It gives me great pleasure to share with you a little bit about my new partner, Marisa Bernard, founder and principal of the Orton Gillingham Online Academy.  I feel incredibly fortunate to have met her.

Marisa is the personification of best practices in our field.  Yes, of course, she teaches the Orton Gillingham method which we all know is the gold standard for treating our kids with dyslexia.  Above and beyond that, though, Marisa also provides an incredible amount of support to her students in terms of the ancillary materials she offers in her training as well as ongoing personal contact AFTER training is completed.  She has great ethics and a very big heart.

It is my goal in 2015 to partner with others who have skill sets that I do not necessarily have as an expert in dyslexia. I certainly feel lucky to team up with Marisa as she complements us well.

I hope you enjoy the following interview with Marisa Bernard about her background and what she offers at the Orton Gillingham Online Academy!

Here is a synopsis of Marisa’s professional background & experiences:

Marisa is a dynamic educator with several years of successful teaching experience. She has been married for 28 years and has raised her 2 adult children. She has her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a focus in Cognition & Learning and has her Master’s Degree in Special Education. She is also a highly qualified Elementary Education Teacher as well as a Reading Specialist. She has worked on staff at the Dyslexia Institute of Indiana as both an educator and trainer of the Orton Gillingham Approach. She has also taught Special Education in a public school setting and has remediated countless numbers of students on grade level by using research based strategies such as the Orton Gillingham Approach. Marisa is a professional member of the International Dyslexia Association.

Marisa received a grant through the Lilly Foundation & traveled to the highlands of Ecuador to teach English, using the Orton Gillingham Approach, to the indigenous children. She also learned organic farming from her host family & brought this knowledge back to her home school to begin a school wide organic garden for the special needs students to cultivate & maintain. Marisa also travelled to New York City the summer of 2009 to volunteer at New Life Fellowship Church in Queens. While there, she assisted with their summer children’s educational program & food drive. Marisa & her husband have welcomed many homeless & downtrodden adolescents into their home. Marisa makes it her mission to assist children who do not fit inside the conventional box and to send them on their way feeling productive, successful, & well-equipped to lead a fruitful life.

Orton Gillingham Online Academy Mission and Goals Statement

The Orton Gillingham Online Academy Mission Statement: We believe that all people have the right to reach their full potential. The Orton Gillingham Online Academy (OGOA) exists to serve children, adolescents, and adults with Dyslexia and Specific Learning/Language Disabilities (SLD). The Orton Gillingham Online Academy offers parents and teachers resources to assist with teaching our English language. We are dedicated and committed to present to tools that will enhance the teaching/learning venue. It is our goal to maintain a standard of excellence for the practice of the Orton Gillingham Approach.  We make it our mission to reach students all across the globe.

Professional development opportunities

As parents and educators, it is important to have the skill sets necessary to appropriately teach our children. Meeting specific academic needs has never been more challenging than it is today. As more and more disabilities are being identified and inclusion is the wave of the present and future classrooms, educators are faced with the dilemma of differentiating the instruction to meet the needs of all the diverse learners. We are more than ever attending seminars and reaching out to the experts for tips and tidbits of information that will assist us with accommodating the educational needs in our classrooms and in our homes.

We are very excited to offer you Orton Gillingham Training and Webinars from experts that are affordable and available in the comfort of your own home. As parents and educators, we understand that time constraint is the number one issue we face when teaching our children. There never seems to be enough time; therefore, to add conferences, seminars, and various training opportunities to our plate is not always a feasible or desirable option. The online venue is an appealing choice for the busy parent and educator.

Additional resources above and beyond the training modules

The Orton Gillingham Online Academy’s resources are embedded in our website to better service you. Just as a “cookie cutter” education system is not best for our students with Dyslexia, or Specific Learning/Language Disability (SLD), relying on a single source for answers and solutions is not best practice. From Classroom Tidbit Videos, a Prepared Orton Gillingham Lesson Plan Package, to Helpful Apps, we make it our mission to present to you from an array of the finest, most current, and relevant information to most effectively address educational needs.

The best way for people to reach Marisa Bernard

Please contact Marisa directly at ogonlineacademy@gmail.com.

Thanks again to Marisa for making time to participate in this interview.  I’m looking forward to our future work!