Board of Directors
Steven Mayo is the owner/director of NewBridge School, a K-8 program for children with language-based learning differences, including dyslexia. Steven holds an Education Specialist Credential and completed his master’s degree program at San Diego State University. He has extensive training in methodology, including advanced training in Slingerland, and experience with Orton-Gillingham. He has directed private schools for children with learning differences since 1989, and helped hundreds of young adults transition into successful academic careers at high schools and universities across the country.
Julie Seki Sulzmaier
Julie Seki Sulzmaier is an Education Specialist at High Tech High International. Through the Hawaii Branch of IDA’s Odyssey Project, she has tutored individuals utilizing multisensory methodologies, including the Orton-Gillingham methodology. Prior to moving to San Diego in 2013, Julie served as the K-8 Assistant Principal of Assets School, which supports gifted and/or Dyslexic children in Honolulu, Hawaii. While completing her master’s degree, she taught and counseled students in grades 2 through 8 at Assets School. Julie graduated with a BA in Psychology from Boston University. She received an MS in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in School Counseling from Chaminade University in Honolulu, Hawaii. Julie is passionate about continuing to support the social, emotional and academic growth of individuals with diverse learning profiles here in Southern California.
Dana Gordon, M.A.
Dana Gordon is the founder and director of Lotus Learning. She holds a B.A. from UCSD, a certificate in Educational Therapy, TESL certificate, and a Masters in Leadership Studies from USD. For over a decade, she also taught Family Literacy and ESL courses through San Diego Community College. Dana’s specialty is working with students with learning disabilities and attentional issues by helping them embrace their unique talents in order build confidence and competence. Dana is deeply committed to providing a holistic approach to each student’s social, emotional, and academic success. In her spare time, Dana enjoys practicing yoga, gardening and has traveled extensively to countries including: India, Italy, England, Costa Rica, Mexico, Guatemala, Guinea (West Africa), and Morocco. Dana is a certified yoga instructor who loves to share her dedication to healthy living and life balance. She also volunteers with a local charity to teach yoga and nutrition to at-risk children and adolescents within the community.
Dana is interested in becoming more active in the local chapter of IDA in order to be an integral part of its growth and development. As an educational therapist, she sees on a daily basis how learning differences, especially dyslexia, greatly impact students and their academic, social and emotional progress. Dana feels, that being a member of the board of directors is a great opportunity to work closely with parents and professionals to promote outreach, support, and education to the San Diego community. Also, that participating on the board will encourage her to continue to expand her knowledge base of dyslexia and other reading disabilities. In addition to her personal and professional interest in IDA, Dana truly believes that awareness is key to educate the community about dyslexia and to provide individuals (parents, teachers, etc.) with the necessary resources to help support our struggling students.
Bailey Quon is an Education Specialist at NewBridge School, serving students with learning disabilities, including dyslexia, in grades kindergarten through eighth. Bailey graduated with her B.A. in Communicative Disorders from the University of New Mexico. She received her B.A. in Education from The College of Santa Fe with an endorsement in TESOL and spent 5 years as a teacher in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She helped pilot a Wilson Fundations program in her 1st grade class and during this time she became interested in supporting children with learning differences. She moved west to San Diego in 2007 and now holds a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential with a Cross-cultural, Language and Academic Development (CLAD) Certificate. She received her Level II Education Specialist Instruction Credential from Chapman University and also has training in Orton-Gillingham, a multi-sensory approach. Bailey continues to seek new ways to teach each student ‘how’ to learn using strategy-based methods to elicit efficient and effective acquisition and use information.
Amy Spitler is the admissions director and a teacher at The Winston School in Del Mar, California. Amy has a degree in Comparative Literature from UC San Diego and completed her Multiple Subject and Education Specialist Credentials through CSU San Marcos. She continues to support new educators as a master teacher for students completing credentials through CSU San Marcos, National University and Azusa Pacific University. She has worked with students with learning differences since 1998 in a variety of subjects from elementary art to high school physics. In addition, she has been trained in Lindamood-Bell’s language processing programs and provided additional support for students with dyslexia as the reconstructive language teacher. She recently completed tenure as the head of the Math Department and is currently teaching 9th and 10th grade English at The Winston School. Her goal is to support both the academic and personal growth of her students and to cultivate and nurture passions for learning.
