Community Education Series 2017-18

Coming Soon

The Community Education Series engages and educates our community about topics related to the science of learning and learning styles. The series provides practical resources and information that are both grounded in research and accessible to all audiences.  All events take place at The Hill Center from 6:30-8pm unless otherwise noted.


These programs are open to the community and free of charge thanks to the generous support of Morris Commercial of Chapel Hill, NC in honor of Scott Morris '01.


Click here to suggest a topic for a future event or to join our mailing list.

Past Events

Mark C. Chandler, M.D.:  ”Advances in Psychopharmacology" - April 6, 2017

Mark Chandler, MD will present an informative talk about the history of medications for childhood psychiatric disorders including antidepressants, stimulants, anti-anxiety medications, and mood stabilizers. There will be a particular focus on some newer treatments and newer delivery systems for psychotropic medicines. He will discuss some theories of emotional disorders and ways to use this understanding in selecting medications. Dr. Chandler will take time to discuss the common side effects of medications. Questions and an open dialogue are encouraged.


Mark C. Chandler, M.D. is board certified in general psychiatry and board eligible in child psychiatry. He has practiced in North Carolina for more than twenty-five years; first as a professor at UNC and director of the Child Psychiatry Inpatient Unit at NC Memorial Hospital and later as a provider in a private setting. Dr. Chandler has extensive experience with the treatment of Mood Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, and Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder in children, adolescents and adults. He has sub-specialty experience in Neuropsychiatry, the treatment of emotional problems directly related to brain dysfunction, as in traumatic brain injury. A large part of Dr. Chandler’s practice is working with people who are dually diagnosed with developmental disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorder and other psychiatric disorders. Dr. Chandler is a proponent of research and frequently works as a principal investigator in clinical trials.


Lynn Loeser: ”Demystifying Dyslexia" - March 2, 2017

Dyslexia literally means difficulty (dys) with reading at the word (lex) level. The term has existed since the late 1800s and is estimated to impact 5-20% of the population. There  continue to be myths and misconceptions that surround dyslexia when educators, parents and professionals communicate. This    presentation is intended to provide clarity on the definition, characteristics, common misperceptions and myths in the public school setting. Together we can help change understandings about dyslexia, and in particular, assure the success of students with dyslexia.


Lynn Loeser is a North CarolinStatewide Consultant for Specific Learning Disabilities and ADHD.


William Van Cleave: ”Cognitive Overload!  How Working Memory Impacts Writers" - February 21, 2017

Van Cleave will use current research on writing to help participants understand the issues confronting struggling writers. He will emphasize working memory and the number of simultaneous demands the writing process makes on students of all ages. He will include an overview of the following  components of writing: transcription skills, syntax, vocabulary, oral language, text structure, and the recursive processes. Throughout the presentation, Van Cleave will provide participants with recommendations to help  students improve their writing skills.


William Van Cleave is in private practice as an educational consultant whose specialties include morphology and written expression. A nationally recognized speaker, he has presented on effective teaching practices at conferences and schools around the country since 1995. Recent projects include providing the professional development component of a school improvement grant in Oklahoma City, participation on the RtII Writing Standards Committee for the State of Pennsylvania, and incorporation of a Trainer of Trainers project with Wichita Unified School District using his sentence structure approach. The author of three books, including Writing Matters and Everything You Want To Know & Exactly Where to Find It, as well as a number of educational tools and activities, William has served as a classroom teacher, tutor, and administrator in the private school arena at various points in his career. 


Dr. Theresa Maitland: ”Preparing Teens with ADHD/LD for College” – January 18, 2017

National statistics on college graduation rates suggest that 4-5 out of every 10 freshman who start college may not graduate, or still be enrolled 5 years later. Freshmen with emotional, attentional and/or learning disabilities may graduate at an even lower rate and experience more challenges as they adjust to college. However, these studies also suggest that some teens who transitioned were better prepared, sought services and graduated at the same rate as their non-disabled friends. This workshop will share what parents can do to increase the odds that their teen will be ready to navigate college successfully.  


Theresa E. Laurie Maitland, Ph.D. is currently the coordinator of the Academic Success Program for Students with LD/ADHD: A Learning Center Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Maitland co-authored Coaching College Students with ADHD with Dr. Patricia Quinn and Nancy Ratey. She and Patricia Quinn published two books on the subject of transition to college: Ready for Take-Off: Preparing Teens with ADHD and LD for College and On Your Own: A College Readiness Guide for Teens with ADHD/LD.


Jim Wright: ”Motivating Your Child by Using 'Growth Mindset' Statements” – November 2, 2016

Click here to view the recording of this workshop.

Students can develop a sense of 'learned helplessness' when they experience setbacks in math, writing, and other challenging academic areas. The good news is that parents can play a pivotal and positive role in changing their child's perspective and motivating them to apply their best effort--by using 'growth mindset' statements. Pioneered by researcher Dr. Carol Dweck and colleagues, this optimism-based technique is simple to use. The parent reframes academic tasks in a manner that ignites optimism and prompts the child to see the connection between increased effort and improved outcomes. This workshop will present the elements of 'growth mindset' and provide a simple tutorial for incorporating this approach in day-to-day parent-child communication.


Jim Wright is a national trainer and consultant to schools and organizations on Response to Intervention/Multi-Tier System of Supports and other issues relating to educational change and at-risk learners.  He is also a certified school psychologist and school administrator, with over 17 years’ experience working in public schools in central New York State. Jim is the creator of Intervention Central (www.interventioncentral.org), a popular website featuring free student intervention ideas. Jim has also published several books on RTI/MTSS and best practices in assisting struggling learners in the classroom.


