Advisory Board

Advisory Board


Westmark School’s Advisory Board is comprised of distinguished individuals who are experts in medicine, special education, learning differences and psychological assessment. This group meets annually and provides valuable insight into the latest scientific approaches to teaching and learning as they relate to the curriculum at Westmark School.

The Advisory Board is currently focused on the following priorities:

1. Helping Westmark School play a leading role in a national campaign to promote positive branding around dyslexia.

2. Exploring opportunities for Westmark students to serve as subjects in scientific studies conducted by leading research universities to ensure the currency of the school’s pedagogy as well as to increase the school’s exposure within the LD community.

3. Recommending technology, including assistive technology, and accommodation strategies that are tested and widely accepted, for use in Westmark classrooms.


Members of the Westmark School Advisory Board include:

Ben Foss, JD/MBA , (Stanford Law & Business), who is dyslexic and the founder of Headstrong Nation, a national organization that helps dyslexic adults and parents of dyslexic kids play to their strengths. He invented the Intel Reader, a mobile device that takes photos of text and reads it aloud on the spot. He is the author of The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan: A Blueprint for Renewing Your Child’s Confidence and Love of Learning, August 2013, Random House.

Frank Manis, PhD, Professor of Psychology and Education at USC and an expert on reading disabilities, development of literacy in both the primary and secondary language, and cognitive functioning in special populations of children.

Edward Roth, PhD, Director of Disability Services and Programs at the Center for Academic Support at USC.

Matthew Schneps, PhD, Director of the Laboratory for Visual Learning at the Harvard-Smithsonian Institution in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Executive Director of the Science Media Group. Schneps has diverse research interests that include astrophysics, cognition and learning, science education, learning disabilities and dyslexia, television media, eyetracking and vision, computer image processing, and K-12 science learning.

Bennett Shaywitz, MD, Charles and Helen Schwab Professor in Dyslexia and Learning Development and also Chief, Pediatric Neurology and Co-Director of the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity at the Yale University School of Medicine.

Sally Shaywitz, MD, Co-Director at the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity. She also holds the Audrey G. Ratner Chair in Learning Development at the Yale University School of Medicine.

Michael Spagna, PhD, Dean of California State University, Northridge’s (CSUN) Michael D. Eisner College of Education. His early work at CSUN laid the groundwork for the Center for Teaching and Learning, which provides national leadership in preparing educators to support the success of all types of learners through cutting-edge innovations in teacher training.

Imy F. Wax, M.S., LCPC, CEP, co-author of the highly acclaimed K&W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities and Attention Deficit Disorder and a psychotherapist and educational consultant. A member of the National Board for Certified Counselors, Imy conducts workshops for parents on raising children with learning disabilities and/or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder as well as for school districts all over the United States on the college process.

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