Candidates for 2009 Positions on Executive Board Announced

Kathleen Marshall, Past President of DLD and chair of the Nominations Committee for 2009, announced the candidates for offices 2 March 2009. They include two candidates for treasurer (Susan Shope Thomas and Kimberly Bright), three candidates for vice president (Michael Dunn, Penny Collins, and Paul Riccomini), and two candidates for president elect (Karen Bostic Fredrick and Michael M. Gerber).

"Given Ken Kavale's death this year, this is an especially important election." Marshall noted. "We needed to elect more officers than usual and we are pleased that highly qualified people were willing to run for office."

"I encourage every member of DLD to contribute to the organization by reviewing the candidates' statements and voting."

The election began 2 March 2009 and will continue until 30 March 2009. "Because of the influence of this election on DLD's future," Marshall continued, "I encourage every member of DLD to contribute to the organization by reviewing the candidates' statements and voting,"

Members whose dues are up to date should have already received an e-mail message with voting instructions; those who have not listed an e-mail address with the Council for Exceptional Children or whose e-mail addresses failed in the mailing will receive postcards with voting instructions.

The candidates provided the accompanying statements for this election.

Candidates for President-elect

The president elect serves a three-year term in the presidential chain of DLD. The person elected to this office will be president elect in 2009-2010, president in 2010-2011, and past president in 2011-2012.

Michael M. Gerber (#103066)
University of California, Santa Barbara, Isla Vista, CA, US.

For most of the last three decades, Michael Gerber has been a member of several divisions of CEC, including DLD, for which he was Publications Chair from 2004-07. Currently, he is professor and chair of the department of education in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he has taught about learning disabilities for the last 28 years and publishes regularly in CEC journals. Prior to earning his doctorate, he was an elementary school general education teacher, a special class teacher for students with learning and behavior problems, and a Title I coordinator in Oakland, CA. He was a doctoral student in the Learning Disabilities Research Institute at the University of Virginia which awarded him his Ph.D. in 1981.

With a new Administration, No Child Left Behind and its relationship to IDEA will be reconsidered. Dr. Gerber believes that our field has reached an historical moment in its evolution with both tremendous potential for improving academic and life outcomes for children and youth with learning disabilities, but also facing serious challenges. Research advances in the neurosciences and behavioral genetics will lead to earlier prevention and identification. Continuing research on new information technologies and effective teaching practices will lead to better professional preparation, more effective interventions, and improved instructional programs. On the other hand, many current policy directions, especially those that focus exclusively on undifferentiated approaches to learning expectations, high-stakes testing, and one-size-fits-all curriculum threaten to undermine what we have learned about learning disabilities over the last half century.

These challenging times require that the Division of Learning Disabilities be an even stronger and more visible educational leader. We must build our organization, it’s membership and partnerships, become increasingly effective as advocates for students and their teachers, and more vigorously promote research findings that can improve educational outcomes and their implementation in practice.

Karen Bostic Fredrick (# 637369)
University of Nebraska, Kearney, Kearney, NE, US

Karen Bostic Frederick, who has been a member of DLD since 2001, has been teaching at the University of Nebraska Kearney for 1 year. Prior to that she taught for almost 10 years in both private and public schools across the country. She has previously served as President of the University of Nebraska SCEC chapter for 3 years. She is new to candidacy for the national DLD. Karen has specialized in the instruction of Learning Disabilities as well as teacher collaboration and has presented at numerous state, regional, and international conferences. Karen believes that DLD should provide leadership in cost effective Response to Intervention strategies that are relatively easy for teachers to implement as well as strategy training and instruction for K-12 classroom teachers.

Candidates for Vice President

The vice-president of DLD serves a four-year term in the presidential chain. The person elected this year will serve as vice-president for the 2009-2010, president elect for 2010-2011, president for 2011-2012, and past president for 2012-2013.

Penny Collins (#1029487)
University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA, US

Penny Collins has been on faculty in the department of education at the University of California, Irvine for six years. Penny has specialized in the early identification of children at risk for learning disabilities so that intervention may be provided to young children before they experience serious academic failure. Penny believes that DLD should provide leadership in fostering and disseminating research regarding the equitable delivery of high-quality services for all children with learning disabilities; and in the promotion of exemplary professional development for all professionals in best practices in the diagnosis, prevention, and remediation of learning disabilities in culturally and linguistically diverse contexts.

