Vice President Advocacy
In her work as both a member and Co-Chair of the Colorado Special Education Advisory committee, she was able to work with the Colorado Department of Education in various capacities including, developing the Colorado Reading Summit and with the decision making process of the Response to Intervention implementation in Colorado. As a board member and president of six years, Elenn built parent, family, and educator programs that have received local and national acclaim for the Rocky Mountain Branch of The International Dyslexia Association.
Further, she was the local chair of the 2005 national IDA conference and continues to lead Reading in the Rockies, Colorado’s leading literacy conference addressing the needs of students with dyslexia and literacy challenges. She is a founding board member and Vice President of Advocacy for Literate Nation, a national organization dedicated to literacy for all students. She also serves as Co-Chair of the Government Affairs Committee for the International Dyslexia Association.
Alaska | Captain
As an innovator, tutor, and entrepreneur, she is committed to the use of quantitative measurements of progress at every level of instruction.
In over 20 years as a tutor, she has guided numerous parents in their journey to find educational success for their children. She brings a unique perspective to the field, frequently using her Bachelors of Arts in Nursing Science to help parents navigate medical issues such as ADD, ADHD, and epilepsy that influence the educational life of students who struggle with learning. As evidence of her personal commitment and belief in lifelong learning, she has completed her Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.) in Educational Diagnostics.
As an advocate, she is committed to the imperative that recent improvements in education, such as Response to Intervention, highly qualified teachers of reading, and policy decisions about literacy instruction based on consensus research be implemented with fidelity and transparent compliance.
Together we can reveal the invisible child and restore the illiterate adult… the ones who no one knows cannot read… the child or adult who lives a voided and canceled life because of illiteracy. We can bring that person into a life of passion, meaning, literacy, active citizenship, and global community. We do not have to waste their human capital with illiteracy.
The advocate, that is where it starts – with one person. The start of the flood begins with the first drop; we have to assist with the droplets, streams, tributaries, until the flood of knowledge and change becomes a reality.
Her adopted motto is: “Never Give Up, Never Surrender” Galaxy Quest
California | Captain
After serving as a Peace Corps teacher in Liberia, West Africa, in the late 60’s, Judy earned her MA in Education from Claremont Graduate School, CA. She graduated from their Title 7 program that trained her to be a change-agent for culturally different and economically disadvantaged students. As a K-6 teacher in a Southern California school district for more than 35 years, she always chose to teach in Title I, bilingual, or ESL classrooms. In the 80’s, as a change-agent in her school district, she served at the district level as their Bilingual Facilitator developing ELD classes and advocating for the rights of their ELL students. Before retiring, she served as a Title I teacher where she introduced dyslexia, LiPS and O-G based instruction to her school’s staff and students. After retiring, she opened her own tutoring practice serving dyslexic students. In addition, she now works as a consultant for her former district. She is currently the VP of So CA Tri-Counties Branch of IDA. She welcomes the opportunity to be the state captain of Literate Nation California Coalition and to serve as a change-agent at the state level. Passing a law to support all struggling students has been her number one goal for many years.
Marta Victoria Leyva
Colorado | Captain
Florida | Captain
Minnesota | Captain
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Pennsylvania | Captain
Sonia D. Kerr is the Director of Disability Rights for the Law Center. Ms. Kerr, a 1987 graduate of Indiana University School of Law, and a former first chair and board member of COPAA, joined PILCOP in 2009. Ms. Kerr has litigated special education cases on behalf of students with a variety of disabilities, in nine different states, gaining a national reputation for groundbreaking litigation on behalf of children with disabilities.
Recent cases include a class action against the State of Pennsylvania to ensure funding for an impoverished school district, and a class action and favorable partial judgment on behalf of students with autism in the School District of Philadelphia requiring parental participation in school placement decisions. In addition to litigation, Ms. Kerr is committed to providing information and training to all persons involved in the IEP process, but especially parents, and the Law Center offers a yearlong training program for that purpose.
She has been a reviewer for Wrightslaw, published or edited chapters of books, and written various law review or other professional articles about special education topics. Ms. Kerr is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Northwest Nazarene University in Idaho, where she completed her B.A. in Psychology, and completed a Masters in Counseling Psychology at Purdue University. Ms. Kerr is admitted to practice in Minnesota (non-active by choice), Indiana, Alaska, Pennsylvania, and specially admitted in various other states and jurisdictions. She is also admitted to the 9th, 8th, and 3rd circuit courts of appeals as well as various federal district courts in those circuits, the U.S. Court of Claims and the United States Supreme Court.
Virginia | Captain
Laura W. Kaloi is the public policy advisor at the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD), where she has led NCLD’s legislative advocacy program since 1999.
While at NCLD, Laura has spearheaded successful legislative initiatives focused on every major education and disability law including: the Elementary Secondary Education Act/No Child Left Behind, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Higher Education Act and the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act. She launched the nationally recognized “Keep Kids Learning” campaign that successfully influenced the reauthorization of IDEA 2004 and directs national collaborative efforts such as the LD Roundtable.
Laura serves as co-chair of the Consortium for Citizen’s with Disabilities Education Task Force. She works extensively with the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Department of Education to ensure students with learning disabilities are fully considered in legislation and regulations.
Laura has over 18 years of education and health policy experience. Prior to joining NCLD, Laura was the director of public affairs for the American Health Quality Association and the communications director for its Utah/Nevada member and national quality improvement organization, HealthInsight. She also worked in the U.S. Congress as legislative assistant to Congressman James V. Hansen (R-UT). Laura received her Bachelor of Arts degree, dean’s list, from the University of Utah and her Masters of Public Administration with honors from Brigham Young University.