Alexis Turner, M. Ed.
Alexis Turner, M.Ed., is the director of Admissions and Outreach for Fusion Academy and Learning Center, San Diego. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara with her B.A. in Economics and Communications. She then received her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and M.Ed. from UC San Diego. Alexis spent four years working with an intensive reading intervention program in both San Diego and Orange County where she enjoyed learning specific sensory cognitive techniques to teach students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. Now working with Fusion Academy, she loves spending time with parents and professionals in the community helping those students who don’t fit into the traditional school setting.
Bonnie Weiss is an Educational Therapist and Owner/ Director of The Family & Learning Center in La Jolla. The center provides one-on-one remediation and academic support for students with learning and/or attention challenges. Bonnie holds a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, as well as a Masters Degree in Education. Additionally, she has completed extensive coursework and training in Educational Therapy through the UCSD Extension Program and a variety of professional organizations. Bonnie has been coaching students with dyslexia and other learning challenges for over fifteen years. She is excited to return to the San Diego Board of IDA in order to help educate and support students, parents, and educators.
Krista Hahn is a Licensed Educational Psychologist with nearly 20 years of experience as a school psychologist in the San Diego area. Mrs. Hahn has worked in both the private and public settings as an educational psychologist and holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis on Marriage, Family, Child Therapy from Pepperdine University. Mrs. Hahn also holds a Pupil Personnel Services Credential from National University. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at UC Davis. She has extensive experience in psychoeducational evaluations, educational programs and interventions, counseling, social and behavior management, strategy development, and individualized education plans. Mrs. Hahn currently works as the Director of Student Academic Services at a private Christian academy where she supports students by screening and evaluating for dyslexia and using Orton-Gillingham based approaches for remediation, including the Barton Reading and Spelling System and Lindamood Bell Programs. She has provided professional development training for staff at Lexplore, a Swedish based company that has developed a technological device to screen for dyslexia. Mrs. Hahn has a passion for reading and helping families and students with dyslexia, and has devoted her time to serving the public at large to spread dyslexia awareness.
Leah Nierman is the founder and owner of Novels & Numbers Learning Center. Leah has a Mild/Moderate Special Education Teaching Credential with an authorization in Autism and a certification to teach ages 5-22. She also has a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential certification to teach Pre-Kindergarten through Sixth Grade. Additionally, she has a Master’s in Education with a focus in Curriculum and Design from University of San Diego.
Over the last decade, Leah has worked at nearly every level of the school system. She was a personal aide to children with Down Syndrome and Autism; she has gained experience as a Resource Specialist administering assessments and writing IEP (Individualized Education Program) goals; additionaly, she has taught Second and Third Grade in a general education classroom.
Leah was inspired to join the IDA board in order to raise awareness and educate families and children about dyslexia, since Leah was diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age herself. Leah thinks of dyslexia as her superpower because it gives her a unique insight into the vulnerability that many children with reading challenges face. As an educator, Leah feels she has opportunity and responsibility to empower others and find ways to cultivate their strengths
Michelle Perry is a Special Education Advocate and J.D. Candidate at California Western School of Law. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California Riverside. Her advocacy focuses on the education rights of children and youth from underserved communities and includes raising awareness regarding the impact of dyslexia on youth in foster care and the criminal justice system. She currently serves as Regional Leader of Decoding Dyslexia-San Diego, providing support groups and information to families of children with dyslexia. Michelle also volunteers her time speaking to groups on disability-related topics.
Additionally, Michelle has extensive experience working with community organizations to increase outreach to Spanish-speaking communities and promoting awareness of issues that impact children. She served as Vice-President of Community Concerns for Palomar Council PTA and Vice-Chair of the Poway USD Community Advisory Committee (CAC) for Special Education and has advocated at the state capitol for legislation and policies that positively impact children and youth. Michelle is passionate about empowering parents and improving educational outcomes for all children.
Photo and Bio coming soon
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