President's Message

October, 2014

To our members of the Colorado Council of Learning Disabilities:

With a new school year, there is a renewed sense of excitement about learning and student growth. There are some exciting changes coming for us professionally and as the CCLD Board grows, we will continue to provide expanded professional-development opportunities and networking to support our members throughout the year. Our board is represented by professionals with diverse backgrounds and an amazing knowledge base. We all share a common passion for teaching and inspiring success in the classroom. Each Board member brings a set of unique talents that collectively create a strong network of support. I am honored to introduce the current CCLD Board.

Kyle Hughes,
CCLD President

My name is Dr. Patty Meek. I had many jobs in several school districts but my absolute favorite was teaching middle school special education. For me, it was a great honor to teach; the most important thing in my classroom was how things were going for me and for my kids. It was always a crazy, merry chase of "How can I do this better??" I continue to teach at the University of Colorado and serve on the board of the Colorado Council of Learning Disabilities. In both instances, it remains a crazy, merry chase of "How can I do this better?" I love my husband, my life, my family and friends. I have been very fortunate.

I am Nancy Chomyn and I am excited to start my third year as an elementary special education teacher at Monarch K-8 in Boulder Valley School District. I have over 10 years experience with the district, teaching in various roles as a special educator, kindergarten teacher, and a para-educator. My professional accomplishments include certification in Linguistically Diverse Education and completion of the Math Interventionist Certificate. As I pursue my love of teaching and learning, I am working on my Masters in Educational Psychology at the University of Colorado Denver. My husband and I also celebrate with our two children as they journey through Colorado universities. Our son will soon graduate despite his learning disabilities. I look forward to my second year on the CCLD Board.

My name is Stephanie Ball and I’m honored to say this is my fourth year with Boulder Valley School District. Originally a New Yorker, my husband and I stumbled upon Boulder as we traveled out west with all of our belongings loaded in our Honda wagon. It was the summer of 1990 and as we walked on the Pearl Street Mall, we knew we had to stay. One career later, I received my masters and certification in Special Education from the University of Northern Colorado in 2004. We have two girls, two canine boys, a cat, one anole and three fish. In my free time I love to be with my family and friends, read, and paint and explore in mixed media. My everyday goal for myself is to try my hardest to make a genuine connection with my students and to educate and honor the whole child. I’m happy to be a member of the CCLD board.

I am Candy Myers and I am a supervisor on the Access, Learning and Literacy Team in the Exceptional Student Services Unit at the Colorado Department of Education (CDE). I am also the Principal Consultant for Specific Learning Disabilities and have advocated for students with SLD for over 35 years through a variety of educator roles. My primary role with CDE is to provide guidance, technical assistance, and professional development for those Colorado educators/administrators responsible for the education of students with learning disabilities. I value the precious time I spend with my children and grandchildren, and I love exploring new places both near and far.

My name is Liz Peyton and I am a long-time CCLD Board member. I am a past president of the organization and I co-chaired the CLD International Conference that was held in Denver. My current role on the CCLD Board is the Courage to Risk Representative. I also spent 30 years as an educator in Jefferson County School District working with children with learning disabilities. In my spare time I enjoy playing tennis, skiing, hiking and spending time with my grandsons who are three and five. They are learning all about words that rhyme and beginning sounds. They think it is a game!!!

I’m Deb Norlin. I am a Denver native and most of my family lives in Denver. I earned degrees in elementary education, special education, school administration, and received advanced training as a reading specialist. I began my career as a special educator In Adams County 12 School District as a self-contained ED teacher. I also taught for 26 years at Cherry Creek High School and served as the Department Coordinator for Student Achievement Services for 16 of those years before I retired in June. I taught classes in literacy and needs of the special child in the mainstream classroom for the Teacher Education Program at the University of Denver from 2010 to 2012. I am very grateful to Kyle for the opportunity to work with her on the Math on the “Planes” Conference and the CCLD Board.

I am Kyle Hughes and I spent most of my adult life as a special educator. I taught at the elementary level and spent my last eight years before retirement in secondary education in Cherry Creek School District. I also taught in undergraduate and graduate programs at Metro State University and University of Colorado Denver. My most challenging work was as an independent contractor, working for the Colorado Department of Education in the area of school reform. I now enjoy volunteering in the Early Learning Center at Florence Crittenton High School, an alternative school for teen moms. I also love traveling and spending time in Fairbanks, AK with my two grandsons who are one and four years old.

My name is Annemarie Dempsey. Over 20 years ago I recognized my calling when I started working with students with special needs as a TA at a residential treatment facility in Massachusetts. Since then I earned my Masters in Special Education from UCD and have spent time working in elementary and secondary schools in Adams 14, Boulder Valley, and DPS. I found my home in the Cherry Creek School District and have enjoyed working with middle school students for the past 16 years. Additionally, I am a district Phonics Boost Trainer, a co-facilitator of the district-wide SLD Literacy Study Team, was the Special Education Department Coordinator at Laredo Middle School, and have earned my Math Interventionist Certificate. Presently I am proud to be a Bruin as a Learning Specialist at Cherry Creek High School. My husband, Dave, and I enjoy spending time in the mountains with our three children (ages 10, 8, and 6) when we are not running them to soccer, gymnastics, scouts and other activities.

I am Lisa Blosser. I worked in several educational settings with runaway and homeless youth, developmentally disabled and deaf adults before starting a teaching career in 1995 in the Denver Public Schools/Cleo Wallace Day Treatment Program. It was a true lesson in differentiation because I had students ranging from kindergarten to 5th grade in one classroom. I also served as the special needs coordinator at Regis Jesuit High School and taught in Sheridan School District. Currently, I am the learning support services teacher at Littleton Academy, a K-8 Core-Knowledge charter school in the Littleton School District. I also love to spend time with my husband, Troy, and my two children, Alec (18 years) and Paige (12 years). Watching movies is one of our favorite family activities, and we like to travel when we can. I enjoy writing fiction and playing the folk harp; but when I have time, there is nothing I like better than getting lost in a great book.

My name is Mary Ann Murphy and I began my educational career as a K-2 teacher. Working with students with reading disabilities was a challenge. A corporate transfer to LA and the birth of my preemie son added a detour to my teaching career. I returned to Denver with three school age children and began volunteering at Campus Middle School because I was aware of a special program there for students with learning disabilities. This experience, coupled with my personal frustration seeing my own son struggle with a learning disability, lead me to pursue certification as a moderate needs teacher at the University of Denver. Seventeen years of collaborating with parents and professionals to support moderate needs students in the Cherry Creek Schools has enriched my life. I am exploring working with therapy animals for children as a possible option in the next chapter in my life. I enjoy spending time with my daughter and grandson in NYC, a daughter on Rochester, and a son and two grandchildren in San Diego.