Noel is a passionate educator focused on the educational development of children with dyslexia and learning differences using multi-sensory teaching methods. In 2015, with the help of CoxHealth, she founded the Springfield Center for Dyslexia and Learning, and in 2016, she began serving as part of Missouri’s Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia. The task force makes recommendations to the governor, Joint Committee on Education, and relevant state agencies regarding dyslexia. The task force also makes recommendations for a statewide system for identification, intervention, and delivery of supports for students with dyslexia. Noel has been a Dyslexia tutor specialist for nine years. She is a Certified Academic Language Therapist, and an Accredited Instructor in Teaching Take Flight, a multi-sensory teaching system for dyslexic students. She has completed training in Orton-Gillingham and the Wilson Reading System.
Allison Tourville, Certified Academic Language Therapist
Allison taught in the Willard School District for 11 years. She taught in the cross-categorical classroom at both the elementary and high school levels. She most recently provided reading services at Willard High School. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and a Master of Arts degree in Special Education from Missouri State University. She completed the Take Flight Teacher Training Program through the Springfield Center for Dyslexia and Learning in 2018.
Allison is passionate about increasing reading skills among struggling readers and advocating for students with special needs. Allison enjoys spending time with her family, camping, kayaking, reading, and attending concerts.
Bobbie Simmons, ALP in Training
Bobbie is recently retired from Willard Public Schools where she taught 4th grade for 10 years and 5th grade math for 15 years. She received a bachelor of arts degree from Drury University and a masters degree in educational administration from William Woods University. Since retiring in 2016, she worked at OTC as a part time academic advisor. Education is her passion, and her greatest joy as a teacher is to witness a child's success.
Bobbie has 4 grown children and 3 beautiful grandchildren. She is a home body and enjoys going to flea markets, estate sales and auctions looking for junk that can be repurpose into something unique for her home. She loves to read and wants that enjoyment of a good book for all of her students.
Cris Spinelli, ALP in Training
Cris has a B.S. in Health Science from Truman State University and has recently trained in the Take Flight Program. She loves working at the Springfield Center for Dyslexia and Reading, helping students gain reading confidence and reaching their fullest potential. She has been married to Dr. Spinelli, a physician at CoxHealth, for 20 years. They have three busy children, two dogs, two fish and a lizard. She enjoys reading, running, family time and laughing as often as possible.
Jayna Bruns, Office Manager
Jayna has worked in the non-profit sector throughout her professional career in youth services and healthcare. She provides general administrative support for the organization, including acting as the point of reference for outside inquiries and managing marketing efforts, online presence, and scheduling. Jayna specializes in communications and marketing, and is thrilled to be part of the SCDL team.
Jayna graduated with a Bachelor's of Arts in Communication with a minor in Art History from the University of Missouri. She was born and raised in small town mid-Missouri, and is proud to call the Ozarks home. Jayna's favorite place to be is spending time with her husband, Nathan, and two young sons.
Jennifer Ross, CALT
Jennifer Ross has been in education/coaching for many years. Responsibilities have included teaching physical education, health, coaching girls basketball and serving as a para in special education. She currently serves as a Dyslexia tutor specialist for the Springfield Center for Dyslexia and Learning. She has a Bachelor's degree in Physical Education/Health and an Associate's of Applied Science degree in Horticulture/Turf Management.
Jennifer is married and has a dog named Lynus. Jennifer's favorite adventures are spent with her family.
Karen Collins, CALT
Karen just currently teaches in the Willard school district. She has taught Early Childhood Special Education Pre-school, Kindergarten, and First grade. She has been a Reading Recovery teacher for many years and most recently trained in the Take Flight program.
She is married with two adult children. Karen's passion to help students realize their true potential and teach to how each student learns!
Leisa Hicks, ALP in Training
Leisa is a recently retired public school teacher. She taught in the Dallas County R-1 Schools for 25 years. During her time in the district, she taught third grade, Reading Recovery, and served as a Title 1 Reading Specialist and Literacy Coach.
Leisa has a B.S. and M.Ed. in Elementary Education and is certified in Reading K-12. She recently trained in the Intro to Take Flight program and looks forward to earning her CALT certification. Leisa is married and has three grown children. She and her husband live on a farm in Buffalo and raise beef cattle.
Maria Monier, CALT
Maria has extensive experience teaching. She spent her first 8 years teaching first grade in Springfield Public Schools and is currently teaching second grade at Willard Central.
Maria strives to help students in and out of her classroom. During the school year, she tutors struggling readers before the school day begins. She has found the Take Flight Program to be very beneficial when working with a student one on one. You may also find her volunteering at Isabel’s House during the summer to assist At Risk kids that are going through difficult times. She is married and has two grown children and two grandchildren. She loves spending time with her family!
Marla McKan, M. Ed., CALT-QI
Marla was a public school teacher for 19 years. She has taught K through 2nd grade, and Title 1 reading. She is certified Birth-6th grade and Special Education K-12. Marla began her Dyslexia journey in 2012. She is a Certified Academic Language Therapist and a Qualified Instructor in Take Flight. As the Center's psychometrist, she also conducts all evaluations and screeners.
Mary Swann, ALT in Training
Mary taught for 27 years in the Willard School District. She was privileged to have been a classroom teacher for 15 years and a reading specialist for 12 years. She holds two degrees from Southwest Missouri State: a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Master of Science in Education.
She enjoys spending time with her family, quilting, gardening and reading. Teaching with the Take Flight comprehensive program is meaningful because students are developing the quality of self-confidence when taking on literacy learning.