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Meet our Dedicated Learning Specialists

At the Joy of Learning, all of our teachers are experienced professional educators who have dedicated their careers to effective reading, writing, and math instruction for students with diverse learning styles. They have classroom teaching experience, advanced degrees in education, and are well versed in methods specific to supporting students with learning differences. Our specialists hold advanced training in Orton Gillingham Reading Instruction, which is the gold standard for teaching students with Dyslexia and struggling readers, as well as extensive training in teaching writing and math. All of our teachers are background checked and vaccinated for Covid, and Learning Specialists working in person can wear masks if requested. 

In Person: Boulder Metro area, or Virtual anywhere

I started the Joy of Learning because I am passionate about supporting students who learn differently.

As a classroom teacher, it broke my heart to see students struggle with frustration and low self esteem because they couldn't access the classroom curriculum, and I became dedicated to learning how how to support these students. I got a Certificate in Educational Therapy through the University of California Riverside, trained in Orton Gillingham through IMSE, and pursued my Masters in Literacy and Dyslexia through the International Dyslexia Association Accredited program at the University of Central Arkansas. 

The other Learning Specialists on the team and I have devoted our careers to effectively teaching students with learning differences, and approach our work with genuine enthusiasm, expertise, and warmth.

Providing your child with the tools they need to succeed academically is a gift that will last them a lifetime. Speak to us today about setting your child up with a learning specialist who can help them thrive. 

Jordan Burns

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Jo McMahan

Jo is a former classroom teacher with 30 years of teaching experience. For the past 10 years, she has worked at Camp Spring Creek as a Dyslexia interventionist and has loved every minute of it. Jo teaches in person sessions in the Boulder CO area, where she gets to be near her almost 1-year-old granddaughter. 


Courtney Cole

Hi! My name is Courtney Cole and I have been a teacher in the Boulder Valley School District for 15 years. I have taught 2nd grade, 4th grade, Kindergarten, and have been a literacy interventionist for the past 4 years. I have been trained in the Ron Yoshimoto Orton Gilligham approach as well as in the IMSE (Institute for Multi-Sensory Education) Orton Gilligham approach. I love making learning fun and developing strong,trusting relationships with my students and their families! 


When I’m not teaching or tutoring, I am out hiking, doing yoga, reading, or spending time with my husband, son, and dog. I have lived in Colorado for 25 years, but make it back to Northern Michigan every summer to enjoy some lake time!

Scott Barrett

My name is Scott Barrett. I have been a special education teacher for almost 10 years. Throughout my career I have worked with students in grades k-5. The students I work with have varying degrees of disabilities. I love helping students with learning challenges achieve their academic goals. 


I graduated from the University of Montana with a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, an elementary education degree and a special education endorsement, and a special endorsement in teaching students with low incidence disabilities. 


I have taken several trainings and classes on reading and mathematics, including Orton Gillingham and Math Recovery. 


My teaching philosophy is to focus on a student’s strengths to build confidence, and target my instruction on focusing on a child's lowest area of need to build foundational skills. I think multisensory education is important. I also think it's critical to understand where the student is at in the development of a skill, and systemically teach the skills a student needs to progress in the next steps of the learning progression. 

I am available to tutor virtually or in-person in the Fort Collins area!


Ryan Conrad

I am a Colorado native with over 20 years of teaching experience. I have a diverse background in education including Special Education, Language Arts, English Language Development, Gifted and Talented, Social Studies, and several years as a Principal and Assistant Principal. In 2018 I found my teaching home at Horizons K-8 where I teach 7th and 8th grade Social Studies. I am also the proud parent of two Horizons students.


In my heart, I have always been an educator and have committed my life to teaching and learning so that I may help provide a meaningful education to others. Throughout my career, I have dedicated myself to the service of diverse learners predicated upon my unshakable faith that every student can learn and thrive given the proper support.

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Karen Jones

I am a former Boulder Valley School District elementary teacher with 25 years of experience. My background is in English Language Development, Literacy, and teaching kindergarten and second grade. I am trained in the Orton Gillingham approach through OGA (Orton Gillingham Academy) and IMSE (Institute for Multi-Sensory Education).  I also have training in Leveled Literacy Intervention, Wilson Fundations, and Advantage+Math.  I have a passion for teaching literacy and math, and as a tutor, I especially love designing engaging lessons that address the needs and learning styles of the individual student. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, reading, and home improvement projects. 


In Person: Denver Metro area, or Virtual anywhere

Mari Reamy

Hello, my name is Mari Reamy. I’m a SPED teacher with seven years of experience. I’m based in Denver and hold a Colorado professional teaching license. I have worked with students with various disabilities over the years (ASD, OHI including ADD/ADHD, ID, SLD including dyslexia, DD, SLI, TBI, etc.). I hold a Master’s Degree in SPED from the University of Colorado and the following postgraduate certifications as well as content-specific trainings from a number of universities/institutes: IMSE Orton Gillingham, Yoshimoto Orton Gillingham, Structured Literacy, Effective Literacy Instruction for Diverse Learners, Language Development of Multilingual Learners, LETRS Basic Reading Skills, LETRS Reading Comprehension, Differentiated Educational Strategies for Exceptional Children, etc. I also lead the MTSS process at my current school and coach teachers on assessing students, determining the root cause, and designing Tier 2 differentiated instruction. I absolutely love working with children, supporting them in increasing their self-confidence through academic growth coupled with positive reinforcement. Thank you! 


