• Columnists

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.

I can’t go back to yesterday—because I was a different person then.”

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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.”

– Lao Tzu

You don’t go into a field that requires cracking people’s heads open or operating on something as delicate as the spinal cord unless you are comfortable with taking risks.”

– Dr. Ben Carson

It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”

– William Shakespeare

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

– Nelson Mandela

Treat the attainment of happiness in the same way an entrepreneur would approach building a business — with a vision, plan, goals, and a systematic approach.”

– Ted Leonsis

I don’t do very well without fear. There needs to be a part of me saying, ‘That’s going to fail,’ so I can prove myself wrong.”

– Harry Potter's Daniel Radcliffe

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.”

– Andrew Carnegie

My job is my hobby. I come to work to play.”

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‎No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another.”

– Charles Dickens

If you do work that you love, and the work fulfills you, the rest will come.”

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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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Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do not say, ‘why were the former days better than these,’ for it is not from wisdom that you ask this.”

– Ecclesiastes, 7:10

Passion makes perfect.”

– Eugene Biro

Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.”

– Albert Einstein

Do one thing every day that scares you.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise.”

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We are not meant to resolve all contradictions, but to live with them and rise above them.”

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Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.”

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Tolerance and patience should not be read as signs of weakness. They are signs of strength.”

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Practice kindness all day to everybody and you will realize you’re already in heaven now.”

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When you are asked if you can do a job, tell ‘em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.”

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To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson

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

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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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Entrepreneurs are willing to roll the dice with their money or reputation on the line in support of an idea or enterprise.”

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Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.”

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Don’t wait for someone else to lead you to your right life; that privilege—and responsibility—is yours alone.”

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

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Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.”

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

– Norwegian proverb

I’m not afraid of storms,
for I’m learning to sail my ship.”

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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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Success is about finding a livelihood that brings joy, self-sufficiency, and a sense of contributing.”

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If you want to be busy, keep trying to be perfect. If you want to be happy, focus on making a difference.”

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The quality of your life is directly related to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with.”

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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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Speaking more than one language is no longer just an asset in today’s job market; it is a requirement.”

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Most people never pick up the phone and call. Most people never ask, and that’s what separates the people who do things from the people who just dream about them.”

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The goal of Life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with nature.”

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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.”

– Groucho Marx

The mind is everything. What you think, you become.”

– Buddha

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

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I’ve come to confirm that one’s title, even that of president, says little about how well one’s life has been led. No matter how much you’ve done, or how successful you’ve been, there’s always more to do, to learn, and to achieve.”

– Barack Obama

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

– Voltaire

Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.”

– Albert Einstein

How do you stay resilient? It’s about momentum. Like riding a bicycle. If you stop you fall over. So I keep pedaling.”

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

– Marcel Proust