About the IDA-NNEA

Our Mission, Goals & Board of Directors

Our Mission & Goals

IDA-NNEA (formerly known IDA New Hampshire) Branch is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit scientific and educational organization, promoting awareness about dyslexia and serving Maine,  Vermont and New Hampshire.

IDA-NNEA is dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment and research of dyslexia (language-based learning disability). We educate the community about the causes, symptoms, assessment and remediation of dyslexia; disseminate information about available resources; teach multi-sensory structured language instructional approaches to educators and other professionals; and collaborate with organizations working on behalf of people with dyslexia.

This branch’s goals are to increase public awareness of dyslexia, and through our seminars, conferences, and workshops, service individuals with dyslexia, their families, and professionals in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. The IDA-NNEA Branch sponsors workshops, conferences, trainings and scheduled community based trainings each year designed to provide information about different aspects of dyslexia. To find out more about what is happening, go to our Events page or click the button below.

About the NHIDA - Girl sitting on books reading

IDA-NNEA Board of Directors

Susan Hourihan, ICALP, President

Committees ~ Executive, Finance, Email, Conference, Nominating, Membership

Susan Hourihan is currently the President of the International Dyslexia Association-Northern New England Alliance. She is also an Instructor of Practitioners at the Seacoast Children’s Dyslexia Center in Rochester, NH. She began her Initial Level Orton-Gillingham training in 2006, graduating in 2007. Over the next two years, she continued with the Advanced Level Orton-Gillingham training, while tutoring students both at the Children’s Dyslexia Centers and privately. She became a supervisor and trainer at the Initial Level. She has been the lead trainer in the Center’s school-based Orton-Gillingham collaboration which trains and certifies area teachers. She graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in Therapeutic Recreation. Susan lives in Southern Maine with her husband and has three adult children living in Maine. Susan likes socializing with friends and family, swimming, doing puzzles, watching murder mysteries, playing with her dog, Lily, and reading in her free time.

Brenda Peters, MA, MEd, SAIF, ICALP, Immediate Past President

Committees ~ Executive, Finance, Communication and Outreach

Brenda Peters has been Director of the Children’s Dyslexia Center – Seacoast Learning Center located in Rochester, NH since 2014. Brenda started her Orton-Gillingham/Structured Literacy journey on April 1, 2004, as a Level 1 Dyslexia Practitioner trainee at the CDC of Nashua. Brenda currently serves as president of the International Dyslexia Association-Northern New England Alliance, serving Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Brenda has ten years of case management experience in public schools and over 5000 hours of Structured Literacy teaching experience. In private practice, Brenda evaluates children with reading challenges/dyslexia and advocates for these families. Prior to her immersion in the world of structured literacy, Brenda was an organizational behavior/development consultant with the international accounting and consulting group, Coopers & Lybrand, at their headquarters in New York City. Brenda received her bachelor’s in psychology from Clark University, her Master’s in Organizational Behavior and Development from Columbia University, and her Master’s in Education from Rivier University with certifications in Special Education, Learning Disabilities, Reading and Writing Specialist, and Specialist in the Assessment of Intellectual Functioning. Brenda has a husband, 2 sons, a brother, and many others in her extended family with dyslexia who have inspired her on this journey. As a struggling reader herself, Brenda says “I believe all my training over the years has led me to this unique place in the world of structured literacy where we are currently at a precipice and structured literacy has a chance of winning over balanced literacy thus improving the life outcomes of all children and especially those with dyslexia.” In her free time, Brenda enjoys hanging out with other word nerds, playing with her dog, watching birds, and of course, thinking about structured literacy and reading.

Jennifer Cyr, Secretary

Committee ~ Executive

Jennifer Cyr works as the English Language Arts lead teacher for the Rochester School District.  She is a school reading specialist at the School Street School and has worked in the reading field for 20 years.  She is a teacher trainer for Dibels Next, LIPS, LETRS, and other scientifically-based programs.  Jen attended school at the University of Maine, then Lesley University, and is currently updating her skills set at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine.  She has completed level 1 Orton-Gillingham training through the Dyslexia Center in Rochester.   Jen has special interests in promoting scientifically- based training in teacher preparation programs, as well as in providing equity in public education for disadvantaged students.  

Karyn Hubbard, Treasurer

Committees ~ Executive and Finance

Karyn Hubbard earned her BA in Business Administration at Bryant College in Smithfield, RI. She has been an Orton-Gillingham tutor with the Seacoast Learning Center since 2012 and holds the positions of Supervisor and Initial Level Trainer.  Karyn’s enthusiasm and passion for Orton Gillingham were ignited by the struggles her children experienced in learning to read. Karyn has served as a Supervisor for the Rochester School District O-G Cohort for the past 5 years.  This program is a collaborative effort by the Rochester, NH school district and the Seacoast Learning Center in which district teachers learn about dyslexia and receive training in the Orton-Gillingham approach, including a year-long practicum.  

Brittany Lovejoy, M.Ed, Member at Large

Committees ~ Government Affairs, Membership, Nominating

Brittany Lovejoy served as a special educator in a Vermont public school and as an Adjudications Officer with the Department of Homeland Security.  Her interests include studying the science of reading and reading differences, promoting equity for diverse learners, appreciating Vermont’s natural beauty, and exploring her faith.  Currently, Ms. Lovejoy is a private literacy tutor, writer, and a voice for the students and parents of Vermont. 

Nancy Kring-Burns, Member at Large

Committees ~ Newsletter, Fundraising, Scholarship

Nancy Kring-Burns recently retired from the Hollis School District as a Special Education Reading Teacher/Learning Disabilities Specialist. Nancy continues to pursue her passion of  helping students of all ages with learning to read through her private practice. Nancy became interested in learning disabilities and dyslexia when her own children struggled with learning to read.  She earned MSEd and EdS degrees at Simmons College in Special Education and Assistive Technology. Nancy is a Dyslexia Practitioner, having completed Wilson Reading training, and IMSLEC accredited training through the Children’s Dyslexia Center in Nashua.  Nancy is also trained in Lindamood Bell Programs and Language Circle Programs.  Nancy uses what she learned from the NH Parent Information Center Volunteer Advocate training to help families as they navigate their way through the special education world.

Heidi Zollman, Member at Large

Committees ~ Conference-chair, Fundraising and Scholarship

Heidi has developed a strong background in literacy through working as an elementary classroom teacher, reading and writing specialist, Reading First Coach, OG Scholar, and is currently the  Curriculum Director in the Rochester School Department in Rochester, N.H.  Heidi is a certified local LETRS, DIBELS, and SRSD trainer and her passion for supporting literacy in all learners can be seen in the work she has done to raise awareness of dyslexia in the K-16 arena. Heidi actively consults with other school districts across the nation, specializing in literacy, data teams, and the change process and serves on the IDA NNEA board as the conference chair. 

Elaine Miskinis, Member at Large

Committees ~ Communication and Outreach, Newsletter

Elaine Miskinis is an English teacher, a writer and a mother of two dyslexic children.  She has a dual master’s degree (MA/MAT English) from Salem State University and has taught high school English for over 15 years.  Elaine is a published author who has written articles for Educational Leadership, The Inspired Classroom and other publications. She is also the author of Leena and the Gerbils, an early chapter book that is the first in a series and published in Dyslexie Font, a font style designed to assist dyslexic readers.  Elaine’s TEDx Talk, “Three Lies We Tell Children” was selected as a TED Talk of the week by TED.com.  She is the proud mother of two dyslexic daughters who attended the Seacoast Learning Center in Rochester, NH.  Her oldest daughter recently won a New York Times editorial contest with a piece about the need for schools to provide training for teachers regarding dyslexia. Being dyslexic herself, Elaine is committed to being a voice for parents and students who struggle to navigate the complex world of finding resources to help dyslexic learners.  

Andrea Pollock, Member at Large

Committees ~ Media Specialist – Conference, Communication and Outreach, Constant Contact, READ for Parents Webinar

Andrea Pollock is a certified educator currently working as a special education reading teacher in the NH public schools. She is a member of the professional staff at the Children’s Dyslexia Center in Nashua where she is a trainer of teachers at the initial level through IMSLEC accredited training. She received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and General Special Education from Rivier University in 2010 and her Master of Education with a focus on Reading Specialist from the University of New England in Maine in 2018. She is certified in the state of New Hampshire for Elementary Education, General Special Education, and as a Reading and Writing Specialist. 

Marcia DavisMarcia Davis, Ed.S. – Member at Large

Committees – Scholarships, Memberships, and Fundraising

Marcia Davis is a graduate of Bay Path University’s Reading and Literacy Specialist program where she completed her Associates training from OGA (Orton-Gillingham Conference) and is currently completing the Certified Level. She is currently the Literacy Interventionist at Woodstock Union Middle and High School in Vermont, and is a state licensed as a Reading and Writing Specialist in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

Rachel Brown-Chidsey, PhDRachel Brown-Chidsey, PhD. Member At Large

Rachel Brown-Chidsey, PhD, NCSP, is Senior Academic Officer for FastBridge Learning and a faculty member in the Department of Educational and School Psychology at the University of Southern Maine. Prior to obtaining her doctorate in school psychology, she taught middle and high school history and special education for 10 years. Her research areas include curriculum-based measurement, response to intervention (RTI), multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS), and scientifically based instruction methods. Dr. Brown is coeditor of Assessment for Intervention, Second Edition: A Problem-Solving Approach and coauthor of Response to Intervention, Second Edition: Principles and Strategies for Effective PracticeRTI in the Classroom: Guidelines and Recipes for Success; and Practical Handbook of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support. In addition, Dr. Brown has authored articles about reading assessment and instruction as well as implementation of tiered instruction. She has consulted with numerous school districts to support RTI and MTSS implementation.


Kristine Reilly, Administrator

Kristine Reilly is a reading specialist in the Hollis School district. Kris became interested in language-based learning disabilities and dyslexia as she observed students struggling to read and write over the course of her educational career. Kris earned an M.Ed. in education from Rivier University, a graduate certificate in Dyslexia Studies and Language Based Learning Disabilities from Southern New Hampshire University,  and her Ed.D. in leadership, focusing on phonological processing and educator training, from the University of New England. Kristine is certified as a Wilson Dyslexia Practitioner and Certified Academic Language Practitioner. She is also trained in various reading and writing approaches and programs including LETRS, Orton-Gillingham, RAVE-O, V/V, LiPs, and Language Circle Programs. Kris holds certifications in Early Childhood Education, General Special Education, Early Childhood Special Education, Learning Disabilities, and Reading Writing Specialist.

IDA-NNEA Advisory Board Members

Caryl Patten

Beth McClure

Melissa Farrall

Michael Patten

Claudia Golda-Dominguez

Sue Morbey

Shannon Dixon-Yandow

Dale Vincent

Bebe Casey

Anne Eaton

Aileen Cormier

Jayne Beaton

Help IDA-NNEA continue to improve the lives of individuals with dyslexia

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