Board of Directors

Beth McGaw

President
beth@launchpadconsultinggroup.com

Beth McGaw became an outspoken advocate for children with learning disabilities after her youngest son was diagnosed at an early age. She has been an active member in LDA for over 10 years and in 2012 was elected to the LDA Board of Directors, currently serving as co-chair of the Communications Committee. Other activities within LDA include Marketing, Affiliate Support, Adult Topics and VP of LDA Georgia.  Although Beth started her career as an Industrial Engineer, she pursued her passion for education by obtaining her M.Ed. from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She co-founded the Atlanta-based, award-winning magazine Kids Enabled in response to her frustration in locating appropriate resources for her son.

Beth currently lives in Dallas and works as an Independent Educational Consultant at Launch Pad Consulting Group, which assist families and their students with learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, and/or autism spectrum disorders locate post-secondary options, including college, job search, and residential living options. She also volunteers for LaunchAbility, a Dallas nonprofit that offers supportive employment services for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Beth and her husband have three adult sons, one in New York, another in California and the third in Arkansas.  They enjoy adventurous vacations with their family to stay connected.


Rachel Krueger

First Vice President
thekrueger5@aol.com

Rachel Krueger, a native Texan, is the mother of three children, one of which has LD. She has been actively involved in the Learning Disability Community for many years. She has degrees in Hospitality Management and Business Management, as well as her Paralegal certificate. She is a member of LDA and has been on the PTA (Parent Teacher Association) for the past 14 years. Rachel was awarded the PTA Texas Life Membership Award for her years spent volunteering and has enjoyed being actively involved in her kid’s schools. She has training in IDEA, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Occupational Therapy. She has worked with children who have bipolar issues, are on the Autism spectrum and Oppositional Defiance Disorders while working for a Pediatric Occupational Therapist.

Rachel is passionate about educating parents about LD and how to have their child diagnosed at an earlier age. She is thankful for LDAA and is grateful to be part of such a wonderful organization.


 Edward Schultz, Ph.D.

Second Vice President
Edward.Schultz@mwsu.edu

Edward Schultz, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at the West College of Education at Midwestern State University in Witchita Falls, TX. He received his B.S. and Master’s Degree at Midwestern State University and his Ph.D. at the University of North Texas.  In addition to teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses at MSU, he is also program coordinator for the Educational Diagnostician Program. He is the co-author of the C-SEP model. His areas of expertise include SLD identification, multi-tiered systems of support, and emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD).


Julia Rivera

Secretary
julang313@yahoo.com

Julia has practiced law before Federal District Courts, state courts in Missouri and Nebraska, the Merit System Protection Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Federal Labor Relations Board and Air Force courts-martial. Her clients included young offenders, neglected children, abusive parents and Federal agencies. She authored policy for the Department of Defense, the U.S. Air Force, and the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES). She has served as an O-6 in the Air Force Judge Advocate General Corp, an Assistant General Counsel for the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, and an Associate Counsel for AAFES. Her decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal (6 oak leaf clusters) and the Outstanding Reserve Judge Advocate of the Air Force. Prior to pursuing her law degree, Ms. Rivera served as a social worker for the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. There she licensed residential and day care facilities for children negotiated contracts with the same and provided adoptive, foster placement, and child protective services. She is a graduate of Washburn University School of Law and Kansas State University (B.S in Social Work, cum laude).

Julia and her husband live in Coppell, TX with their son, age 14, who has been diagnosed with dyslexia and dysgraphia.


Jenn Cohen

Treasurer
jenn@satprepforadhd.com

Jenn Cohen has been in the test prep trenches for almost 20 years, but she prides herself in never feeling too comfortable calling herself an expert. She is always learning from her students, families, other pros and the research literature. She’s a lover of art and science and believes the world is a better place with both. Meeting Neil deGrasse Tyson is on her bucket list.

She has been featured in The Dallas Morning News, ADDitude Magazine, and Good Morning Texas, as well as numerous blogs around the web. She has also been a presenter at the Learning Disabilities Association national conference, as well as a speaker at high schools and parent associations. She is the leading national expert on test prep for students with special needs. If you don’t believe her, just ask Google (maybe add a link to a search?) She is also the owner of Word-Nerd.com, an awesome SAT vocabulary website. She is a graduate of Duke University and completed graduate work in clinical psychology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. She is a hardcore Duke sports fan, and general sports junkie, so she gets a particular kick out of her student’s sports victories. Jenn lives in Dallas, TX with her husband and business guru, Gary, and her daughter, Erin. She enjoys cooking, museums, ’80’s bands and playing “fake Pac-Man” with Erin. It’s just as much fun as it sounds!


Pam Smith

Healthy Children’s Project Coordinator
44psmith@gmail.com

Pam is the mother of two adult children with ADHD, dyslexia, and dysgraphia. Helping her kids navigate school and life with as much dignity and tools as they can have been her prayer and goal. Pam is a Registered Nurse by trade, working as a staff nurse on a hospital surgical floor, then in a large medical clinic for over 14 years, as well as part time in pediatrics with children with disabilities, as well as a pediatric home health nurse. When her first son was born and diagnosed with significant learning issues she decided to leave her full-time job and devote her time to her son. Four years later her second son arrived who was also diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD.   Pam and her husband live in Dallas, TX  and have located many resources to help her two boys through school all the way to college.  Pam looks forward to working with LDA Texas and the Healthy Children Project.


Virginia Simank

Outreach Coordinator
ginnysimank@gmail.com

Ginny Simank is an experienced presenter at the LDA conference, serves on the LDA Education Committee, the LDA Nominating Committee, and is collaborating with another LDA board member to start a support group for Texas LDA in the Dallas area. Ginny was the lead presenter for an LDA webinar “Fun and Engaging Reading and Math Activities” that also included activities for parents to use during the summer.  She is an instructor in Orton-Gillingham professional development training for the Institute for Multi-Sensory Education and teaches reading and language arts at Dallas Academy, a specialized private school serving students with learning disabilities. She is the parent of a son with learning disabilities and has a brother-in-law with SLD. Ginny considers the three most critical issues facing LDA today to be assessment and evaluation, state standards, and Response to Intervention (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support). She is passionate about literacy instruction using multi-sensory strategies.  Ginny expresses excitement and support for advocacy, education, and opportunity for all individuals with learning disabilities and their loved ones.