Empowering students with language-based learning differences
Board of Advisors
Siena's Distinguished Board of Advisors
Since Siena’s inception in 2006, our Board of Advisors helps to lay the foundation for our school’s mission and vision. Its members include experts in dyslexia and learning differences, authors, leaders in the arts community, and more.
GUINEVERE EDEN, PH.D.
International Dyslexia Association; Center for the Study of Learning
Dr. Eden is Director of the Center for the Study of Learning at Georgetown University Medical Center and is a national leader in the scientific, neurobiological research of dyslexia and reading. Using functional brain imaging technology, Dr. Eden and her colleagues are investigating the neurobiological representation of reading in dyslexic individuals, and how reading is impacted by instructions or mode of communication. She is a director and officer of the International Dyslexia Association and serves on the editorial boards of the Annals of Dyslexia, Dyslexia, and Human Brain Mapping. Dr. Eden has served as a permanent member of a standing NIH Study Section. She holds a bachelor's degree in physiology from University College London and a doctorate in physiology from Oxford University.
Ms. Fogel is the Founder of Imagination Stage, a role she embraced when she stepped down from full-time engagement as the Executive Director in 2021. As Executive Director, she led the development of Imagination Stage from a scrappy community-based operation to a significant Theatre for Young Audiences with a national reputation for excellence in artistry and educational content. Now in its 43rd year, Imagination Stage serves some 100,000 children, families, and teachers annually through its main stage and other performances and its comprehensive education and outreach program. She was also instrumental in the establishment of Imagination Stage DC (in 2003). In 2022, Governor Larry Hogan appointed her to serve as a member of the Maryland State Arts Council. Ms. Fogel is currently co-authoring Traits of Excellence in Entrepreneurial Leadership: A Nonprofit Perspective.
New Markets Venture Partners
Mr. Grovic is a General Partner and co-founder of New Markets Venture Partners, one of the leading education technology-focused venture firms in the U.S. He has been an investor and director of numerous education technology companies, and also co-founded LifeJourney, an online educational company that allows students to test drive real-life careers in specific corporations. Mark has been investing in high growth companies since 1992. He is a Senior Advisor to University of Maryland University College, advising on corporate development and entrepreneurship, and a Senior Lecturer at the R.H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. He has earned three awards for his instruction at UMD and at Howard University, plus a fellowship awarded for the innovative use of technology in the classroom. Mark helped to found and served as Board Director of the Baltimore Chapter of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), and is Board Chair at Emerson Preparatory High School in Washington, D.C. Mark graduated with Honors from the University of California, Berkeley, where he majored in political economies and received a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University.
KATHERINE K. MERSETH, ED.D.
Harvard University Graduate School of Education
Dr. Merseth is the recently retired senior lecturer at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education where her work has focused on teacher education, mathematics education, and the case-method of instruction. Currently she teaches undergraduates at Harvard College in a course titled “Dilemmas of Excellence and Equity in K12 American Schools.” It is one of the most popular courses in the general education program in the College. In addition to working with practitioners in American schools, she also consults with schools in Armenia, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Greece, Korea, Qatar, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia. Internationally, she has edited five volumes of cases about classroom teaching and administrator practice in South Africa, Chile, Jordan, and Brazil. In 2017, Merseth was named one of 15 outstanding Professors across Harvard University and she was awarded the Phi Beta Kappa Prize for Teaching by Harvard in 2018. Dr. Merseth holds a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University, Masters degree in the teaching of secondary mathematics and a doctorate in education from Harvard University. She also holds a Masters in mathematics from Boston College.
Matt Moyer is a photojournalist and filmmaker who focuses on social and cultural issues. Moyer has photographed multiple feature stories for National Geographic magazine and is a National Geographic Explorer. His assignments have taken him from the war zones of Iraq, Afghanistan, and the DRC to the holy sites of Egypt and the ranching communities of the Western United States. Moyer covered the Iraq war for The New York Times and has worked on assignment for other prominent publications including The Washington Post, The Independent, The Guardian, and National Geographic Traveler. Moyer’s short documentaries have been featured by a number of outlets including the National Geographic Society, Vision Workshops, and the PBS Newshour online.
LOU SALZA, M.ED.
