As we prepared for the inaugural group of students to start in August 2018, one of our most important endeavors was building the team who will teach and lead the dyslexia program. We continue to hold this high standard for our faculty as New Avenues grows. We are pleased to introduce the program’s head and current faculty.
Leading our Immersive Dyslexia Program is Cindy O’Neill. She comes to us from Pace Academy where she served as the director of the Academic Resource Center. Prior to her time at Pace, Cindy worked at The Atlanta Speech School for 18 years. While there she served as a reading teacher in grades K-6th, revamped their Learning Lab, and developed the curriculum for their summer program. Cindy earned both her bachelor’s and her master’s degrees from Florida State University and has received extensive training and certifications in learning support programs and strategies. “Working with dyslexic students is where my heart and passion lie,” added Cindy. “Walker’s program allows students to focus on building a solid foundation centered on their specific needs, thus allowing each child to progress well-armed with the knowledge, tools, and strategies that apply to all areas of learning.”
Beth Walter comes to Walker from Swift School in Roswell, which serves students with dyslexia and learning differences. She also taught at both The Epstein School in Atlanta and Chalker Elementary School in Kennesaw. Beth has completed the Classroom Educator level of Orton-Gillingham training and fulfilled 100 practicum hours in O-G tutoring. She holds both a bachelor’s and master’s in education from the University of Florida. “I am so excited to be one of the first teachers in the new Immersive Dyslexia Program,” said Beth. “Teaching dyslexic children is a passion of mine, and I am happy to be a part of this amazing journey for them and for Walker.”
Kimberly Pitts comes to Walker from Marietta City Schools where she served as a Reading Support teacher, and she previously taught at Gracepoint School (which serves students with dyslexia). Prior to that, Kimberly taught at Walton High School in Marietta and North Springs High School in Atlanta. She is an Associate of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators. Kimberly earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Georgia and her master’s of education from Georgia State University. Kimberly said, “I’m thrilled to be a part of Walker’s new Immersive Dyslexia Program, as it is a great addition to the Metro Atlanta community.”
Elaine recently moved from the Chicago area. She brings a strong background in reading intervention and support at all grade levels. Through her experiences in remediation focused settings Elaine has developed a passion for inspiring motivation and success. Elaine has worked in schools in California, Illinois, and Georgia. She studied at University of Wisconsin, California State University, and Northern Illinois University. In addition to enjoying her work with students Elaine is active in her church Bible studies and often leads small groups. We are thrilled that Elaine has come to the South and joined the Walker family.
Virginia previously worked with students with language-based learning differences at the Swift School and The Lovett School. She enjoys working with students and their families to assist and support their academic progress. Virginia is intrigued by the development of the brain and the reading process, she has attended two reading and the brain conferences in addition to her Orton Gillingham training. Virginia earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Georgia and her Master's degree from Loyola University.
Sarah Null, our Lower School Learning Specialist, serves as an integral part of the entire Lower School Support Team. An Associate of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators, she has supported Walker students since 2015. Sarah is a Certified Dyslexia Therapist for the International Dyslexia Association, and she is trained in Orton-Gillingham’s multisensory method for teaching math. In the Lower and Primary Schools, she provides faculty and curriculum support and works with students in need of individual support.