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Meet the Workshop Presenters

Lindsay Amey, MSc (OT), OT Reg. (Ont.)

Lindsay Amey received her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Western Ontario in 2005. Since then she has been working as a school health therapist with Closing the Gap Healthcare Group in Collingwood, ON. In 2006, she received her training and certification in the LWT Pre-K through Grade 5 curriculum as well as in the administration of the Print Tool Assessment. Lindsay has had great success using the Learning Without Tears curriculum in consultation with schools, school boards and families as well as working one-to-one with children aged 3-21 yrs. She was thrilled to join the LWT team as a Canadian National Presenter in 2010. Realizing her passion for teaching and inspiring adult learners, Lindsay joined the faculty at Georgian College, as part of the OTA/PTA program in 2016. In her spare time, Lindsay enjoys hiking, travelling, mountain biking and downhill skiing as a coach with the Special Olympics team at Georgian Peaks Ski Club in Thornbury, ON.

 

Suzanne Asherson, OTD, MA, OTR/L

Dr. Suzanne Asherson is a pediatric occupational therapist with a Clinical Doctorate and Masters from the University of Southern California. She co-wrote the chapter "Evidence-Based Practice and Accountability" in the Guidelines for Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy in the California Public Schools published by the California Department of Education and is SIPT certified (Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests). Suzanne has been prominently featured in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and appears in on-air news segments around the country. Suzanne spent eight years at the Beverly Hills Unified School District practicing as a school based OT, has been a National Presenter for Learning Without Tears since 2008 and currently has a private practice in Beverly Hills.

 

Kami Bible, OTR/L

Kami Bible is an occupational therapist with a B.S. in Occupational Therapy and a Master of Business Administration. She has been an occupational therapist for almost 20 years and has worked as an occupational therapist in the schools in multiple states and various service delivery models, including online school-based therapy. Kami has used the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum with success and loves sharing her stories with other therapists. Kami is a seasoned presenter nationally and at state occupational therapy conferences. She has written two manuals on the use of technology in a school-based program as well as presenting on strategies to strengthen your school-based program. Kami is excited to share her passion about Handwriting Without Tears as a workshop presenter!

 

 

Christina Bretz, OTR/L

Christina Bretz is an Occupational Therapist from Lexington, Ky. She has extensive pediatric experience providing services to children in school settings, early intervention, home health care and private tutoring. Christina established an annual summer handwriting camp utilizing the Handwriting Without Tears® program. Christina began working for Learning Without Tears in 2002 and currently works as a Program Specialist and National Presenter. Additionally, she tutors children who are experiencing difficulties with handwriting.

 

Patty Bunce, OTR

Patty received her B.S. in Occupational Therapy, magna cum laude, from Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is NDT and SIPT trained and certified. Patty also holds a lifetime certificate from the State of Wisconsin to provide Occupational Therapy services to children in the public school sector, a position she held for 16 years in various school settings in the Milwaukee area. Additionally, she also worked in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center and was the OT for their Follow Through Clinic. While working in schools and medical settings, she has also served on the faculty at Mt. Mary University and has done extensive guest lecturing at other upper level educational settings. Having worked with the Learning Without Tears program for the past 17 years, Patty has been a National Presenter for LWT since 2001. She currently sees children privately and does school consulting both in Milwaukee and the Washington, D.C. area. After two years of study in the Washington, D.C. airspace, Patty received her private pilot's license in the summer of 2013.

 

Katrina Capola, M.A.

Katrina Capola has over 16 years of experience working in education and is thrilled to be part of the LWT team. She is a proud graduate of Michigan State University, where she earned her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education. After being a Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd & 3rd grade classroom teacher for 12 years, Katrina became passionate about supporting struggling students and received a Master's Degree in Special Education from Concordia University in Chicago. Since 2009, Katrina has worked at a blended-learning charter school, teaching students in both, a face-to-face and virtual classroom-setting. Currently she provides reading and math interventions to diverse, early learners utilizing the Response-to-Intervention framework and tiered instruction. In addition, she has worked as the K-5 Lead Teacher, conducting classroom observations and coaching teachers on differentiation and multi-sensory learning to ensure success in children of all learning styles. Katrina shares her knowledge and expertise of implementing best practices into virtual instruction by presenting to educators across the country.

 

Erin Dolin, Ed.D., OTR/L

Erin Dolin is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist with over fifteen years of experience working in clinic and school-based practice settings. She completed her Bachelor's degree in Exercise physiology at California State University, Fresno, earned her Master's Degree in Occupational Therapy from Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, CA, and completed her Doctorate in Educational Leadership with a research emphasis focused on the link between handwriting instruction and student achievement. In addition to her school-based OT practice, Erin has served as an adjunct faculty member with the Department of Physical Therapy at CSU Fresno since 2005. She has taught several foundational courses including Medical terminology, Neuromotor Development Across the Lifespan, Rehabilitation Professions, and Patient Practitioner Interaction in addition to her advising role for students pursuing Pre-Occupational Therapy option coursework. Erin has completed professional development coursework and holds certifications in Therapeutic Listening, The Perceptual Enrichment Program (PEP), Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT - administration scoring and treatment), and HWT Level 1 Certification. Erin began her role with HWT as a National Workshop Presenter in 2008 and has been using HWT with children since she was a graduate student in 1998. She is passionate about her role as a school based OT and supporting student success. In her spare time, she enjoys cycling, stand-up paddle boarding, triathlon competitions, attempting DIY home improvement projects and relaxing with her dogs.

 

Denise Donica, DHSc, OTR/L, BCP, FAOTA

Dr. Denise Donica completed her Doctor of Health Science and Master of Health Science in occupational therapy at the University of Indianapolis in 2007 and 2005 respectively. She also holds a bachelors degree in psychology/criminal justice and occupational therapy from Indiana University. Dr. Donica is an Associate Professor in the Occupational Therapy Department at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. Dr. Donica's focus of clinical practice has been with the pediatric population through school system and outpatient practice. She also has some experience using Handwriting Without Tears via telehealth. She has been using the Handwriting Without Tears® curriculum over 15 years and is a Level 1 certified handwriting specialist through HWT. She is currently a consultant and National Workshop Presenter in addition to her faculty position. She has conducted and published research related to student success and handwriting skills. She has also presented nationally and internationally on handwriting-related research.

 

Diane Eldridge, RN, COTA

Diane Eldridge, RN, COTA is a registered nurse and received her Associate's Degree in Occupational Therapy from Madison Area Technical College. She also has a B.S. in Communications from South Carolina State College. Diane worked in Prince William County Schools as a COTA with children from Pre-K to high school for 14 years incorporating Handwriting Without Tears® techniques. Her extensive experience using the Handwriting Without Tears® curriculum also includes 15 years pediatric experience providing private tutoring sessions to successfully help children of all ability levels with their writing readiness, printing and cursive handwriting skills in their homes, as well as various educational settings. In January 2000 Diane started her career with Handwriting Without Tears®, now known as Learning Without Tears, as a national presenter and represents the company at numerous national and local trade shows.

 

Katrina Erickson, OTR

Katrina received her Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. She has been providing OT services since 1991 to children and adolescents in a variety of settings from hospitals, private practice, and public schools. She believes that collaboration with teachers and parents is essential to student success. Her experience in using the Learning Without Tears (LWT) curriculums includes private tutoring services, summer camps, and as a therapeutic intervention in her OT practice. Katrina has been presenting for LWT since 2000. As a National Presenter for LWT, she provides training to teachers, specialists, and parents in the use of the Handwriting Without Tears, Get Set for School, and Keyboarding without Tears curriculums, and in Handwriting Assessment.

 

Meghan Fisher, MS, OTR/L

Meghan L. Fisher, MS, OTR/L received her Master of Science degree from Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA in 2002. She has experience in providing services to children in a variety of settings; including school based practice, early intervention and private tutoring. Meghan has attended all three HWT workshops, including one taught by Jan Olsen herself, as well as the Advanced Advocacy Training (AAT) weekend. She is Level 1 certified. In June of 2009, she became a National Workshop Presenter for LWT. Meghan has proudly represented LWT at various trade shows since 2005. In her spare time, Meghan enjoys running marathons, yoga and riding horses. She is thrilled to be a National Presenter and Trade Show Specialist for LWT, sharing the program with parents, teachers and therapists in the United States.

 

Jeff Foster, MS, OTR/L

Jeff has been an occupational therapist since 2000. He received a Bachelor's of Science in Occupational Therapy from University of MS Medical Center, a Graduate Certificate in Vision Rehabilitation and a post-graduate advanced Master's degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Jeff currently provides occupational therapy and assistive technology services in Madison County School District, and provides after-school handwriting/occupational therapy services through his private practice, Play for Success, PLLC and has been using the Learning Without Tears curriculum since 2007. He also has served as an assistant professor of occupational therapy at the University of MS Medical Center and as an adjunct professor of occupational therapy at Holmes Community College. He holds a certification in the evaluation and intervention of children using the Learning Without Tears curriculum, and has specialty training and experience in the areas of vision and visual processing in children and adults.

 

Peter Giroux, PhD, MHS, OTR/L, FAOTA

Peter Giroux, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA Dr. Peter Giroux is a full time tenured Professor of Occupational Therapy at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi. He graduated with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Northeast Louisiana University in 1987. He has a Master's of Health Science degree (MHS) from Mississippi College and a Doctoral degree (PhD) in Clinical Health Sciences from the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He is also a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association (FAOTA). He has numerous presentations, publications and research projects in the areas of occupational therapy; handwriting evaluation, intervention and instruction; and keyboarding evaluation, intervention and instruction. In addition to academic responsibilities, he remains an active practitioner by providing occupational therapy services and assistive technology services in a school-based setting in his hometown of Madison, MS. He has all-encompassing experience serving students with special and exceptional needs in addition to typically developing students. He has utilized LWT programs since 1995 with children of all ages in both public and private schools as well as with children in both regular and special education settings. Peter has been a National Workshop Presenter and consultant for LWT since March of 2000 providing training throughout the United States as well as international presentations and educational workshops.

 

Paula Heinricher, MA, OTR

Paula Heinricher is an Occupational Therapist with 20+ years professional experience. She has worked most extensively with the pediatric population. Her experiences include working in the schools (PK though middle school), early intervention, and private practice. She has extensive experience using the HWT and GSS programs with children of all ability levels across all settings.

Paula has been a National Workshop Presenter for LWT since 2005. She also works privately with children who have fine motor, sensory motor, and handwriting concerns. Paula received her Masters of Occupational Therapy from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is certified in Sensory Integration Therapy.

 

Dianna Henn, OTR/L, M. Ed

Dianna Henn received her B.S. from University of Puget Sound and her Master of Education from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota. She has been providing OT services in school settings since 1999 and has been a presenter with LWT since 2011 (has been using the curriculum since 2001). Dianna is a pediatric therapist currently working as a school based OT in Colorado and has her own business providing educational workshops and presentations to educators, administrators, parents, etc. Dianna's experiences include working with Pre-K through middle school students as well as early intervention, both in school and home settings. She strongly believes in the importance of children learning to print and write cursive, even in today's world of technology.

 

Keith R. Kline, OTR/L

Keith R. Kline received his Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Quinninpiac College in Hamden, CT. He has been practicing pediatric OT in a school setting since September 1999. He currently works in the Coventry Public Schools in Coventry, RI where he works with all students, especially those with exceptionalities, from the Pre-K to middle school level. He has over 13 years of experience working with the Learning Without Tears® family of products: Get Set For School, Handwriting Without Tears, and Keyboarding Without Tears. He has provided numerous presentations using these programs and is a National Workshop Presenter for the LWT's company. He offers private tutoring sessions for those families that wish to help their students improve their handwriting and keyboarding skills.

 

Cheryl Lundy-Swift, M.Ed.

Cheryl Lundy Swift graduated from the University of Virginia, where she double-majored in Sociology and Rhetoric & Communication Studies. She received a Masters of Education in Administration & Supervision from Virginia Commonwealth University where she also began her doctoral studies. Cheryl has over 15 years of teaching, training and curriculum development experience. She has taught, trained and worked in leadership roles for various school districts and educational organizations. She has designed, developed and delivered math and literacy curriculum to benefit thousands of students, teachers and parents across the country. Cheryl is the founder of EduPower, Inc., an organization that empowers parents, students, educators and businesses to reach their fullest potential. She is proud to serve as a National Workshop Presenter for Handwriting Without Tears.