Lou Salza was the head of school at Lawrence School in northeast Ohio; he has since retired. Lawrence is an independent school serving over 300 students with learning differences and attention deficits in grades 1-12. He was previously head of school at ASSETS School in Hawaii. Mr. Salza is highly regarded nationally for his expertise in independent school management and dyslexia education. He serves on the boards of the National Association of Independent Schools and the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools and is a past-president of the Learning Disabilities Network in Hingham, MA. Since 1973, Mr. Salza has served students in private and public schools, in both special and general education programs. Mr. Salza began his career in an alternative public high school before serving as teacher, tutor, and administrator for 14 years at Landmark School for dyslexic students in Prides Crossing, MA. Mr. Salza holds a Bachelor's degree in English from the University of Massachusetts and a Master's degree in education (reading and language) from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
WILLIAM R. STIXRUD, PH.D.
William Stixrud and Associates
William Stixrud is director of William Stixrud and Associates in Silver Spring, Maryland. A licensed psychologist who has been in private practice as a neuropsychologist since 1985, Dr. Stixrud specializes in the evaluation of children, adolescents, and adults with learning disabilities, and in the promotion of self-esteem in children. Prior to entering private practice, Dr. Stixrud served as a staff neuropsychologist at the Children's National Medical Center and the Georgetown University Medical School. He currently is a member of the Clinical Neuropsychology Supervisory Faculty at Children's National Medical Center and holds an appointment as Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the George Washington University Medical School. He has also served as a consultant to the Division of Neuropsychiatry at the National Institutes of Health. A frequent lecturer on topics related to neuropsychological assessment, learning and executive disorders, brain development, stress, motivation, and sleep, Dr. Stixrud is the author of a book, Plain Talk About Early Development, and has authored book chapters and/or articles on children with epilepsy, adolescent brain development, self-esteem, and homework.
THOMAS G. WEST, M.A.
Author, Lecturer, and Dyslexia Advocate
Mr. West is the author of three books. His first book—In the Mind’s Eye: Creative Visual Thinkers, Gifted Dyslexics and The Rise of Visual Technologies—was first published in 1991 and was released in a Third Edition in 2020. The book has been translated into Japanese, Chinese and Korean. The book was recognized as one of the “best of the best” for the year by the Research Librarians of the American Library Association (in their broad psychology, psychiatry and neuroscience category). West has been invited to provide presentations for scientific, medical, art, design, computer and business groups in the U.S. and 14 other countries, including groups in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Dubai-UAE, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and seven European countries. West has long been interested in the distinctive talents of dyslexic individuals and visual thinkers in making scientific discoveries and the way the worlds of education and work are being transformed by powerful computer graphic technologies along with AI. West’s second book is Thinking Like Einstein: Returning to Our Visual Roots with the Emerging Revolution in Computer Information Visualization (2004). His third book is Seeing What Others Cannot See: The Hidden Advantages of Visual Thinkers and Differently Wired Brains (2017). West has given presentations for organizations such as NASA Ames, MIT, and Harvard University in the US, the Netherlands Design Institute, the Glasgow School of Art, Oxford University and GCHQ in the UK, the Dyslexia Association of Singapore and a meeting of scientists from 50 Max Planck Institutes in Göttingen, Germany. Prior to writing his books, West worked with international engineering and consulting companies which has given him a real-world sense of the value of visual and dyslexic styles of thinking. His own dyslexia was diagnosed at the age of 41.
After 19 years as head of Lowell School, Ms. Wiebenson trained as a leadership coach; she has been in practice for a dozen years, working with K-12 educators and boards across the country. She also enjoys being a beekeeper, sings in Encore Chorale, and happily engages with 8 grandchildren, the offspring of 3 grown sons.
The Ivymount School
Ms. Wintrol is the former director of Ivymount School Programs in Rockville, MD. She has since retired and is exciting pursuing new adventures after 50 years of dedication to the field of education. The Ivymount School serves children with serious developmental delays, learning disabilities, communication disorders, autism, and/or multiple handicaps. It has been twice named by the U.S. Department of Education as a "Blue Ribbon School of Excellence" and continues to develop new special education programs in response to community needs, most recently the Katherine Maddux Early Learning Center for at-risk pre-school students. Ms. Wintrol has 36 years of experience in regular and special education programs in Maryland and Washington, DC. Her experience includes classroom instruction, course and workshop development, graduate school instruction, educational consultation, staff development, program development, and school administration. Ms. Wintrol serves on the Ivymount board of directors and is on the board of the Maryland Association of Non-Public Special Education Facilities (MANSEF), for which she served two years as President. She is a member of the Special Education Advisory Board at Towson University.