Meet Our Board of Directors

Patty Beyer, President

Patty retired in May 2016 after many years as a special educator. She taught in the Cherokee Community School District, serving as Alternative High School Administrator and High School Resource Teacher. She served several years as LDA-Iowa’s 1st Vice-President, and is involved in many of the activities of the association including advocacy and membership.

Amy Eaton, First Vice-President

Amy Eaton is a special education consultant for Heartland AEA in Johnston. She facilitates all aspects of the provision of special education and support and related services in assigned schools. Amy earned her master’s degree in Education from Wayne State College and has worked in the past as a special education strategist for Northwest AEA and at Hinton Elementary School as special education and general education classroom teacher.

Jessica Voigt, Second Vice-President

Jessica lives in Sioux City and teaches special education at West Middle School. She attended Morningside College and is completing coursework at Northwest Missouri State University for an Educational Specialist degree in Instructional Leadership. Jessica joined the board in 2023.

Theresa Stensland, Secretary

Theresa served as a Special Education Consultant for AEA 267 for 31 years. She earned her B.Ed and Master’s Degrees from the University of Northern Iowa and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the organization. She has  filled the position of Secretary for LDA-Iowa for several years and has worked on several other board activities.

Shirley Sinnott, Treasurer

Shirley earned her BA and MA from the University of Northern Iowa and has worked in the field of Education / Special Education for 40 years prior to retiring in the spring of 2015. As a teacher, Shirley taught in resource and self-contained special education programs at the elementary and junior high levels. After 19 years of teaching, Shirley continued her work in special education as a special education consultant with AEA 267. She has also served as an adjunct instructor at Upper Iowa University-Waterloo Center, teaching special education classes, and currently volunteers as a mentor in a local school. Shirley is a former LDA-Iowa Board member and previously co-chaired several state conferences. She says she is excited to be returning to the Board and wants to continue to use her knowledge and experience to provide advocacy and support for families and individuals with learning disabilities.

Paula Hamp, Past President

Paula was diagnosed with a learning disability when she was in second grade. School was very difficult for her especially in the areas of reading and math. She struggled through elementary, middle school and high school, but had phenomenal people in her life who helped her discover her strengths. She went on to college and majored in education; she went on to earn her master’s degree in special education. She has used her learning disability to help her students find their strengths and discover ways to help them learn. She was honored to have been chosen as Teacher of the Year – 1994 for her school district, CLD Outstanding Teacher of the Year – 2005 and LDA-Iowa Outstanding Educator Award – 2014. It proves to her and to others that one can accomplish anything no matter what their disability may be. Paula is a professional developer for KU-SIM, teaches learning strategies to high school students, and is a Lead Adjunct Professor at Morningside College.

Helen Beneke, Board Member

Helen Beneke has devoted her career to education as a special education teacher, an educational strategist, and 25 years as a special education consultant for an area education agency. She had served as an adjunct instructor for Morningside College, Buena Vista University, and Drake University. She supervised interns for the graduate department of Morningside College following her retirement from AEA 8. Helen has also been affiliated with Iowa Public Television as a utilization specialist for specific projects, and she served as the coordinator of the first state-wide teacher learning teams.

Helen is active in two international special education organizations and has presented at many worldwide conferences in the past 15 years. She has also provided teacher training at special educational facilities in Zagreb, Croatia, and Visakhapatnam, India.

Helen and her husband, Don, have four children and nine grandchildren. She and her husband are active in many community groups and currently, Helen is the chairperson for a county-wide art project.

Vicki Goshon, Board Member

Vicki is a leader in the state of Iowa in the field of Learning Disabilities. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education and an Administrator of Special Education degree. Vicki has taught students with Learning Disabilities for 33 years. In addition to her work with LDA, she has served on the Iowa Department of Education’s Special Education Advisory Panel.Throughout her career in special education, Vicki has written several successful grants in order to obtain funding for materials and educational services for her students. An exciting outcome of one of these grants is a literacy project taking place in Iowa Correctional Institutions. She also operates a private tutoring service in order to provide affordable academic support to students. Honors and awards include 2012 Helping Hands Award – Iowa LDA, 2008 Sam Kirk Award – National LDA- 2009 and 2002 President’s Award – Iowa LDA. Vicki considers it an honor and privilege to lead students with learning disabilities to acknowledge their strengths and become successful adults with meaningful careers.

