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 wear masks during in person sessions. 

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Marci Sorenson

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Mandy Burress

Mandy is a veteran reading specialist with 22 years of experience teaching in the classroom, working as a readings specialist in schools, and directing the children’s dyslexia center of east Illinois. She has a Masters in Education with Reading Specialist endorsement, and has an IMSLEC certification as an Orton Gillingham Advanced Tutor. Mandy offers sessions online.

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Rachael Crawford

Rachael has a Masters in Education, and has completed the Certified Academic Language Therapy Training using the Take Flight curriculum through Access Learning Academy. She has experience as a classroom teacher, and working with students one-on-one, and is currently completing her hours to become a certified Academic Language Therapist. 

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Brandi Barlow

is a credentialed teacher with 20 years of classroom teaching experience. She is trained in Orton Gillingham, and currently works as a Dyslexia Teacher and Intervention Teacher is Texas Public Schools. Brandi is also pursuing her credential as a Certified Academic Language Therapist. 

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Mandy Burress

Mandy is a veteran reading specialist with 22 years of experience teaching in the classroom, working as a readings specialist in schools, and directing the children’s dyslexia center of east Illinois. She has a Masters in Education with Reading Specialist endorsement, and has an IMSLEC certification as an Orton Gillingham Advanced Tutor. Mandy offers sessions online.

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Paula Feeback 

Paula Feeback is a retired special education teacher at the elementary and middle school level. She has worked with kids with a wide variety of disabilities and age levels from kindergarten to high school transition. She received her B.A. in English with an emphasis in elementary education from the University of Northern Colorado and an M.A. in special education from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. She also completed a certification program through the Dyslexia Training Institute and has been trained in several Lindamood-Bell curriculums. Paula believes that all students can succeed if they are provided with the right instruction, time and encouragement. She have been using Orton-Gillingham methodologies for 20 years and firmly believes that this is the best instruction for most struggling readers. Paula enjoys hiking, camping, kayaking, photography, and gardening. Above all, she loves teaching! She is looking forward to meeting you and your child and helping them to become a strong, confident reader. 

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Samantha Pisano

Samantha Pisano has been working in Pennsylvania public schools since 2006.  She graduated from King's College with my BA in elementary and special education in 2006 and a masters in Reading in 2012.  She  believes that all students can learn to read when taught using research based strategies. I live in Pennsylvania with my husband, Matt, and our three children, Arianna, Isabella, and Levi, and our two dogs, Moose and Molly.  When she is not teaching, you can find her cheering on her kids at their sport activities, or just spending time together as a family. She looks forward to meeting you and helping your child become a confident and successful student. 

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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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. 

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