Board of Directors

Kaci Smith

Board Co-President

Special Education Teacher, George Junior High, Springdale Public Schools

Kaci’s involvement with learning disabilities encompasses both her personal and professional life. Not only does Kaci work as special educator, she is also a mother of a teenager with learning disabilities. Kaci notes that her students and her son appear to be like any of their nondisabled peers but have a daily struggle. Her motivation is to improve collaboration with agencies and to become a better advocate for her son and her students.

A special education teacher for 21 years at the junior high level, Kaci believes the most important part of a student’s IEP is their transition plan. She strives to help bridge this path between the school, community resources, parents and students.


Kimberly Newton

Board Co-President

Independently Licensed Psychological Examiner, ACCESS

Kimberly Newton, MS, LPE-I, independently licensed psychological examiner for ACCESS®, has been working with children and families for just over 20 years. She performs comprehensive psychological and psycho-educational evaluations at the ACCESS Evaluation and Resource Center (AERC) for children, teenagers and young adults diagnosing disabilities such as attention deficit disorder(ADHD), specific learning disorders (dyslexia, mathematic disorder, disorder of written expression) and autism spectrum disorders. She also provides cognitive testing and comprehensive developmental evaluations for children birth to 6 years old to determine eligibility for CHMS/DDTCS programs.

 


Doris Pierce

Treasurer

Associate Director, University of Central Arkansas Disability Research Center

Doris Pierce is an experienced disability service professional working in higher education and student affairs. She focuses on student-centered services, diplomatic collaboration, leadership accountability, and conflict resolution.
Doris currently serves as the associate director of the Disability Resource Center at the University of Central Arkansas.  She previously worked as a disability services counselor and coordinator at Pulaski Technical College and an education specialist at Henderson State University.
Doris earned both her M.S. degree in clinical mental health counseling and bachelor’s degree in psychology from Henderson State University.
Doris is a passionate advocate for individuals with learning disabilities and has been involved with LDAA for over 5 years — serving on the board as secretary, vice president, president, and treasurer. She also serves on the board of Arkansas Advocates for Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) where she has also held several leadership positions.

Christy Williams

Secretary

Academic Therapist, AERC, ACCESS

Christy Williams is an Academic Therapist with Access since February 2014.

Her previous work experience includes being an ALC Facilitator and English Teacher for Pulaski County Special School District, overseeing Data Management and Testing for The Gadberry Group, and being a Sales Advocate for Acxiom Corporation.

Christy holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Spanish from the University of Central Arkansas. She also attained an Arkansas and a Texas Teaching Certificate in Secondary English.

 


Radeanna Garcia

Board Member

Financial Aid Administrator, Pulaski Technical College

Radeanna Garcia is a Financial Aid Administrator for Pulaski Technical College.  Her experience in higher education includes both two-year and four-year institutions.  She currently serves on the Executive Board of Director of the Arkansas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators as Secretary. She also currently serves as secretary for Pulaski Technical College Staff Senate. Her interest in Learning Disabilities Associate of Arkansas stems from her own experience as a parent of a child with both ADHD and Autism. She understands the importance of advocacy for children and also teaching them to advocate for themselves both at the secondary and post-secondary level. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in College Student Personnel from Arkansas Tech University. She and her husband, Andy, have four children: Nathan (14), Aaron (12), Benjamin (9) and Samuel (7).


Jean Swillum

Board Member

Instructor of Developmental Mathematics, Academic Success, Pulaski Technical College

Jean Swillum serves as an instructor of mathematics at Pulaski Technical College (PTC). Prior to being hired full-time at PTC, she worked part-time at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) and PTC as an instructor and has worked as a private math tutor for students in grades 1-12.

In 2013, Jean was evaluated and diagnosed with dyslexia, dysgraphia and ADHD.  Since being diagnosed, she has researched dyslexia trying to identify and implement best practices to help her in her doctoral program and her instructor position.

Jean earned her master’s in education from UALR and a bachelor’s degree in education from Minnesota State University, Mankato.


Jessica Collier Foreman

Board Member

Special Education Instructional Specialist, Lighthouse Academy Charters of Arkansas

Jessica Collier Foreman serves as a special education instructional specialist at Lighthouse Academy Charters of Arkansas.  Jessica is passionate about her work as an educator, advocate, and mentor to students with disabilities. She has advanced training in working with students with disabilities from all 14 categories of special education as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

In addition to serving as an educator, she has a unique perspective as a parent of children with special needs.

 

 


Katie King

Board Member

Katie King’s interest and involvement with learning disabilities began when her children were diagnosed with dyslexia. She researched and learned as much as possible to be a strong advocate for their needs. 
 
Katie originally worked as a secondary school English teacher. When her niece was denied appropriate services at her school, Katie became certified in the Wilson Reading System and began tutoring students in reading, spelling, and writing. She has also worked as a job coach for individuals with disabilities.
 
As a member of the Little Rock Junior Departmental Club, Katie has served as liaison which contributed to her decision to join LDAA’s board. She is also a member of the International Dyslexia Association.