Board of Directors


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Board of Directors


Heather Caska
President

Heather Caska, M.S., CCC-SLP is a licensed pediatric speech-language pathologist. Heather graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of Arizona and she completed her master’s in Clinical Speech-Language Pathology at Northern Arizona University.

Heather has worked as a speech-language pathologist for 8 years and is the owner of a therapy clinic in the southeast valley. She has experience working with children with various communication disorders and language learning disabilities. She is passionate about bringing more awareness to the community and increasing early identification of dyslexia. Heather has presented for local universities and school districts, as well as state conferences on the role of the SLPs in language literacy disorders.


Becky Keller
Vice President

Becky is owner and operator of Learning to Soar Dyslexia Support. She is a Certified Barton Reading and Spelling System Tutor.

Becky has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. She has significant training in education with a focus on working with students who have special needs. Becky worked for several years as an instructional aide for students with Autism and Asperger Syndrome. She has been a coach, teacher, program administrator and event coordinator. She has also been a licensed foster parent working with children who need special attention and care.

She became involved with dyslexia support when her youngest daughter was diagnosed with Dyslexia in 2013. Through her training, Becky discovered that she was dyslexic. Helping students with dyslexia has become her passion. She specifically desires to find ways of helping her students avoid becoming discouraged with their education and find ways to develop their unique giftings and talents.


Beth Bovee
Treasurer

Beth Bovee has over 18 years of experience in corporate training and development. She became passionate about advocating for dyslexic students through experiencing the difficulties of raising her two youngest children with dyslexia. Feeling that their school’s advice to wait and see was insufficient, Beth spent countless hours researching how to help her children. Her most rewarding work was realized while tutoring them with the Barton Reading and Spelling System.

Beth immediately saw the value in IDA Membership while attending her first workshop in 2017. She was thrilled to find a community of like-minded educators, parents, and practitioners. After learning about the opportunity to advocate for dyslexia legislation from the AZ branch in early 2019, she joined the chorus of voices in support of SB1318 by speaking at the House Education Committee hearing. Beth now works as a reading tutor while pursuing a degree in Early Elementary and Special Education. She volunteers as a Parent Leader with Raising Special Kids and is honored to serve the Arizona Branch of the IDA as a member of the board.

Committee: Fundraising and Symposium


Heather Caciola
Secretary

Heather Caciola, M.Ed, CDT, CALP  is a native of Arizona where she attended elementary, high school, college, and graduate school.  Heather is a literacy specialist for Wilson Language Training Corporation and is the former Director of Learning and Student Support at All Saints’ Episcopal Day School where she created and developed All Saints’ Student Support model for students with mild to moderate learning disabilities.  Heather is involved in several professional organizations and is honored to serve on the board of the Arizona Branch of the International Dyslexia Association.  Heather is deeply passionate about advocating for all students in Arizona, and she believes that everyone has the right to learn how to read.

Committee: Professional Development


Misty Castillo
Board Member

Misty Castillo, MA Elementary Education, Reading Specialist Endorsed is a Literacy Advisor/Specialist for Wilson Language Training. She has 22year of experience in education. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University and then pursued a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education with a Reading Endorsement Certification. Misty has a passion for assisting all children in becoming lifelong readers. This passion led her on a quest of becoming a certified Wilson Dyslexia Therapist and Wilson Credentialed Trainer.

Misty believes knowledge is the key to closing the reading gap. Therefore, she devotedly shares the gift of knowledge with educators, parents, and community. She continues to educate herself and be involved in the cutting edge of research so that she may continue to spread the importance of best first instruction in English Language Arts. Misty is extremely proud to be a Board Member of the Arizona Branch of the International Dyslexia Association.