Sarah Powell: ” Effective Ways to Help Your Child with Math” – October 6, 2016

Acquire effective ways to help your child learn math. Event will focus on using household math tools to show math concepts and procedures. Learn effective ways to provide fluency practice on math facts and alternative methods for computation. This will be hands-on, so come prepared to do some math!


Sarah R. Powell, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Special Education at the University of Texas at Austin where she teaches courses on assessment and instruction for students with and without disabilities. Powell is currently Principal Investigator of an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Goal 3 efficacy study of word-problem intervention for 3rd-grade students. Powell is also a National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow. Her 2-year project is investigating the math symbol and vocabulary knowledge of students in elementary and middle school. Powell is also a Faculty Fellow of the Greater Texas Foundation. Powell was an IES predoctoral fellow in Special Education at Peabody College of Vanderbilt

University. Prior to graduate school, Powell was a kindergarten teacher in Tennessee. Her research focuses on effective methods of teaching math to students who struggle with math. Powell has published over 35 articles in peer-reviewed journals.


David Flink: “Reframing Learning for a New Generation” – September 29, 2016

What does it mean to be a “different thinker?” Where can we find the full potential of our community? How can we make strides toward creating a world in which every learner is recognized? By sharing some of his own LD/ADHD journeys, Mr. Flink will provide answers to these questions. In doing so, he’ll also provide a glimpse into the power of mentoring in the lives of different thinkers. At the core is a message of personal empowerment, academic success, and educational revolution for people who think differently.


David Flink is the Founder and Chief Empowerment Officer at Eye to Eye, he only national mentoring movement run for and by people with LD/ADHD. David holds a master’s degree in disability studies in education from Columbia University and bachelors’ degrees with honors in education and psychology from Brown University. His first book, Thinking Differently: An Inspiring Guide for Parents of Children with Learning Disabilities, was published by HarperCollins. In it, he sets out to enlarge our understanding of learning and offers new, powerful strategies for teaching, parenting, and supporting the 20 percent of students with learning disabilities. In addition to being Founder and Chief Empowerment Officer of Eye to Eye, David sits on four national nonprofit boards: Hunt Alternatives, Generation Citizen, Dyslexic Advantage, and CAST. David was awarded a Prime Movers Fellowship sponsored by the Hunt Alternatives Fund and was elected to the prestigious Ashoka Fellowship.


The Hill Center Resource Fair - April 2016

There are numerous community resources available to students – especially those with learning differences. At The Hill Center Resource Fair, we will host a few of these professionals to learn more about their work. The event will begin with each specialist providing a brief overview of their services, followed by an exhibit where they will be available for further questions. This is great way for us all to learn more about these cutting-edge services, be educated about local resources, and network with others in our community. Representatives: Frederique Beaufils, M.A. - Neurofeedback Specialist, Orenstein Solutions, Dr. Bart Brigidi – Clinical Neuropsychologist, Founder of Work it! Academy, Pam Goodman – Educational Consultant, k6easy, Dr. Patricia Leigh – Neurodevelopmental Specialist, Leigh Brain & Spine, Janet Marron & Katie Woolard – Therapists, Emerge – A Children’s Place, Dr. David Rabiner – Duke Research Professor, Psychology & Neuroscience, Kristan Shimpi – Executive Director, Girl Talk, Jake Stauch – Founder & CEO, NeuroSpire and NEURO+.

Justin Parker: "Summer Planning to Target Fall Rebound" - March 2016

We often hear kids talk about being bored in the summer, but any talk of doing academic work to fill the hours is met with, “It’s summer! Why do I have to work?” With a little planning we can avoid these conversations with our students, add some academic time into their calendar, and build the resiliency that they need to have a good launch into the new year. The PowerPoint slides from this presentation are available here.


Justin Parker, Ph.D. received his masters and Ph.D. in School Psychology from North Carolina State University. He is currently a Licensed Psychologist and Educational Consultant at 3-C Family Services, P.A. in Cary. He has worked extensively with parents, children and adolescents with special needs in the areas of academic/school difficulties, disruptive behaviors and ADHD. In addition, he serves as an educational advocate by working with parents and school systems to ensure children are put in the most advantageous situation possible to maximize their school-based potential.


William Van Cleave: "The Brain & Multi-Sensory Teaching" - February 2016

The brain is the most sophisticated organ in the human body. It is the command center for all of our language functions. A knowledge of the parts of the brain and their functions guides what we know about the positive effects of multi-sensory teaching on struggling readers and writers. In this interactive presentation, Van Cleave will help participants develop a better understanding of how the brain works -- and sometimes doesn't work -- when it comes to language development in children. He discussed the tenets of multi-sensory teaching and how that style of instruction benefits all children, and particularly those with learning difficulties. The PowerPoint slides from this presentation are available here and the handout he provided is available here.


William Van Cleave is in private practice as a teacher trainer and educational consultant. A nationally-recognized speaker, he has presented across the country on teaching strategies for students with language-based learning difficulties. Since 1995, William has conducted presentations and workshops at a number of public and private schools and conferences around the country. He has trained teachers in the Orton-Gillingham Approach, written expression, morphology, and spelling strategies. In 2004, William published the first edition of Everything You Want To Know & Exactly Where To Find It, a reference manual for Orton-Gillingham teachers and tutors. That publication was followed by a number of multisensory teaching materials. During his career as a teacher, William tutored, taught literature and math, and held several administrative posts in the private school arenaWilliam received his B.A. in English and Women's Studies from The College of Wooster and earned his M.A. in English from S.U.N.Y. New Paltz.

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