She has completed Classroom Educator training through the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators and is an associate educational therapist working toward her professional (ET/P) certification. She holds a B.A. in education and psychology, an M.A. in education, an M.S in reading and literacy.

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.

Lisa Krackov, M.Ed.

Lisa Krackov has 30 years of experience with curriculum design and as a public school classroom teacher, reading specialist and literacy specialist tutor. She has run a private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area for more than 20 years, in which she incorporates structured literacy, multisensory mathematics, mindfulness, and social thinking.  Lisa is an associate level Orton-Gillingham tutor through the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE).  She earned an M.A. in education, language and literacy (M.Ed.) from San Francisco State University. 

Tiffany Obayashi, M.A.

Tiffany Obayashi has been active in the field of education for 27 years as an inclusion support teacher, administrator, resource specialist program (RSP) teacher, and tutor. She is currently an RSP education specialist at La Entrada Middle School in the Las Lomitas School District, Menlo Park. Previously, she worked for 24 years in the San Francisco Unified School District. Tiffany holds a B.A. in psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and received master’s degrees in special education, math education, and educational administration from San Francisco State University. She is trained in the Slingerland and Lindamood-Bell approaches to literacy instruction.


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.


Advisory Board

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.

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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