 

Hope McCarroll, OTD, MOT, OTR

Hope McCarroll received her bachelor's degree in child development (BS) in 2010, her entry level master's in occupational therapy (MOT) in 2011 and was part of the first graduating class of the post-professional occupational therapy clinical doctorate (OTD) in Texas in 2016 at Texas Woman's University. Her specialty is in school-based pediatric therapy services with published research focused on handwriting and the effects on academic success using the LWT screening tool. She currently works for a local school district in Texas as an occupational therapist and teaches occupational therapy courses as an adjunct at Texas Woman's University. Hope has been using the LWT curriculum in her practice since she started in 2011.

 

Melissa McHugh

Melissa McHugh is a Special Education teacher in Joshua, Texas. Melissa holds a BFA from Auburn University and a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Texas at Arlington. She is a certified teacher for both general and special education and has worked with kids of all abilities, both in small groups and in the large classroom setting. She was named Burleson Independent School District Support Staff Member of the Year in 2011 and was Teacher of the Year at her campus in 2011, 2014, and 2016. She was named Teacher of the Year in 2018 at Caddo Grove Elementary. In 1999, Melissa began using Handwriting Without Tears with her students with special needs and now works with General Education teachers to bring it into their classrooms as well. When not in the classroom, Melissa and her husband, Chris, can be found on the football and soccer fields, or at Rodeo Competitions cheering on their two boys, Wesley and Nick. When at home, Melissa enjoys HGTV, crafts, reading, and taking care of all the family pets (including: dogs, munchkin cats, fish, tortoises, a rat, and a horse!) Melissa loves the Handwriting Without Tears Program and how it changed how she teaches in the classroom, and looks forward to sharing it with you!

 

Todd Misura, OTR/L

Todd Misura, OTR/L Todd Misura has over 25 years of experience working with children. Todd was formerly a tenured 4th grade teacher and is currently a licensed Occupational Therapist in Maryland and Washington, DC. Since 2003, he has worked with LWT as one of their National Workshop Presenters. In this role, Todd has taught thousands of parents, teachers, administrators and therapists across the US and internationally how to use the Handwriting Without Tears® and Keyboarding Without Tears programs. Todd has written articles published in nationally distributed periodicals such as the Costco Connection, been interviewed on national news shows and appeared in many local newspaper interviews (including The Washington Post) and television segments (NBC, ABC and Fox News). He is the owner of Write Here Right Now, Inc., which is an Occupational Therapist practice that primarily focuses in the evaluation and remediation of children's handwriting, keyboarding and written production problems. He practices at local private schools and from his home office in Potomac, MD.

 

Jenna O'Donoghue, M.A.E.D.

Jenna O'Donoghue received her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Thomas University in Thomasville, Georgia. She has eight years of classroom teaching experience ranging from Kindergarten to 4th grade. Jenna also served as an Early Learning Specialist for a large school district in Florida. She resides in Ponder, Texas where she is currently serving as an Instructor for the University of Florida's Lastinger Center. Jenna is also pursuing her Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership and Administration through Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. Jenna has utilized the Learning Without Tears curriculum within her classroom for instructional purposes with huge success but has witnessed the profound effects by watching her daughter as she has moved through the PreK lessons to Kindergarten and now, entering 3rd Grade. She is eager to share her experience and passion of the curriculum with you.

 

Amy Prechel, OTR

Amy Prechel received her B.S. in Occupational Therapy from the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, VA. She has 22 years of experience as a pediatric therapist working in the public school system as well as tutoring students privately. She also has experience using the Learning Without Tears program for the past 22 years to successfully teach handwriting to children from PreK to middle school, in both general and special education classrooms. Amy began working for Learning Without Tears in 2000 proudly representing HWT in trade shows. She has been a National Workshop Presenter for over 12 years. Amy is passionate about LWT due to the success she sees on a daily basis as a school based OT; as a result, she happily shares her success with teachers, parents and administrators.