Kim Miller, Board Member

Kim has been on the Iowa Learning Disabilities Association Board since 2001. Her major role has been to co-chair the State Learning Disabilities Conference. In addition to co-chairing, Kim also presents at the conference. Some of her presentations have included: “Rejuvenating the IEP Meeting”, “Must-Have Technology”, “Guided Reading Plus”, “Co-Teaching Active Learning Skills”, “Making Sense of Mathematics in Everyday Life”, and “Defining, Developing, and Delivering Differentiation”, and “Spelling: It’s Got To Be More Than A Test.”

Kim has also presented at the International Learning Disabilities Conference on various topics. Most recently her presentations have included: “The ABCD’s of Accessible Books,” in Chicago, IL; “You Snooze, You Lose (Active Engagement),” in Anaheim, CA; and “Visual IEP’s” in New York City.

The Learning Disabilities Association has recognized Kim’s service with various awards. They have included: 2012 & 2005 Iowa Helping Hands Award (highest award bestowed by the LDA-IA for an individual that has impacted learning disabilities in our state), and the 2009 President’s Award (given by the president to an individual who has provided outstanding service to LDA-IA). In 2014 she was awarded Iowa’s Outstanding Volunteer at the International Learning Disabilities Conference in Anaheim, CA. Throughout her 35 years of teaching, Kim has continued to live out her lifelong goal of making a difference in the lives of students.

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Janice Judisch, Board Member

Janice lives in Waterloo and holds a Master’s degree from University of Northern Iowa. She is a former special education consultant for Area Education Agency 267 (now Central Rivers AEA). Janice joined the LDA-IA Board in 2023.

Dr. Richard Owens, Board Member

Richard Owens received his doctorate in education from the University of Nebraska. He spent over 20 years teaching in K-12 schools, served as an administrator for Western Hills Area Education Agency, and taught more than 20 years at Morningside College. After retiring from his full-time teaching duties, he spent many years working part-time as a professional development coordinator for Morningside’s education department. At present, his primary role at the college is in professional development for advanced internships.

Dr. Owens has received many accolades for his work, both in and out of the classroom, on behalf of individuals with disabilities. Honors include the LDA of America’s 2015 Sam Kirk Award, 2007 Governor’s Award, Siouxland’s Celebrating Diversity Project, and many others.

Verlee Owens, Board Member

Verlee formerly taught special education at West High School in Sioux City. She earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in education from Chadron State College and the University of South Dakota. She also volunteers for the Siouxland Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (ICADV) and was recently recognized for this work by the Sioux City Celebrating Community Foundation Project. Verlee is Chair of the LDA-IA Publicity Committee and assists in many other projects.

Joe Rosener, Board Member

Joe has had a long association with LDA-IA. After many years as Coordinator of LDA-IA’s former Graduate Credit Program, he now serves on the board. Joe’s professional and personal experience as a parent of a person with disabilities is very valuable. Joe and his wife reside in Marcus.

Gayle Slattery, Board Member

Gayle fell in love with special education as a teenager when her nephew was born with special needs. Inspired by her desire to work in the field of education, she developed a deep passion for the area of learning disabilities when it was a relatively new field. This resolve stuck with her through college and beyond. Gayle spent several years teaching special education at the elementary, middle school and high school levels and then worked at an Area Education Agency as a special education Consultant and Strategist for more than thirty years. She also enjoyed being a certified Professional Developer for the University of Kansas Strategic Instruction Model for many years while with the AEA.

Lynne Cannon, Board Consultant

Dr. Lynne Cannon has been involved with LDA since its early days. At the national level, she held several offices, including President, and was Editor of Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal. She has also been deeply involved in LDA-IA, taking many leadership roles over the years. In her role as board consultant, Lynne continues to offer valuable guidance.

After retiring in 2001 from the University of Iowa Department of Chemistry, Lynne has continued her involvement in educational causes. Among these: LDA America, Grant Wood AEA Board of Directors (receiving a National AESA Award in 2010), and the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation.