The member organizations of NJCLD are the following:
Current NJCLD Representatives
Jon Clancy, M.S., CCC-SLP, represents the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). He has served on the NJCLD since 2016 and currently works on the Content and Communications Committee. Jon is a speech-language pathologist in the Early Supports and Services program at Community Bridges, Concord, NH. He also works in private practice and provides services for adults with neurologically-based communication and swallowing disorders. He is a school board member for the John Stark Regional High School District. He is a former member of ASHA’s School Finance committee and past president of the New Hampshire Speech-Language Hearing Association, where he currently serves as treasurer. For four years, Jon was an adjunct faculty member in the Speech-Language Pathology Assistant Program at Nashua Community College, Nashua, NH. His research interests lie in the area of receptive and expressive language disorders in the adolescent population. Jon’s interest in LD came from 12 years working in high school and middle school students. He lives in Concord, NH with his wife Jackie and children Madeline, 19, and Jared, 17.
Rebecca Wiseheart, PhD, CCC-SLP represents the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). She has served on the NJCLD since 2015 and currently leads the Content and Communications Committee. Rebecca is an associate professor and assistant chair in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) at St. John’s University. She is a nationally certified speech-language pathologist and serves as CE Content Manager of ASHA’s Perspectives in Language Learning and Education. Her interest in learning disabilities began during her 17 years serving students with dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities in public schools and clinical practice. Before joining the faculty at St. John’s, she was a clinical supervisor in the Reading Disorders diagnostic clinic at the University of Florida. She teaches courses in assessment, language and literacy, and school-based speech-language pathology practice. Her research focuses on cognitive and linguistic processing in dyslexia. Rebecca has two adult sons and lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband.
Janet Medina, Psy.D., represents the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD). Janet has served on the NJCLD since 2012 and currently works on the Public Policy committee. Janet is Associate Professor of Education at McDaniel College in Westminster, MD where she has taught for the past 18 years. Originally trained as an anthropologist, she worked as an archaeologist for a few years and taught PreK-12th grade Special education for a number of years in New York state. At the postsecondary level, she worked with college students with disabilities at the time when colleges and universities were first developing postsecondary Disability Support Services (DSS) programs. Her two most recent publications include a chapter in the book, Behavior Management: Positive Applications for Teachers, 7th edition (2016) by Tom Zirpoli entitled: Diversity in the Classroom, and a book published by AHEAD entitled, Interpreting Diagnostic Assessments of Adolescents and Adults with Learning Disabilities, 2nd edition (2017). In her spare time, she likes to read books, hike, travel, quilt, and spin, knit, and weave fiber.
Kaye Ragland, Ed.D, LMFT, BCET represents the Association of Educational Therapists (AET). Kaye has served on the NJCLD since 2016 and currently leads the Public Policy Committee. Kaye is an AET board certified educational therapist in private practice. Over the course of her 50 year career, she has been a teaching assistant, classroom and RSP teacher, school counselor, principal, director of special education and university instructor. She holds an MA in Marriage, Child, Family Counseling, and Ed.D in educational Leadership and Change. She has an Education Specialist Credential, a Marriage and Family Therapist license. Kaye is Secretary of the Board of the Association of Educational Therapists (AET), and also serves as Chairperson of the Membership and Public Information Committee. Her greatest SPED credential is her role as parent of two children with learning disabilities.
Debi Gartland represents the Council for Learning Disabilities (CLD). She has served on the NJCLD since 20 and currently works on the Content and Communications Committee. She has a Ph.D. from Penn State and has worked as a Special Education teacher and Assistant Principal. Debi is Professor of Special Education at Towson University (Maryland) and coordinates the Elementary Education-Special Education (EESE) Professional Development School program, working with EESE undergraduates in Howard County Public Schools in their senior internship year. In addition to dual-certification teacher preparation, her scholarship interests include advocacy and national policy, especially in the field of Learning Disabilities. Debi hails from Newton, MA, but currently lives in Maryland with her husband and their two daughters.
Froma P. Roth Ph.D., CCC-SLP represents the Division for Communicative Disabilities and Deafness (DCDD). She has served on the NJCLD since XXXX currently works on the Public Policy Committee. Froma is Professor Emeritus, University of Maryland at College Park and an ASHA Fellow. She studies children with and without language and learning disabilities, the variety of communication, linguistic and environmental factors that place children at-risk for language disorders and school failure, and the translation of research findings to evidenced-based instructional practices. She is the co-author of the Treatment Resource Manual for Speech-Language Pathology (5th edition) and PASS (Promoting Awareness of Sounds in Speech), a research-supported phonological awareness program for preschool/primary school settings. Her numerous publications and presentations emphasize issues related to the assessment and treatment of language and literacy problems from preschool through adolescence.
Eric Tridas, M.D., represents the International Dyslexia Association (IDA). He has served on the NJCLD since 2016 and currently works on the Content and Communications Committee. Dr. Tridas is a Developmental Pediatrician who specializes in the diagnosis and management of neurodevelopmental conditions. He is the Medical Director of the Tridas Center for Child Development, a Clinical Associate Professor in Pediatrics at the University of South Florida, Morsani College of Medicine, and an Associate member for the Advisory Committee on Exceptional Children and Youth for the Office of Oversea Schools, United States Department of State. Dr. Tridas is Past President of the International Dyslexia Association and the 2017 recipient of IDA’s Margaret Rawson Lifetime Achievement Award. He edited and co-authored From ABC to ADHD: What Every Parent Should Know About Dyslexia and Attention Problems.