 

Mark Putney

Mark D. Putney is currently a K-4 Computer and Technology teacher in the Fredonia (New York) Central School District. Using the Keyboarding Without Tears program with his students. He learned about the Get Set For School and Handwriting Without Tears programs while teaching grades 1st through 5th during his first 20 years of teaching in the elementary classroom. He has both his Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Elementary Education and Curriculum and Instruction from the State University of New York College at Fredonia. Mark was so inspired by what the Keyboarding Without Tears program was doing for his students that, after attending a workshop himself, he pursued an opportunity to teach all of the programs that Learning Without Tears has to offer. He has been a curriculum presenter for 10 years during his career, traveling throughout the United States, and ultimately has a passion to help teachers learn. Aside from his roles as teacher and presenter, Mark is also a husband and father. He and his wife, Melissa, have 4 children, Tyler, Emma, Ashton, and Graham.

 

Vanessa Silver, M.S., BCET, C/AOGPE, C/SLDS

Vanessa Silver is the owner of Silver Lining Educational Services, Inc. She has a private practice as a Board Certified Educational Therapist in Los Angeles and is a former resource specialist with LAUSD. She has earned and maintains her Multiple Subject (General) Education and Special Education (Mild/Moderate) Credentials and holds a Resource Specialist Certificate in California. As Certified level member of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE) and Structured Literacy Dyslexia Specialist with The International Dyslexia Associate (IDA), her extensive background in the field of reading disabilities, dysgraphia, and educational assessment is being furthered as she works toward her Fellowship with AOGPE. She homeschools and remediates children with cognitive and specific learning disabilities as well as assesses. She has been in the education field since 1998 and served on the local and national boards of the California Association of Resource Specialists (CARS+), Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), and Association for Educational Therapists (AET). She is listed in Who's Who in American Education. Vanessa has proudly been presenting all levels of workshops nationally and internationally for Handwriting Without Tears® since 2000.

 

Roxanne Thompson, OTR

Roxanne Thompson Roxanne Thompson received her Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from Texas Woman's University in 1998. She has practiced OT in the public schools, early intervention, and currently a private pediatric out-patient clinic. She also provides handwriting tutoring services to children in pre-school through middle school. She completed her Level 1 certification in March 2007 and has been presenting for Learning Without Tears since 2009. Roxanne lives in Frisco with her husband and 2 children.
 

Cathy Van Haute, MS, OTR/L

Cathy Van Haute received a B.S. in Occupational Therapy from the University of Kansas. She obtained a M.S. degree in Early Childhood Development from the University of Nebraska. Cathy has over 30 years of experience working in pediatrics. She is a level one handwriting specialist and is also trained in Neurodevelopmental Treatment. Cathy operates her own pediatric therapy business which includes both home and school based therapy. Her strong desire to provide developmentally appropriate strategies for all children promotes success. Cathy prides herself on making all programs of Learning Without Tears® easily implemented in both the school and home setting. She believes in making children successful in all settings. She has been a National Workshop Presenter for Learning Without Tears since 2003.

 

Bill Weaver, MOT, OTR/L

Bill Weaver, MOT, OTR/L Bill has represented Learning Without Tears for several years providing instruction on developmental teaching methods to teachers, parents, and caregivers. He serves as an Occupational Therapist at the University of Iowa Children's Hospital and worked with children in the school system for several years. He is Level 1 Certified through HWT and can offer private handwriting services along with various summer handwriting camp(s) through his company Functional-OT. He is involved with the Autism Center at UIHC and has been trained in the various components of TEACCH. He also provides consultative services to the pediatric bio-behavioral clinics and specializes in treating children with feeding disorders. He is trained in various components of ABA and utilizes Constraint Induced Movement Therapy, Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation and various other modalities intended to increase function.

Bill graduated from St. Ambrose University with a Master of Occupational Therapy and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Auburn University. Prior to becoming an occupational therapist, he served in a variety of positions within the aviation industry. Bill currently resides in Iowa City, IA.

 

Valerie Zaryczny, OTR/L

Valerie received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wake Forest University and a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Washington University in St. Louis. She has worked as a pediatric occupational therapist since 2004 with children of all ages in multiple settings including schools, daycares, clinics and homes. Valerie is passionate about helping young children of all abilities develop the skills necessary to be successful in the preschool and elementary school settings. She absolutely loves sharing her passion about enabling children to become successful with handwriting and keyboarding skills, which she has done as a National Workshop Presenter for Learning Without Tears since 2011. Valerie is also a lead occupational therapist for a regional therapy company in South Carolina. Valerie lives in the Greenville, SC area with her husband and 2 children where they enjoy biking, hiking, camping, traveling, and church activities.