Three TA teachers named Associate Level members

Three more Trident Academy teachers have been named Associate Level members of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators, an organization that accredits training and teachers of the Orton-Gillingham approach. Trident Academy now has nine teachers, representing all three divisions (Lower, Middle, and High School), who are members. Peggy Price, Suzanne Knowlton and Corbin Bettencourt are the newest Trident Academy teachers who are Associate Level members. Judy Fell, Barbara Waterstradt, Elizabeth Alexander, Susan Nyman, Joanne Kirkland and Sheila Costello are also members of the Academy.


The Academy certifies teachers at three levels: Associate, Certified, and Fellow. These three levels represent a continuum of increasing training, experience and professional competency. Sheila Costello is currently a Fellow, Joanne Kirkland is Certified, and Trident has seven teachers who are Associates. Five of the Associate Level teachers are working towards Certified Level.

To be eligible for Associate Level certification, members must have a Bachelor’s degree, 60 hours of Orton-Gillingham coursework, 100 hours of Orton-Gillingham supervised practicum experience, and ten 40-60 minute lesson observations by a Fellow. Certified Level members must do an additional 100 hours of coursework, an additional 200 hours of practicum experience, and 10 lesson observations. Fellows must have a Master’s degree, a total of 250 hours of coursework, 600 hours of practicum experience, and continuing professional development. An application to the Academy involves demonstrating an understanding of the Orton Gillingham approach and competence to teach students in a diagnostic and prescriptive manner. The process is rigorous and applications are held to a high standard.


Students at Trident Academy benefit from the expertise of our Orton-Gillingham trained faculty. Tutors who go through the rigors of training and mentoring are well qualified to design diagnostic and prescriptive lessons that work to address the needs of each individual student. Continuing education and lifelong learning enables teachers to understand each child as they are, and to find just the right way to teach them. Trident Academy supports Orton-Gillingham training and mentoring at all levels of accreditation through coursework and continuing education taught by an Academy Fellow.


Few colleges and universities provide instruction in the Orton-Gillingham approach, so teachers must acquire training elsewhere, this means there are few Orton-Gillingham trained teachers. The Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators came into being to provide an objective, professional assessment, by an independent third party, of the quality and adequacy of programs that profess to provide Orton-Gillingham training.


Trident Academy is one of just a few schools in the nation accredited by the Academy of Orton-Gillingham.


Trident Academy is a coeducational independent school for K-12th grade students with learning differences to include those diagnosed with the following learning disabilities: dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, central auditory processing disorder, non-verbal learning disabilities and ADHD/ADD. Students with learning differences benefit from our multi-sensory environment, which helps each child to develop skills that will prepare him or her to become independent learners and self-advocates throughout their entire education experience and into their lives.

Leave a Reply