Professionals at HCDS

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Certified Academic Language Therapist

Deborah Brown

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Deborah is specially trained in the multi-sensory approach which uses the five (5) senses to unlock a student’s ability to read, write, and spell with confidence.

 

This strategy engages students by making learning fun and helping them to understand the spelling of words. It also focuses on the instructional details behind reading a passage, and/or the mechanics of writing.

Deborah founded Hill Country Dyslexia Services in 2019. Her professional career as an educator began in 2003. She has taught in public school as a classroom teacher and as a dyslexia specialist. Deborah has been previously in public schools and a private school as dyslexia specialist/CALT for a total of 17 years. Although she retired from the public school system in 2019, she continues her passion of helping and instructing children with reading difficulties such as dyslexia and related disorders.

As an experienced educator, she recognizes the challenges that people with dyslexia face in both academic and personal settings. Due to this, she is dedicated to providing an individualized, evidence-based curriculum for her students so that they are equipped with the knowledge and tools to not only be successful in school, but in life as well. The children that Brown has seen throughout the years are so important to her. She stays in touch with former students and their families after they are finished with therapy.

Deborah holds a master’s degree in Education from Texas State University. Furthermore, she is a Licensed Dyslexia Therapist (TX # 2129), and a Certified Academic Language Therapist (TX # 4385). She is a certified Wilson Reading Systems Dyslexia Practitioner as well. 

 

Her goal is to provide all her students with a foundation of Orton-Gillingham based reading instruction.  Therapy used can be either Basic Language Skills or Wilson Program. Each curriculum is a  multi-sensory approach to improve their phonemic awareness, decoding,  fluency, cursive, spelling, vocabulary, comprehension, and written language skills.  She hopes that every single one of her students will continue to grow, improve, and become their own biggest advocate!

Please call HCDS at 512-648-2291 or use our contact form to make an appointment with Debbie.

 

Dyslexia Specialist

Marcia Harlan

Marcia has close to forty years in the field of educating young students.  She earned her degree in elementary education at Texas Wesleyan University in Ft. Worth, Texas.  She is a certified professional who has dedicated her life to ensuring that students achieve and learn the love of reading.

 

Prior to serving as a dyslexia specialist at Travis Elementary School, San Marcos, for nineteen years, Marcia taught in the Kindergarten through Fourth Grade classrooms.  Throughout those eighteen years, she became acutely aware and sensitive to the struggling readers in her classroom, which began her journey of discovering why they were having difficulty.  More importantly, her deep interest led her to the reality that these struggling readers actually did have the potential to learn and flourish.  Her desire to acquire all the skills she could to facilitate their success led her to the Neuhaus Education Learning Center in Houston, where she studied over the course of five years, totaling over 200 hours of training in Multisensory Reading instruction.  Following her training, for three summers, she facilitated long distance learning from Neuhaus for teachers in Language Enrichment training. 

 

As a dyslexia specialist, she mentored teachers as they were acquiring the skills of teaching reading, taught students in first through fifth grades daily, served as a Response to Intervention committee lead, and served on the districts’ Dyslexia placement committee for nineteen years.

 

 As rewarding as these responsibilities were, her greatest passion has always been to work with the struggling reader, especially those that have been found to have dyslexic characteristics and other learning difficulties.  Teaching them to “break the code” of the complex English language, giving them the love of a variety of different language forms, playing with word meanings and learning to spell, continues to be what Marcia is most passionate about.

Marcia is also a member of the: 

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Laurie Young

Literacy Specialist

Laurie has over three decades in the education field. She earned her B.S. and English as a Second language certification from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a certified professional with special interests in language arts. 

Reading and writing instruction have been the. main focus of her teaching career. Over her professional career, Laurie has attended and facilitated many writing workshops for teachers and students alike. She is also a published author and enjoys guiding students through the publishing phase of writing in addition to teaching the mechanics and format of many types of writing. 

Laurie is adept at meeting students at their current skill level, and designing lessons to ensure students' success. Laurie feels that the art of writing is personal, abstract, and turns off many students. She finds it truly rewarding to instill a love of writing to her students. Writing across content areas is important to learn also, as all writing is done with a specific purpose in mind. Her hope is that her students will tackle writing projects with zeal, confidence, and knowledge of writing procedures. 

Laurie has mentored new teachers at campuses as a Mentor Coordinator, supervised campus student teachers from Texas State, and is a former Teacher of the Year. 

Cindy Rose

Math Specialist

Cindy has over 30 years as a Texas educator and has served students in grades PK through 5th grade.  She has worked with diverse student populations in four Texas school districts. Her roles as an educator have included classroom teacher, mentor teacher, Magnet School Coordinator for an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program, Magnet School Coordinator for an Environmental Science Center, staff development presenter/trainer, working with Federal Programs to write curriculum, award applications, and implement grant mandates for training, school environment, student success, parent involvement, and lesson planning. She also served as Partners in Education Coordinator at her campus, working with community and business leaders to support students and teachers.

Cindy most recently served as the Reading and Math Interventionist at Buda Elementary, Hays CISD.  In addition to her role as Interventionist, she was the RtI (Response to Intervention) Coordinator and part of the campus leadership team. She worked with students in Kindergarten through 5th grade, which included ongoing assessments, progress monitoring, using data to drive instruction, differentiating curriculum, creating engaging and meaningful lessons, providing feedback, and supporting diverse learning needs. She supervised part-time intervention tutors and worked closely with teachers, parents, school LSSP, Administration and the Dyslexia teacher to create a learning environment where students were supported and engaged in learning. 

Cindy has vast instructional experience and expertise in Math and Reading content knowledge, which equips her to work with students who are struggling academically in those areas. She uses established student data, assessments, and parent and student input to create learning goals for targeted skills. She believes teaching is her calling and looks forward to each new learning opportunity with her students.  

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Veronica Tristan

Licensed Educational Diagnostician

Veronica Tristan is an experienced bilingual diagnostician who is driven to collaborate in an environment that promotes individualized learning for children with disabilities.

A person can be tested by a neurologist or a diagnostician. Veronica is a Licensed Educational Diagnostician (Bilingual) for the State of Texas.

Tests are completed usually last between two and four hours depending on the pace and knowledge of a student. These tests can measure:

 

  • Cognitive abilities

  • Oral language

  • Listening comprehension

  • And all academic skills (phonemic awareness, reading, writing skill, spelling, and math skills)

Veronica is a bilingual diagnostician with more than ten years of testing students for dyslexia and other disabilities. She also holds a Master’s degree in Special Education and is currently obtaining her doctorate with a focus in Special Education practices. She holds a certification in bilingual education, and special education. She also holds a principal certification and is certified as an educational diagnostician. 

She is passionate about helping children who struggle with dyslexia and other learning differences. She is a dedicated educator with a son that also suffers from dyslexia. She understands the importance of teaching to a child’s individual needs. She has an inclusive philosophy and believes that all students should have an opportunity to learn to read.

Please call HCDS at 512-648-2291 or use our contact form to make an appointment with Veronica.