 

Committee: Professional Development and Fundraising: Gala


Gina Conner
Board Member

Dr. Gina Conner, an experienced educator, coach, and leader in public education and higher education, currently serves as a clinical assistant professor and senior program strategist for graduate teacher preparation programs in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. Gina began her career in education in 2000, serving in K-12 public schools as a special education teacher and instructional coach, while earning her bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees in education and leadership at Arizona State University. Driven by a love for teaching and learning, she takes pride in providing high quality graduate programs in teacher preparation that produce effective and innovative educational leaders who make a positive difference in schools and communities. Gina also co-owns a Phoenix-based videography business with her husband Jay and together they produce video stories that support the work of non-profits, small/medium businesses, artists, entrepreneurs, and amazing individuals across the state of Arizona. Gina proudly serves on the boards of Playworks Arizona and the Arizona Branch of the International Dyslexia Association.

Committee: Community Relations


Ciara Dixon
Board Member

Ciara Dixon has a B.S. degree in Strategic Communications from Oklahoma State University and is a dyslexic herself. Growing up she excelled at school and struggled with homework and her mom quickly learned she was getting patted on the back to move forward while the school ignored major red flags in her work, flipped writing, major trouble in math and reading made her head hurt. Thankfully her great aunt Brenda worked in special education and gave her mother the right tools and guidance to get her on the right track. While her writing is now in its correct form, reading doesn’t make her head swirl and well.. math is still math.. she’s discovering how dyslexia continues to affect her as she grows in years and is now looking at it in the lens of a gift.
Currently, she works with the Girl Scouts of Cactus-Pine where she is a Program Logistics Specialist. She works with both adult women and young girls and strives to be a kind collaborate leader who gently pushes women and girls to be the best leaders they can be. While working with the IDA board,  she knows being surrounded by knowledgeable women, having access to the most recent resources and knowledge of current and potentially future legislation for dyslexia she wants to encourage adults and children she works with to use their voice and lean on their gifts. We are more powerful than we may think.

Committee: Fundraising: Masquerade Gala


April Hooper
Board Member

April Hooper is a Dyslexia Specialist and has received her training directly from Susan Barton, as well as being trained in over six different O-G based reading programs. She currently has over 200 hours of training that is specific to Dyslexia. She is a private reading tutor for Dyslexic students and has been employed for the last eight years in the public and private school systems teaching reading intervention for small groups. She is currently working toward obtaining a Dyslexia Certification through the Dyslexia Training Institute, along with aspirations of getting a Dyslexia Advocate Certification.
April has a passion for Dyslexic students/adults, and their families, as well as the educators that work with Dyslexic students.  She has many family members and loved ones with brilliant Dyslexic brains, including one of her daughters and her husband. The Arizona IDA has helped her grow in her own knowledge about Dyslexia, and she wants to help others in their journey for knowledge as well. April is honored to be serving as a  board member of the Arizona IDA.
Committee: Marketing and Social Media

Anne Iniguez
Board Member

Anne Iniguez is an interventionist at St. John Bosco Catholic School in Phoenix, Arizona. She has her bachelors in Elementary Education and Masters in Special Education. Anne has worked with students with Dyslexia her entire career. Trained in Orton Gillingham methods, Anne is currently working towards her Associate level certification through the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators. Anne is also a member of the Associate for Educational Therapy. Anne lives in the Phoenix area with her husband and two children.

Committee: Community Relations and Professional Development, including Scholarships


Jillian Jones
Board Member

Jillian Jones is the Client Relations & Outreach Coordinator at the Wellington-Alexander Center in Scottsdale. She and her husband live in North Phoenix with their two neuro-divergent children – a gifted daughter and a dyslexic/twice-exceptional son. Their journey to find the right support services and  school environment for their son is what lead Jillian to become an outspoken advocate for students with learning differences. Her favorite quote is, “When a plant doesn’t grow in the environment it’s subjected to, you fix the environment not the plant.”

 

Committee: Fundraising: Masquerade Gala


Katie Lewis
Board Member

Katie Lewis, MA- Elementary Education,  is a K-2 Intervention Coach for a Title One district in Phoenix. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Arizona State University with an emphasis in Multilingual Multicultural Education. During her tenure with her school district, she obtained her reading endorsement which led her to a position as a Reading Specialist which she held for 12 years. She has worked with a wide range of age groups from Kindergarten-8th grades. Her passion for reading development and elementary education drove her to pursue and obtain a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University. 

