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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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I always maintained that the greatest obstacle in life isn’t danger, it’s boredom. The battle against it is responsible for most of the events in the world — good or ill.”

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No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it”

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I may not be able to change what takes place, but I can always choose to change my thinking.”

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The follow-your-gut mentality of the entrepreneur has the potential to take you anywhere you want to go or run you right out of business.”

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Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”

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If you would create something,
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– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Do you have the desire to create something new; the strength of conviction to believe your creation will be successful, and the reservoir of energy necessary to thrust it into the marketplace?”

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Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

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The fixity of a habit is generally in direct proportion to its absurdity.”

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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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We never know how high we are
 till we are called to rise;
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You may ask me for anything you like except time.”

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It is only with the heart that one can see rightly,
 what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

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Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

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Your own words are the bricks and mortar
of the dreams you want to realize.
 The words you choose and their use establish the life you experience.”

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A diamond is a lump of coal that stuck with it.”

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Whosoever knows how to fight well is not angry. Whosoever knows how to conquer enemies does not fight them.”

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You take your life in your own hands, and what happens?
 A terrible thing: no one to blame.”

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Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole, clear, glorious life lies before you. Achieve! Achieve!”

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We need to learn to set our course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship.”

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

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When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.”

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Our deepest wishes are whispers of our authentic selves. We must learn to respect them. We must learn to listen.”

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I’m not afraid of storms,
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Inspiration and genius — one and the same.”

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Friendship is the only cement that will hold the world together.”

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A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.”

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Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

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Always look at what you have left. Never look at what you have lost.”

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There is little success where there is little laughter.”

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Remember that it’s okay to ask for help when you’re stumped, because sometimes you really can’t be expected to handle everything alone.”

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As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.”

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Of course there is no formula for success except perhaps an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings.”

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

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

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At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”

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The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

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You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing.”

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The only way to compel men to speak good of us is to do it.”

– Voltaire