M.Ed, M.S.W., Fellow of AOGPE
Ron Yoshimoto is a co-director of Orton Gillingham International and our Master OG-I Instructor. Ron has focused his expertise on developing the O-G methodology for training public school teachers in the general and special education environments using O-G, O-G Advanced methodology, preschool literacy/numeracy, focused intervention, reading comprehension strategy (called “Connections”) and multisensory math. His devotion includes countless materials that he has developed and shared selflessly with participants. Ron's life has been dedicated to teaching Orton-Gillingham to both general and special education audiences for the past 30+ years.
His excellence as a trainer, the devotion of participants and his ongoing support of students and educators exemplify the level of commitment that creates change.
Elenn Steinberg began her journey into the world of education and literacy 16 years ago when the school informed her that her son was at risk for reading failure. At that point, she had no idea that that journey would result in her becoming a passionate voice for students, a highly-skilled reading interventionist, an advocate for families, a consultant, and a nationally known speaker in the areas of dyslexia, literacy, student self-advocacy and literacy legislation.
As past president of the Rocky Mountain Branch of the International Dyslexia Association, Elenn served for six years building parent, family and educator programs that have received local and national acclaim. Furthermore, she was the local chair of the 2005 International Dyslexia Association conference and conference chair for Reading in the Rockies (2004 – 2013), Colorado’s leading literacy conference addressing the needs of students with dyslexia and literacy challenges.
She was a founding board member and Advocacy Director of Literate Nation, a national organization dedicated to literacy for all students, and served as Co-Chair of the Government Affairs Committee for the International Dyslexia Association. She works in private practice as an Orton-Gillingham tutor, fulfilling her goal of being the quality tutor she long sought for as a child. From 2017 to 2019 she participated in the Colorado Department of Education's dyslexia task-force and was instrumental in creating the state's Dyslexia Fact Sheet and Dyslexia Handbook. She heads a non-profit, Every Child Reading which has a summer camp program that uses the Yoshimoto Orton Gillingham method to provide intensive summer support for kids.
We are fortunate to have such a skilled trainer join the O-GI team! Leslie Kesson has been teaching in the public school system for over 28 years. She attended the University of Northern Colorado and received her Master’s Degree in Literacy from the University of Colorado.
Her teaching career began as a classroom teacher, working in the primary grades. For the past fourteen years, she has been a literacy teacher. This experience in combination with parenting two amazing, challenging boys with ADHD is how she discovered her passion for teaching students who do not fit the typical model of learning. Her search for the right method to empower struggling students has brought her to the path of embracing the Orton Gillingham (O-G) approach.
Leslie's first exposure to Orton Gillingham was by enrolling in the Orton Gillingham International Basic Training Course taught by Ron Yoshimoto Fellow of AOPE. Impassionated by all that Orton Gillingham offers, Leslie continued on her O-G path to becoming certified by the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators at the Classroom Educator Level. During this four year period to her certification, Leslie had been fervently working with her peers to implement a school-wide model of O-G instruction. This enthusiasm led to sharing data, results, and excitement about O-GI in the public school setting. As word spread, parents and educators requested observations of O-GI in action. A professional study team was then formed to continue to implement O-GI with fidelity. Leslie and her peers discovered that by using the O-GI approach and materials to link instruction from classrooms to literacy lab and special ed, the data clearly supports what we know to be true—O-GI works!
Naturally, when asked to consider joining Ron Yoshimoto and Elenn Steinberg in moving O-GI forward, Leslie’s response was “When can I start?”. Leslie’s ardent facilitation of O-G has been an incredible asset to Orton Gillingham International.
O-GI Master Trainer
Kelly Haase, CALT, C-SLDS – Reading Coach/Data Coach/Reading Interventionist, OGI Master Trainer, Certified and Member of AGOPE, ALTA and IDA
Over thirty years ago, I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication with an emphasis in Elementary Education from the University of Northern Colorado. Immediately following college, I was hired as a primary teacher in Academy District 20 in Colorado Springs. Throughout my professional journey, I devoted a majority of my years to the primary grades and for the last four years have been dedicated to reading intervention, coaching reading, and data coordination.
My personal teaching trajectory transformed after attending a training called, Yoshimoto Orton-Gillingham. Although I had been teaching reading for over twenty years, I never realized how minimal my own personal knowledge and understanding of the English Language entailed. Within days of this training, I was eagerly incorporating my new learning into reading lessons and witnessing monumental increases in my students’ self confidence and motivation which ultimately revealed increased DIBELS scores.
Within one year, I vigorously immersed myself in everything that involved reading literacy. My ambitious goals lead me to pursue certifications from the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators as a Classroom Educator which then motivated me to become a Yoshimoto Orton-Gillingham Master Trainer in 2016. In August 2018, I continued my personal quest for knowledge about the Science of Reading and I focused my energy in completing a program called, Take Flight. After successfully documenting over 900 hours of instruction, practicums and video demonstrations, I have passed several professional exams from the Academic Language and Therapy Associations (ALTA) and Knowledge and Practice Examination for Effective Reading Instruction (KPEERI) to become a Certified Academic Literacy Therapist (CALT) and Certified Structured Literacy Dyslexia Specialist (C-SLDS).
As I apprehensively contemplate retiring from the classroom in a few years, I am anxious to transition my professional focus from my extensive real life classroom experiences to cultivating an unimaginable amount of knowledge about literacy to fellow educators.
M.Ed, O-GI Master Trainer
A classroom teacher and administrator for 35 years in a large, urban school system, Mary often shares that she did not really know how to teach reading until her 28th year in the classroom when she was introduced to the Orton-Gillingham method. Seeing the success she was having with her students she continued her studies. In 2015 she had the opportunity to take the Yoshimoto Orton Gillingham training and was completely committed. Mary worked hard and earned the credential of Certified State Trainer for Yoshimoto Orton-Gillingham International. Mary is the Immediate Past President of the Indiana Branch of the International Dyslexia Association. She is a co-founder of Decoding Dyslexia-IN. Currently, she and her husband have a tutoring center serving nearly 30 children. They are also the proud grandparents of 7 grandsons, and one granddaughter.
Mary has done extensive work for all students who struggle to read and is currently looking forward to participating as an O-GI Master Trainer. As an O-GI Master Trainer, Mary will work with educators in Indiana to implement a new dyslexia law.
CHARLOTTE andrist, Ph.D.
In memorium, we honor the spirit of our dear friend and colleague, Charlotte Andrest. Charlotte was one of our first national trainers and a relentless voice for those with dyslexia.
Shane Baxter is our newest trainer to join the OGI team; however, he comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience. Shane graduated from Loyola University in Baltimore, MD with a Master’s of Science in Speech and Language pathology where he completed extensive coursework in language and literacy development.
He has been an active member of the American Speech and Hearing Association for the past 8 years and currently works as a speech language pathologist in the Cherry Creek School District. When he is not working in the schools, he works with private students daily to support their language and literacy skills.
Shane is also the co-director of the Every Child Reading Superstar Summer Reading camp. The camp supports the language and literacy skills of students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities using Ron Yoshimoto’s approach and framework. Shane hopes to use his new position as a trainer to continue fighting for more structured and systematic literacy programming for all students in the school systems; especially our struggling readers.