Advisory Council


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Advisory Council


Melissa Behrens-Blake  
Melissa did her undergraduate work in psychology prior to completing a Master’s degree in speech/language pathology under the mentorship of Dr. Bruce Porch.  She established a diagnostic unit at the University of New Mexico for university students in the area of learning disabilities and focused on this age group for ten years.  In 1997 she transferred to the UNM Psychology Clinic where she has continued diagnostic work with all age groups.  She has worked with interns from UNM’s Educational Diagnostic Program and works closely with doctoral candidates in neuropsychology who are interested in the evaluation process.

Jane Blumenfeld, Ph.D. 
Jane was the first Special Educator with the Albuquerque Public Schools, and later was the Director of Special Education for APS. A strong professional and financial supporter of SWIDA, an award is now given in her name to individuals who have contributed to the awareness of dyslexia in the community. Retired and living in Madison, WI, Jane continues to be a strong supporter of SWIDA.

Jenny Coffey  
Born and educated in England with a career in nursing, Jenny has lived in Farmington, NM since 1982. She has been a Certified Academic Language Therapist for over 25 years, and is a Qualified Instructor for the Multisensory Language Training Institute of New Mexico (MLTI of NM). A member of IDA since 1985, Jenny retired as a board member of SWIDA after 13 years.

Sandra Dillon 
A founding member of SWIDA (formerly the NM Branch of the Orton Dyslexia Society), Sandra is the founder and director of the Multisensory Language Training Institute of NM, and a current Board Member of the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC).

Montine Gibbons 
Montine Gibbons is a Speech-Language Pathologist and Certified Academic Language Therapist in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She has worked as an SLP in the Albuquerque Public Schools for 20 years and as a CALT, providing private dyslexia therapy, for 9 years. She served 8 years on the SWIDA Board of Directors as Newsletter Chair, Technology Outreach Chair, Conference Committee Chair, Corresponding Secretary, Vice President and President.

S. Maile Kane 
Maile is retired from Albuquerque Public Schools where she taught for 29 years. She was a founding member of SWIDA (formerly the NM Branch of the Orton Dylsexia Society) and served as Treasurer and President before moving to Durango Colorado in 2000. She is currently in private practice and is still learning from her students.

Janet Lear 
Janet is a lecturer in the Teaching of Reading K-8 at the University of New Mexico. Before joining UNM, she worked as a reading specialist and ESL specialist in urban schools (K-8) in California. She received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master’s in Education- Language, Literacy, and Cultural Studies with a Reading Specialist credential from the University of California, Berkeley. In 2011, she was awarded the University of New Mexico Lecturer of the Year Award and the Southwest International Dyslexia Association Award for Leadership in Literacy.

Cynthia Nava

Meg Porch 

NM Senator Mimi Stewart  
Retired from 30 years of teaching in the public schools in elementary special education, Mimi has been a State Representative in the NM House of Representatives and is now a State Senator. In her teaching and legislative careers, she has promoted teaching reading according to research and science. Mimi sponsored the Dyslexia Memorial in 2000 and the HB 230 Dyslexia bill in 2010. She continues to work on behalf of at-risk readers because there is still “much work to do.”

Linda Curry 
Linda is a Certified Academic Language Therapist and is currently on the staff at the Designs for Learning Differences (DLD) School in Albuquerque. She was on the SWIDA board for 7 years, chairing several committees, and then served two terms as SWIDA’s president (2003-2007).


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