Jen Kaciuba

My name is Jen Kaciuba and I am an experienced and dedicated reading tutor with a wealth of knowledge spanning over 8 years in the field of education.I currently reside in Golden Colorado.  I am a certified K-9 elementary teacher and am currently pursuing my M.Ed in Literacy instruction to further elevate my expertise. I have been trained in Orton Gillingham, Structured Literacy and Science of Reading strategies and have been using them to teach explicit and effective reading instruction. My passion lies in cultivating a love for reading among my students, empowering them to embark on a journey of lifelong learning. When not teaching, I love being outside and taking advantage of the beautiful state of Colorado. I  like hiking, rafting, skiing, and gravel biking. I love working with students and being able to help them find confidence in their own literacy skills!

I am available to tutor in-person in the Golden/Westminster/Wheatridge/Denver areas!


In Person: East SF Bay area, or Virtual anywhere


Krystal Garcia

I have been teaching various grade levels in Special Education in the Bay Area since 2019. I hold a K-12th grade Special Education teaching credential. Most of my experience has been working with youth who have emotional/behavioral concerns and require direct intervention, small group and 1:1 support in the classroom. I have experience working with a variety of students from a variety of different backgrounds but especially those with ADHD, ASD, EBD, Dyslexia and Specific Learning Disabilities. I currently work with individual students at my school by administering our Tier-3 reading intervention which utilizes a mix of Wilson (Orton Gillingham), Reading Revolution, and Lindamood-Bell. I have experience with using Edmark, and LLI materials through Fountas and Pinnell, and the WIAT for assessment.  My approach to teaching is by using a multi-sensory curriculum and getting to know each of my students as individual humans to create an environment for them to thrive in. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my spouse, pets, exercising, crafting, and spending time hiking around the Bay Area. 

Virtual Only

Brenna Blazis

Brenna Blazis is a passionate educator who loves to utilize her experiences and tools to develop successful lifelong learners. Brenna will work alongside your child's strengths and interests to create engaging virtual lessons to address their learning needs to build all content area skills. 

Her career in education stemmed from her own successes and struggles in elementary and middle school. To better serve the needs of all students regardless of setting, Brenna received my bachelor's degree in Special and Elementary Education from the University of Evansville.

As a continual learner, she has refined her practices through programs like Reaching All Reader, PilotEd Curriculum Fellowship, Rollins Center for Language, and more. Brenna worked in different capacities within education over the last 12 years in both the United States and abroad.She especially loved sharing her passion for quality education for all, as a curriculum writer and teacher trainer with the Peace Corps Liberia and the Dominican Republic. In the United States, Brenna holds multiple teaching certificates from the state of Georgia in both elementary and special education P-12. In the US, Brenna has taught all subjects in various inclusive and self-contained special education settings. As an educator, she works with her students to build not only social, emotional, and academic skills but also self-advocacy.


Brenna's lessons are rooted in self-advocacy, a growth mindset, and research-based practices to best meet the needs of each learner. Over her time with Joy of Learning, she has developed a skill set to work with older learners, especially on spelling, reading, writing composition, math, and organizational skills. Brenna currently has  availability to work with students during the day. Brenna is excited to  work with your child to build their skills together through virtual lessons! 

Marci Sorenson

Marci is an engaging, experienced, child focused educator of 10 years.  She possesses a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education, a Bachelor's Degree in Behavioral Science, and has completed the Classroom Educator Level training for Orton-Gillingham. Marci strives to provide a well-balanced, supportive, and engaging learning environment for all students while remaining flexible.  Marci lives in the Nebraska area. She loves enjoying the great outdoors, and cheering her two children on in their sporting activities.  

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Christie Welsby

Christie Welsby is an elementary reading specialist with over 25 years experience in sparking the joy of reading in her students. She has been an elementary reading specialist near Buffalo, NY for 25 years and has a Master's Degree in Reading, Language Arts and Literacy from The Ohio State University. She has received Orton-Gillingham training at the Classroom and Associate Levels, and is currently in a practicum to receive certification at the Orton-Gillingham Associate Level. She enjoys music, theater, and spending time with her big, blended family.

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Rebekah Vincent

Hi, my name is Rebekah and I'm a former special education teacher who's been tutoring for over 15 years. I work with students with all sorts of learning profiles, including Dyslexia, AD/HD, and Autism. I'm a certified dyslexia tutor and offer Orton-Gillingham tutoring, K-8th grade math, and homework support. I live in southern California and enjoy jiu jitsu, hiking, and cooking. 

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