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Dr. Jane Snider, founder, The Summit School

COLUMN = EDUCATION

Dr. Jane Snider received her BA, MA, and, in 1978, her EdD in special education, from The George Washington University, and she began her career as a special education classroom teacher. Since then, she has become a pioneer in the field of educating children with certain learning disabilities.

After personally observing and working with thousands of children who were not performing in their various school environments, she discovered that many students have differing learning patterns. Frustrated and lacking self-esteem, these children, often labeled as learning disabled, were crying out for help.

They had trouble reading, writing, or breaking big tasks into smaller steps. Yet Dr. Snider knew they could learn with a different learning environment and teaching strategy. In her view, the children were not learning disabled; they merely learned differently.

Following classroom teaching, Dr. Snider became an assistant professor of special education at The George Washington University. After three years, she opened a diagnostic and tutorial center in Annapolis, serving hundreds of children from public, private, and religious schools. She had a staff of tutors and consulted with boarding schools throughout the East Coast that serve students with learning challenges. The center served children and families from 1982 to 1989.

When Dr. Snider realized that few area schools could cater to dyslexic children, she envisioned creating a school environment in which children would be educated according to their individual learning styles and needs. Thus was born The Summit School, grades 1 through 8, with an academic program tailored to each child’s specific learning needs.

About Dr. Joan Mele-McCarthy

Dr. Mele-McCarthy brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Summit. She earned her Bachelor of Arts, Master of Science, and Doctor of Arts degrees in Speech-Language Pathology from Adelphi University in Garden City, New York. She has worked in a variety of settings throughout her many years of service to children and families and has accrued many areas of expertise and experience that serve our students, our families, and our school well.

Her clinical competency and supervision experience includes serving as a university professor and clinical supervisor at several universities. She understands the educational needs of children and supervises and teaches staff to ensure they provide for those needs.

She has extensive knowledge of research-based theoretical concepts and has developed course content at the university level based on the research. She has trained teachers across the country, has presented at numerous professional conferences at the national and local levels, has contributed to peer-reviewed publications, and has developed national research agendas for English language learners and children with learning disabilities.

In addition, Dr. Mele-McCarthy has owned and directed a thriving private practice for 16 years—Communication & Learning Therapies, Inc. Having served children and families in the private sector, she notes, “I understand the child-family-school connection and the accountability Summit has to all of its families.”

Just prior to taking this position, Dr. Mele-McCarthy served as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in the US Department of Education, Washington, DC, an appointed position in the Bush administration. She has a national perspective on general education and special education as a result of her policy work on the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA). Her philosophy of education holds as a priority, high expectations for all children.

Dr. Mele-McCarthy served on the Board of Trustees for the International Dyslexia Association as well as the Government Relations and Public Policy Board within the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Be on the lookout for future articles in our Education column by Snider and Mele-McCarthy in upcoming issues of Be Inkadescent magazine.

For more information, visit www.thesummitschool.org.

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Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.”

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Education is an admirable thing to have, but it is well to remember that nothing worth knowing can be taught.”

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No longer talk at all about the kind of man a good man ought to be, but be such.”

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But all the while I was alone, the past was close behind, I seen a lot of women, but she never escaped my mind, and I just grew, tangled up in blue.”

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Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

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The dove descending breaks the air / With flame of inkandescent terror.”

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History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.”

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If it isn’t good, let it die. If it doesn’t die, make it good.”

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Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it.”

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The best reason to start an organization is to create a product or service to make the world a better place.”

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This is the age when magical technologies make more and more radically fun ideas plausible, even easy. You’re only limited by your creativity.”

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Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences.”

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No matter how difficult and painful it may be, nothing sounds as good to the soul as the truth.”

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I’m not afraid of storms,
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Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

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Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

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You often meet your fate on the road you take to avoid it.”

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You may ask me for anything you like except time.”

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The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something.”

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The music is all around us. All you have to do is listen.”

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Persist and persevere, and you will find most things that are attainable, possible.”

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A great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up.”

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Nobody talks about entrepreneurship as survival, but that’s exactly what nurtures creative thinking.”

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Things don’t change. You change your way of looking, that’s all.”

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What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?”

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With ordinary talents and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.”

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If you do not tell the truth about yourself
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You don’t love someone because of their looks or their clothes or their car. You love them because they sing a song only your heart can understand.”

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Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity.”

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A people who mean to be their Governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”

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Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”

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Let us seize the day and the opportunity and strive for that greatness of spirit that measures life not by its disappointments but by its possibilities.”

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A man who strikes first admits that his ideas have given out.”

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Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”

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Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them!”

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A warrior cannot complain or regret anything. His life is an endless challenge, and challenges cannot possibly be good or bad. Challenges are simply challenges.”

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It is only when the mind is free from the old that it meets everything anew, and in that there is joy.”

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There is little success where there is little laughter.”

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Ripeness is all.”

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Entrepreneurs willingly assume responsibility for the success or failure of a venture and are answerable for all its facets.”

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If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”

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The man who acquires the ability to take full possession of his own mind may take possession of anything else to which he is justly entitled.”

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If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it.”

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Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

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The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.”

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Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”

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The person who makes a success of living is the one who see his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.”

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