Nancy Cushen White, EdD, represents The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) on the NJCLD (2003-2012; 2015 to present) and currently serves on the Public Policy and Symposium subcommittees. Nancy 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 has 40+ years in public schools as classroom teacher and special education teacher with San Francisco Unified School District. She piloted a special day class for 2e students diagnosed with dyslexia and intellectually gifted; has been working as a Literacy Intervention Consultant and Case Manager for Lexicon Reading Center in Dubai—United Arab Emirates since 2010; and has taught literacy skills classes to young adults (ages 19-24) in the Pre-Trial Diversion Project through the Mentor Court Division of San Francisco Superior Court. Currently, she is editor of the Examiner, IDA’s on-line newsletter. Her most recent publication will be (August 2018) Farrell, ML & White, NC. (in press) Structured Literacy Instruction, in Birsh, J and Carreker, S, Ed. Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills (4 th edition), Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing. Nancy lives in San Francisco with her husband Bebo and is the humble mother of two adult sons, aged 36 and 40; she has two grandsons, 6 years old and 3 years old.
JoAnna Barnes, J.D., represents the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA). She has served on the NJCLD since 2015 and currently works on the Symposium Committee. JoAnna holds a B.A. and J.D. from Georgetown University and is a member of the Maryland and
D.C. Bars. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) and serves as Co-Chair of its Public Policy & Advocacy Committee. JoAnna is also President of the Learning Disabilities Association of North Carolina. She practiced law from 1986 to 1999 in Maryland and D.C.; her practice primarily focused on affordable housing finance and federal housing programs. Since 1999 JoAnna has focused her legal skills and energies on community service and in the last decade has been active advocating on issues impacting those with learning disabilities. JoAnna lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and is the parent of two adult children (ages 24 and 21) with learning disabilities who were each identified in early grade school.
Sheila Desai, Ph.D., NCSP represents the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). She has served on NJCLD since 2017 and works on the Public Policy Committee.
Sheila is Director of Educational Practice at NASP. She has been in the field of school
psychology for 10 years engaging in practice, teaching, and research. Seven of those years, she served children with disabilities in public school and clinical day treatment settings. Prior to receiving her doctorate, she worked as a school psychologist in Boston Public Schools for 4 years. Her dissertation research focused on supervision and the supervisory relationship. During her predoctoral and postdoctoral training, she was a member of the Psychological and Behavioral Consultation department at EASTCONN, in Northeastern Connecticut, where she provided school psychological and behavioral consultation services in clinical day treatment and public school settings. On a personal note, this past year has been one of many milestones – I got married, moved from Massachusetts to Maryland, started my job at NASP and am now pregnant with our first
Elizabeth (Liz) Niemiec, CAGS, NCSP, represents the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). She has served on NJCLD since 2016 and works on the Content and Communication Committee.
Liz is a school psychologist practicing in Baltimore City Public Schools. After six years of traditional, site-based practice, she recently joined the Prevention and Intervention for Early Learners (PIEL) team, where she provides consultation and builds the capacity of school-based staff to utilize a multi-tiered system of supports.
Liz currently serves as the president-elect for the Baltimore City Association of School Psychologists, as well as the newsletter committee chair and rebranding ad-hoc committee chair for the Maryland School Psychologists’ Association.
Liz is a proud graduate of William James College, where she developed her professional areas of interests of advocating for social justice, supporting LGBTQIA students, and creative arts integration. Liz looks forward to continuing the work of the NJCLD to help school-based staff accurately identify and support students with specific learning disabilities.
Catherine Perkins, Ph.D. represents National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). She has served on NJCLD since 2018 and works on the Public Policy Committee.
Catherine is the Coordinator of the Educational Specialist Program in School Psychology at Georgia State University and a research fellow with the Center for Research on School Safety, School Climate, and Classroom Management. She has been a practicing school psychologist in the state of Georgia for over 25 years. She has worked in the public school setting as a paraprofessional, a school psychologist and later as an administrator. Dr. Perkins is a Licensed Psychologist in the state of Georgia and affiliated with the International School Psychology Association (ISPA), the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), and the Georgia Association of School Psychologists, for whom she served as President in 2010. She currently represents the state of Georgia as an elected delegate to the NASP Leadership Assembly. Dr. Perkins received her doctorate from Georgia State University with a concentration in School Psychology. Areas of specialization include developmental neuropsychology, biopsychology, and social-emotional development of children and adolescents. Additionally, Dr. Perkins is interested in preparing school psychologists to meet the demands of a diverse society. Dr. Perkins has recently participated in a research project sponsored by the International School Psychology Association that focuses on promoting psychological well-being of children and youth globally. Her research explored conceptions of Mental Health for Youth in Mexico. Other research interests include the prevention and intervention of bullying in schools as well as the prevention of commercial sexual exploitation of youth.
Meghan Whittaker, J.D., MSW, represents the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD). She has served on NJCLD since 2017 and works on the Public Policy Committee.
Meghan is the policy and advocacy manager at National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) where she has been for nearly five years. In her work, Meghan analyzes state and federal policies and proposals, conducts research, and develops content for parents, advocates, and Congressional staff. She has worked on a variety of issues including K-12 education, early learning, and higher education, personalized learning, state laws, and vouchers. Before joining NCLD, Meghan completed her law degree and master’s degree in social work at the Catholic University of America. Meghan grew up in Connecticut and attended college in Massachusetts before calling the DC area home with her husband and her dog.
NJCLD membership requirements
Click here to download the NJCLD membership requirements.