Katie’s work as a district intervention coach has given her the opportunity to facilitate professional development district-wide on research-based best practices grounded in the science of reading. She regards her role as coach as a catalyst for building relationships with teachers and staff. Her drive for educating fellow educators about dyslexia and reading science has led her to the Arizona Branch of the IDA. She holds fast to the belief that all children can read and is excited to contribute to this dynamic board.

Committee: Symposium


Meagan Lougee
Board Member

Meagan Lougee is a parent of three beautiful, smart, neuro divergent daughters who struggle with dyslexia among other disabilities. Meagan believes that every child should be able to learn and have joy in their education environment. Watching her kindergarten child suffer in school with profound dyslexia was traumatizing and she believes that no child should have to suffer like hers did.

Meagan joined IDA to seek like-minded people to understand the emotional and costly struggles dyslexia has on a family.

She often hosts park dates, play dates, and created a small community of parents and families in order to normalize dyslexia and promote educational and peer support for dyslexic students. 

Committee: Fundraising: Dyslexia Dash


Leah Noreng
Board Member


Anna Sosa
Board Member

Anna Sosa, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is a licensed speech-language pathologist and associate professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.  She received her clinical training and Ph.D. from the University of Washington in Seattle.  She has worked as a school-based speech-language pathologist and currently provides clinical services and graduate student supervision at the NAU Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic.  She also teaches undergraduate and graduate courses and conducts research in early speech and language development and speech sound disorders.  She is the mother of two sons, one with dyslexia.  Through tutoring her son using an Orton-Gillingham based structured literacy program, she saw first-hand what a difference appropriate reading intervention can make in the life of a child with dyslexia.  She is now passionate about bringing effective reading instruction to as many children as possible as well as educating her college students so that they will be able to recognize dyslexia in their future clients and students and provide appropriate recommendations and interventions.

Committee: Professional Development, including Nominating and Scholarships


Veronica Stoltz
Board Member

Veronica Stoltz is a mother of 4 great kids who are her pride and joy.  She is a problem solver with a track record of advocating for kids on local, state, and national levels. She represented Children’s Hospital and Clinics of MN in Washington D.C. during “Speak Now for Kids” Advocacy Days on Capitol Hill. She also volunteers with the Families as Partners program with Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Raising Special Kids of AZ. She was also elected to serve on one of the top school boards in MN. Veronica graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in Communications and minors in Political Science and Russian. She was also trained by Orton Gillingham Specialists in the Sonday method of reading instruction.

Committee: Community Relations


Rebekah Dyer
Immediate Past President

Dr. Rebekah Dyer is a full professor in the college of education at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ. The courses that she teaches focus on special education. She graduated from Arizona State University West with a bachelor’s degree in special education and a dual certification in both regular and special education. She completed her master’s degree in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University. Dr. Dyer graduated with a doctoral degree in organizational leadership with an emphasis in special education from Grand Canyon University in the Fall of 2018. Her dissertation research focused on the inclusion of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in disability ministry programs. She presented her research at an International Autism Conference in Nanjiing, China. 

 


Mary Smith
Executive Assistant

Mary Smith is a parent member since 2017. She manages the social media accounts for the Arizona Branch of IDA. Mary has three sons, each of which is dyslexic. Mary’s boys also struggle with dyspraxia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, sensory processing disorder, ADHD, childhood apraxia of speech, autism, and anxiety. She has learned firsthand the struggles children with dyslexia face. After many frustrating experiences in the public school systems, Mary began homeschooling her middle child. Mary joined AZ IDA because she wants to spread awareness so other parents won’t have to struggle to find the appropriate help for their kids and their dyslexic children can flourish and not feel ashamed and defeated.


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