Michael Dunn (# 626604)
Washington State University, Pullmana, WA, US

Michael Dunn, who has been a member of DLD since 2002, is in his fourth year as a faculty member at Washington State University. As a researcher, he has specialized in intervention-programming and response to intervention of learning disabilities and has published in a variety of journals including Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal and the Journal of Reading Education. He previously taught for eight years in Toronto-area elementary/middle schools as a special education consultant teacher in inclusion classrooms. Michael has served on CEC’s national Child and Youth Action Network Committee since 2005. He presented at CEC 2008 in Boston and attended DLD’s Council of Presidents’ meeting. As VP of DLD, Michael would focus on two objectives. First, DLD should help organize researchers and practicing teachers to have more opportunities at the community level to discuss and learn best strategies/practices for students with characteristics of having a learning disability. Second, Michael would help organize and develop online communities where students with characteristics of having a learning disability could exchange personal experiences and effective means for self-advocacy as they continue to be life-long learners and enter the workforce. Michael has a real interest in webpage design/photography and online communities; by combining these interests with the expertise of LD researchers and teachers, the DLD community could help further promote the academic, social, and life skills of many children. Find out more about Michael at his homepage:

Paul Riccomini (# 626604)
Clemson University, Clemson, SC, US

Paul J. Riccomini, who has been a member of DLD since 1998, is an associate professor of special education at Clemson University. He received his doctorate in 2001 from the Pennsylvania State University and received his Masters of Education in Special Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. He has previously served as president of the South Carolina chapter of DLD as well as on the National Professional Development, Standards, and Ethics Committee and membership committee for National DLD. Paul’s primary research interests include the effective use of instructional technology and validated instructional practices in reading and mathematics for low-achieving students and students with learning disabilities. Paul believes that DLD should continue to provide leadership in the most effective instructional and assessment practices and policy issues related to the education of students with learning disabilities. In addition, DLD must continue to provide leadership in the refining and implementation of the response to intervention models/procedures currently operating in schools. Paul’s homepage is:

Candidates for Treasurer

The treasurer of DLD serves a two-year term and is eligible for reelection. The person elected this year will serve for the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 years.

Kimberly Bright (#144530)
Shippensburg, University, Shippensburg, PA, US

Kimberly Bright, current Treasurer of DLD, is running for reelection. As Treasurer for the past five years, she has provided strong stewardship to the organization in terms of consistency in investments and overall financial operations. Kimberly has been a member of CEC/DLD for twenty years and is currently an Associate Professor at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. Prior to that, she served as the Director of Special Education and taught students with learning disabilities in public schools for twenty years. In addition to her role as Treasurer for DLD; Kimberly previously served as President of Pennsylvania CEC and served as President of PA-DLD for six years. She currently completed a two-year term as President of PA-TED reactivating the division after several years of inactivity. Kim continues to be involved with PACEC as Conference Program Chair and Conference Site Coordinator. Kimberly is committed to serve another term as DLD Treasurer towards her goal to solidify all financial operations so that they are seamless in the future. Furthermore, she believes that consistency in this position is the key to financial stability in the organization.

Susan Shope Thomas (#396266)
Berkeley School District, Moncks Corner, SC, US

Susan Thomas has been actively involved with Council for Exceptional Children for almost 20 years. She has served as a local chapter vice president and president. Susan was treasurer of the South Carolina Council for Exceptional Children (SCCEC) for one three-year term, managing a budget of over one quarter of a million dollars. During that time she automated the accounting system for the state. She has also served as the state vice president, president elect, and president of the SCCEC. Susan is also a member of the Division of Learning Disabilities (DLD) and has helped to coordinate professional development activities for the South Carolina DLD through the annual state conference. She is currently the executive director of the Berkeley County School District in South Carolina which has a population of 28,000 students. Susan has specialized in providing high-quality professional development in the state of South Carolina. She provides professional development at conferences and in school districts in the areas of effective IEP development, positive behavior supports, and direct instruction techniques.

Susan believes that DLD plays a crucial role in supporting quality research, providing professional development to practitioners, and validating professionals as they put current research into practice. Students with disabilities will increase their academic achievement and functional performance when professionals apply evidence-based practices in the classroom. An effective treasurer can ensure that the resources are available to provide this service

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