Melissa Wiegand, M.Ed., CDT, CALTFLEX Teacher, Wilson Level II Reading Specialist, IDA Dyslexia Therapist
Melissa earned a bachelor’s in Elementary Ed., Special Ed., & Reading, and a master’s in Curriculum & Instruction (emphasis in Reading). With JGS since 2014, she was previously a special education teacher for PVUSD & a private tutor for nearly two decades. Early in her career, she became a Certified Academic Language Therapist (CALT). She is Wilson Language® certified (Level II), has been trained in Lindamood-Bell’s Visualizing and Verbalizing®, and is a Certified Dyslexia Therapist recognized by the Intl. Dyslexia Association (IDA). A big fan of the musical Wicked, her favorite lyrics, “I think I’ll try defying gravity, and you can’t pull me down!” speak volumes about Melissa’s character as a role model. She empowers students to “defy gravity” every day!
Deborah Bello, BAFLEX Teacher, Wilson Level II Reading Specialist, IDA Dyslexia Therapist
A K-12 certified teacher and Wilson® reading specialist, Deb became a valued member of our JGS FLEX Team after having proven herself a fantastic reading interventionist and On-Track Tutor. Deb attended ASU where she earned her bachelor’s degree. She has taught in the public and private school environments for more than 10 years. She also currently works as a consultant for professionals and parents regarding reading issues. Deborah finds pleasure in teaching reading and literature to people of all ages. “There are few things more gratifying than seeing someone’s eyes light up when they ‘get it!'”
Amanda has been a part of the On-Track Tutoring and Jones-Gordon team since 2008, and has proven to be an indispensable presence in all aspects of the organization. As a teacher since the school began in 2010, Amanda truly knows the “ins and outs” of working with students who learn differently! An ASU grad and certified teacher, Amanda has taught students in all grades and of varying abilities. An amazing math teacher, Amanda is also trained in and excels at helping struggling readers make strides in literacy, using a number of multisensory, Orton-Gillingham based programs. A former PE teacher & cheer coach, Amanda launched our cheerleading program in 2015 & is co-directing our athletics program this year.
Elaine Dachis, BAFLEX Teacher, Generalist
Elaine obtained her degree in Child Psychology & Sociology, and has a post-baccalaureate teaching certification in Special Education. An outstanding, caring teacher who goes above and beyond to see each child succeed, Elaine has been with JGS since 2012. She excels at creating multisensory, game-like lessons (this woman knows how to make learning FUN!). Her mission as a teacher is to “help children to set goals, believe in themselves, and work to achieve anything they put their minds to. Kids are meant to be discoverers & explorers of new things… our school gives children these opportunities. I am grateful for the chance to play a vital role in the academic lives of our students!”
Lisa Duran, BSFLEX Teacher, Wilson Level 1 Reading Specialist
Joining us in 2014 from our affiliate, On-Track Tutoring, where she has worked one-on-one with students since 2013, Lisa is a JGS reading specialist. A graduate of ASU, Lisa has taught literacy skills for more than 7 years. She is a trained practitioner of the research-validated Lindamood-Bell® programs (LiPS, Seeing Stars, Talkies, Visualizing and Verbalizing, & On Cloud Nine), designed to improve students’ decoding, spelling, language comprehension, memory, and math. Lisa finds individualized teaching to be such a rewarding experience: “watching students improve & seeing their confidence rise is the greatest honor!” Lisa continues to fill her educator’s “toolbox”—she recently completed Wilson Language® Level I certification.
Lauren Nolan, M.Ed.FLEX Teacher, Wilson Level 1 Reading Specialist
Since graduating Summa Cum Laude from ASU with a master’s in Elementary and Special Education, Lauren has worked with students with a variety of special needs. Prior to joining our team in 2014, Lauren spent two years teaching in a small, Special Education private school. A strong believer in individualizing instruction to meet each student’s needs & using positive reinforcement to foster student’s internal motivation and confidence, Lauren sets high expectations for her students. Before entering the education field, Lauren worked in the banking industry, which brought her to AZ from her home town in Michigan.
Creason Jones, BAFLEX Teacher, Writing
Creason holds a degree in English Literature with an emphasis in Creative Writing from ASU. A writer by nature, Creason wrote online content for small businesses before he began tutoring with On-Track in 2015. It was then that he realized the talent he had for teaching, and has since joined the JGS team. He also enjoys helping with our growing sports program as a coach. Creason takes the greatest joy in watching students perform something difficult for the first time (whether in the classroom or on the field) that they didn’t previously think was possible.
Andrea Weiner, BS, MAFLEX Teacher, Generalist
Andrea holds a bachelor’s in Secondary Education and a master’s in Critical Writing. She joined JGS in 2013, with over 30 years of teaching & tutoring experience behind her. Andrea has been credited with helping even the most struggling students with every aspect of learning. Andrea feels that she was born to teach (and we agree!), and has always been a champion for children who learn differently, those who struggle in traditional classrooms, and those who just need a chance to shine given one-on-one support. Having worked with K–college students, particularly in the areas of literacy, math, and study skills, Andrea is a dedicated educator who truly puts her heart and soul into ensuring each child’s success.