Sheila Costello stepped out of the LEAD department at Trident Academy and into the role as President of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE).
“You can’t go cold turkey,” Ms. Costello jokes. “I’m never going to stop my involvement with the Orton-Gillingham approach, but this transition allows me more flexibility. Most Orton-Gillingham Fellows are retired in name only – they’re all still doing something with the organization.”
Ms. Costello, an AOGPE Fellow, the highest designation available, began her three-year term as President in spring 2014. The volunteer organization relies on the President to field many, many questions on everything from training standards to accrediting and public outreach.
She first became involved with the Academy when her daughter was diagnosed with ADD and dyslexia. She set out to learn more and went from a professional career as a clinical chemist to one of the nation’s leading experts in the Orton-Gillingham approach. She moved from Boston to Charleston, S.C. to develop the Language Enrichment And Development (LEAD) Program at Trident Academy, which is one of just a handful of accredited training programs in the nation.
In addition to her role as President, Ms. Costello still plans to do some one-on-one teacher training and select group trainings.
“It’s an honor to represent the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators because we’re all passionate about what we do,” says Ms. Costello. “To be chosen for a leadership role by people who I respect and value is very special.”