Spell-Links to Reading & Writing
John Alexander is a literacy and dyslexia education specialist. Most recently, he was the Executive Director of Groves Academy, an independent school for students from first through twelfth grade who have been diagnosed with a specific learning disability and/or attention deficit disorder. A strong proponent of evidenced-based literacy instruction for all students, John believes that teachers need to be better prepared in the structures of language to be good literacy instructors. Towards that end, he served on the Minnesota statewide reading task force from 2007 through 2009, a task force that was instrumental in creating new state standards of knowledge to better prepare teachers to teach literacy skills to struggling and emerging readers. John was also very involved with congressional efforts by providing testimony which led to the passing of a Minnesota literacy law focusing on assessing teacher candidates in foundational knowledge in reading.
Before becoming the lead administrator in schools serving dyslexic students, John taught reading, spelling, and written expression to students diagnosed with dyslexia. He was trained in Orton-Gillingham principles and within the last seven years has become an advocate for a speech-to-print, an encoding (spelling) approach to the teaching of reading. He is currently working on becoming a SPELL-Links Certified Provider and coaches kindergarten through third grade teachers in the teaching of literacy skills. He created a reading and spelling curriculum that teachers use in the general education classroom as well as small group instruction and has opportunities to work with students directly in the classroom.
Jan Wasowicz is a language, literacy, and learning specialist. She has devoted her career to working with students who have language-based reading, writing, and spelling problems in a variety of educational settings, including public schools and private practice. Jan is frequently invited to speak about best practices in literacy assessment and instruction at national, state, and local meetings, has authored articles appearing in scholarly journals, is the inventor of the original Earobics® software, and is co-author of SPELL-Links to Reading & Writing. She is a nationally certified, IL-licensed and FL-licensed speech-language pathologist and holds a professional educator license with multiple endorsements from the State Teacher Certification Board of Illinois. In 2019, Jan was awarded Leaders Inspiring Readers Award by the International Literacy Association.
With an unwavering commitment to robust ethical standards, Dr. Jan Wasowicz launched Learning By Design, Inc. to equip interventionists and classroom teachers with the knowledge and tools they need to successfully deliver literacy instruction that is solidly grounded in research. To achieve this paradigm shift in how reading and writing is taught in our schools and by private practitioners, Dr. Wasowicz led a national team of researchers and product and professional development specialists to bring prescriptive assessment tools, targeted instructional materials, and highest-caliber professional development services to all education professionals. Her leadership and direct involvement in the design and development of all SPELL-Links products and services ensures their adherence to quality research. The SPELL-Links products, webinars, and workshops she created are used by classroom teachers, reading specialists, diagnosticians, special educators, dyslexia interventionists, SLPs and others to transform literacy instruction in the US and many other countries, benefiting countless students across the globe and enabling them to achieve the literacy outcomes they deserve.