Recently named director of the Southport CoLAB, Suzanne Lang brings more than 10 years of experience in education project management in the non-profit arena to this newly created position. Aligning with the mission and vision of the CoLAB, Ms. Lang will continue to integrate research, practice and advocacy to effect positive outcomes for people with learning and attention issues.
Prior to this role Ms. Lang combined her field building expertise and knowledge of collective impact in her work as the manager of partnerships at Poses Family Foundation (PFF). Through her role at PFF, Ms. Lang was instrumental in leading the founding partnerships for Understood.org, a digital platform for parents of kids who learn and think differently. She has extensive knowledge in creating impactful convenings and helping diverse partners to align on a common agenda for advancement within the field.
Ms. Lang has a degree in art education and has taught art both privately and in the public school system to students of all ages. She is the mother of two young adults. Her son is the inspiration for her work in the field of learning and attention issues.
Theresa Collins is a Fellow of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators and IDA Certified Dyslexia Therapist. Currently the Director of Language Training and Director of Southport Teacher Training at The Southport School, she has been an Orton-Gillingham practitioner for over 30 years.
Ms. Collins first developed her interest in learning differences while pursuing her BA in Psychology at Colgate University. She later earned her MS in Educational Psychology from the State University of New York at Albany. She has presented at the annual conference of the International Dyslexia Association, the New York and New Jersey branches of the IDA, the annual conference of the Academy of Orton- Gillingham Practitioners and Educators, the annual conference of the Assistive Technology Industry Association, Learning Ally’s Spotlight on Dyslexia, and the Assistive Technology Conference of New England.
Sharon Plante, an educator with over 20 years teaching experience in special education, currently serves as teacher and Director of Technology at The Southport School. As a Classroom Educator certified Orton-Gillingham tutor (CE/AOGPE), she uses her training and understanding of technology to empower students with learning differences.
Ms. Plante is the co-author of Using Technology to Engage Students with Learning Disabilities, which highlights the incorporation of technology through the Universal Design Model to reach all learners. She has presented at IDA, Everyone Reading, EdRev, ATIA, New York Chapter of ALTA, and Spotlight on Dyslexia. She is
a member of the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools Commission on Technology. She was awarded the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award from George Mason University College of Education and Human Development.
Jeffrey Ruggiero, an educator with over 25 years of teaching and administrative experience in special education, currently serves as Director of Education at the Southport School. With advanced degrees in learning differences and school administration, he strives to design and implement effective instructional programming for students with dyslexia, language based learning issues and ADHD.
As a certified Orton-Gillingham Associate Practitioner and Dyslexia Practitioner through the International Dyslexia Association, Mr. Ruggiero combines his knowledge of reading and language learning with his study of executive functions to develop an academic program that promotes student engagement and empowers all learners.