2011 DLD Elections Candidates

Past President Linda Siegel and the Nominations and Elections Committee announced the slate of candidates for officers of the Division for Learning Disabilities for the 2011 elections in February. David Chard and Erica Lembke will be running for vice president and David Allsopp and Margaret (Peggy) Weiss will be running for Treasurer.

"We are very pleased to have such strong candidates for these important offices," Past President Siegel said. "As you can see from the descriptions of their extensive experiences, DLD will be in good hands, whoever wins election!"

The following statements describe each candidates' background and goals for their office. Members of DLD will be notified about voting. If members need help with voting, they should contact John Lloyd at execdir [at] TeachingLD.org.

David Chard

Biographical Statement

David J. Chard, Ph.D., is the Leon Simmons Endowed Dean of the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development and Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Southern Methodist University. David received his B.S. in Mathematics Education and Chemistry at Central Michigan University and his Ph.D. in Special Education at the University of Oregon. He has previously served in faculty positions at Boston University, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Oregon. During his career, he has been the principal investigator on numerous federal research projects including topics such as response to intervention (RTI), reading, reading comprehension instruction, and early childhood mathematics. Dr. Chard has published more than 90 articles, monographs, book chapters, and books on instructional interventions and modifications in mathematics, reading and expressive writing. He is a member of the International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities, the American Mathematical Association, and a Past President for the Division for Research of the Council for Exceptional Children. During his presidency in the Division for Research, DR and DLD strengthened their partnership and furthered the development of the jointly published Current Practice Alerts. He is the author of numerous instructional programs on reading, early literacy intervention, language arts, and mathematics spanning K-12 education and has been a classroom teacher in California, Michigan, and in the U. S. Peace Corps in Lesotho in southern Africa.

Goals Statement

As a teacher, I have been impacted most by professional organizations that have strived to assist me with high quality information to improve my practice. DLD has consistently published and disseminated evidence-based practices that have benefited me as a teacher and professor. I believe in these tumultuous and exciting times, DLD with the expertise and experience of its membership has never been more valuable. We are learning to implement RtI models in states with varied approaches to implementation in the context of tightening budgets while evidence continues to emerge on specific approaches to meeting our students' educational needs. DLD, with the support of its membership, has a unique opportunity and responsibility to lead in building bridges to professional organizations (e.g., NCTM, IRA, IDA) with whom we share important interests and responsibilities. I would promote an effort to build on DLD's success in dissemination and professional development by creating resources in collaboration with other professional organizations to guide schools and school personnel in their important efforts to optimize instruction for students with learning disabilities by reaching a broader education audience. In addition, I would advocate for DLD's continued efforts to impact research and training support in an uncertain financial period.


Erica Lembke

Biographical Statement

Erica Lembke, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Missouri, a trainer for the National Center on Response to Intervention, and was formally secretary on the national board of the Division for Learning Disabilities. She currently serves as the state and University of Missouri student advisor for Student CEC and will be awarded the Susan Phillips Gorin award for advising at the 2011 national conference. She is currently co-PI on a federally funded IES grant to examine the use of handhelds to conduct mathematics progress monitoring and administer mathematics diagnostic interviews. Dr. Lembke has numerous publications in peer-reviewed outlets on the topics of Curriculum-Based Measurement and Response to Intervention. She has presented over 100 national/international and state presentations on the topics of progress monitoring and response to intervention. Her research interests include designing and implementing Curriculum-Based Measures in elementary and secondary grades and developing strategies to improve elementary students' academic performance. Prior to her graduate work, including receiving her PhD from the University of Minnesota, Erica was an elementary special education teacher for 6 years, working with students with learning disabilities and mild mental retardation.

Goals Statement

As an officer on the DLD board I would hope to accomplish or continue working on several goals, including:

  • Supporting our members who are practitioners as they teach students with learning disabilities by providing information on evidence-based teaching practices, updates on policy changes, and providing state grants for technical assistance and/or conferences
  • Supporting our members who are teacher-trainers as they work to keep up-to-date on current policies in LD and special education and on the most effective teaching methods for preservice teachers
  • Supporting our members who are researchers by continuing to provide updates regarding current policy decisions and research findings in areas critical to LD
  • Bringing together organizations that are interested in students with learning disabilities to facilitate common policy and/or research goals
  • Providing publications to our members that help improve their knowledge of current initiatives research, or best teaching practice
  • Collaborating with other divisions, such as the Division for Research, to continue to provide publications such as the Current Practice Alerts and co-sponsoring speakers or events with other divisions to help maximize member dues
  • Providing information to members regarding current initiatives in LD through instant e-mail alerts or webinars
  • Supporting and advocating on behalf of DLD members and their interests at state and federal meetings and through national organizations such as CEC

David Allsopp

Biographical Statement

David Allsopp, Ph.D., is Professor of Special Education at the University of South Florida. David began his teaching career as a middle school teacher for students with LD and EBD. Currently, he teaches at the undergraduate and doctoral levels focusing on courses related to instructional methods for students with high incidence disabilities and research methods for developing and validating effective practices for these students. David's research and writing activities address the development, use, and validation of effective practices including how technology can enhance school success. Translating research to practice is a central focus including effective mathematics instruction for struggling learners. Teacher Education in Special Education is another area of focus, including both special education and general education teachers at the preservice and inservice levels. David has published in special education and general education journals and has written multiple books and book chapters on effective instruction for struggling students including Mathematics RTI: A Problem Solving Approach to Creating an Effective Model; Teaching Mathematics Meaningfully: Solutions for Struggling Learners; and Academic Success Strategies for Adolescents with Learning Disabilities and ADHD. David is co-developer of MathVIDS and The Learning Toolbox, free multi-media professional development Internet sites for educators teaching students with learning disabilities and other learning difficulties. David serves on the national advisory board for the RTI Action Network (NCLD). He regularly presents at international and national conferences and collaborates with schools, districts, and states nationwide to provide professional development on effective instructional practices for students with diverse learning needs including mathematics RTI.

Goals Statement

The DLD is an important advocacy organization for individuals with LD and their families and has been a leader in the dissemination of research and practice. Since the passage of P.L. 94-142 in 1975 great strides have been made in understanding the educational needs of students with LD. Organizations such as DLD have been instrumental in making this happen. The future will no doubt require continued commitment by such organizations. Current legislation (i.e., NCLB and IDEIA) and educational policy (school accountability-high stakes testing; Response to Intervention) have important implications for students with LD. Examples include issues related to high school graduation, access to post-secondary education, identification and access to an IEP, and the effective implementation of tiered instruction across content areas that provides these students with appropriate instruction that is responsive to their learning needs, and access to truly qualified teachers who can deliver this instruction. Too often, at the local level families are forgotten when policies such as these are implemented in their schools, thereby silencing their important voices and leaving them unsure of what is happening, what their role is, and how they can help their children. If elected, I would be honored to work with fellow DLD members to continue the important mission of advocating for individuals with LD and their families through research, practice, and policy.



Margaret Weiss

Biographical Statement

Margaret "Peggy" Weiss, Ph.D.

I am currently an Instructor at the University of Alabama after having conducted research at the University of North Carolina and provided support services for student athletes at Virginia Tech. I have worked with the executive board of DLD for over 12 year and have served as Student Representative and Interim Treasurer in addition to having co-edited TeachingLD.org, DLD's Web site. My experience with students with learning disabilities comes from being a middle- and high-school special education teacher, a university learning specialist, and an assistant professor. As an academic, I have written multiple articles and book chapters about special education and learning disabilities; I am also a co-author of a textbook, Learning Disabilities: Foundations, Characteristics, and Effective Teaching. Most recently, I was honored to be able to use my experience as the treasurer of a small consulting firm to act as Interim Treasurer for DLD, following the outstanding work of Kim Bright.

Goals Statement

I believe strongly in DLD's mission to provide quality resources and information for professionals who work with students with learning disabilities and would like to continue my service as Treasurer. Since taking over in the summer of 2010, I have worked to re-establish DLD's control over some of its resources and to streamline some of its financial procedures. I hope to continue these efforts. If elected, my primary goal would be to help the board continue to expand its service to members while maintaining financial stability. In addition, I would work to organize and consolidate the business aspects of the organization and maintain the fastidious record-keeping of previous treasurers.

In addition to my specific duties as treasurer, I also look forward to serving as a member of the executive board. Because I have participated in an ex-officio capacity on the board since the 1990s, I will bring to the office a perspective that will be especially important in the current times of change for DLD. Membership has fallen, once-successful activities are not as effective as they previously were, and the board is exploring new directions for serving members and protecting the rights of students with learning disabilities. In pursuing new initiatives, DLD will benefit from consideration of the costs and benefits of previous efforts.

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