Meet Our Board of Directors

Brittany Franklin, President

ACCESS Early Childhood Special Education Teacher, President of LDA Arkansas and Healthy Children Project Arkansas Representative Brittany Franklin has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Early Childhood Education. She received her Master’s degree in P-4 Special Education from Arkansas State University in 2015, and is a certified Early Childhood Special Education Teacher. She has been working with children for over 20 years in a variety of settings and has been a lead teacher at a preschool school specializing in educating students with disabilities for 14 years. Growing up with a learning disability herself, she learned the value of early intervention. With a strong support system in place, she was able to overcome many challenges that her dyslexia presented throughout her life. Also having a child with learning disabilities has afforded her incite to what parents face when meeting the unique needs of their children in the educational environment.

Doris Pierce, Treasurer & Past President

Director – Disability Resource Center, University of Central Arkansas, Treasurer and Past President; Learning Disabilities Association of Arkansas

Doris Pierce is the Director for the Disability Resource Center at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) and has worked with students with disabilities within the higher education community in the state of Arkansas for 18 years. Doris leads and supervises her DRC Team to assist students with disabilities and faculty with service provision and accommodation implementation. Doris obtained a BA in Psychology and a MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, both from Henderson State University. Prior to her employment at UCA, Doris was the Disability Services Counselor and Coordinator for Disability Services at Pulaski Technical College (PTC) and an Education Specialist, Tutor Coordinator and Local Coordinator the Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) program for the Disability Resource Center at Henderson State University. Doris is also currently a member of the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD)and serves as a Partnering Chair for AHEAD’s Racial, Ethnic Diversity and Disability (REDD) Knowledge & Practice (K&P) Community. Doris has presented on the following topics: Accommodations for Students with Learning Disabilities, Success Strategies for Students with Disabilities, Academic Advising Strategies for Students with Disabilities, Students with Psychiatric Disabilities in the Learning Environment and as a Co-Presenter on pursuing campus-wide accessibility and leadership in the Disability Services profession.

Kimberly Newton, Secretary & Past-President

ACCESS Evaluation and Resource Center Director

Kimberly Newton, MS, LPE-I, is the ACCESS Evaluation and Resource Center Director. She has been working with children and families for just over 20 years. Kim performs comprehensive psychological and psycho-educational evaluations at the ACCESS Evaluation and Resource Center (AERC) for children, teenagers and young adults diagnosing disabilities such as attention deficit disorder(ADHD), specific learning disorders (dyslexia, mathematic disorder, disorder of written expression) and autism spectrum disorders.

Katie King, Board Member & Past President

Katie King’s interest and involvement with learning disabilities began when her children were diagnosed with dyslexia. She researched and learned as much as possible to be a strong advocate for their needs. Katie originally worked as a secondary school English teacher. When her niece was denied appropriate services at her school, Katie became certified in the Wilson Reading System and began tutoring students in reading, spelling, and writing. She has also worked as a job coach for individuals with disabilities. As a member of the Little Rock Junior Departmental Club, Katie has served as liaison which contributed to her decision to join LDAA’s board. She is also a member of the International Dyslexia

Kaci Smith, Board Member & Past-President

Instructional Specialist for Special Education (Interim); Springdale Public Schools
Chairperson of the Ralph G. Norman Scholarship Committee

Kaci Smith is Lead Special Education teacher at George Junior High in Springdale, Arkansas. She has 27 years of experience and believes the most important part of a student’s IEP is their transition piece. As a parent of an adult son with learning disabilities, her motivation is to improve collaboration with agencies to become a better advocate for her son and her students. She strives to help bridge the path between the school, community resources, parents and students.

Kaci Smith serves as a Board Member of the Learning Disability Association of America. In addition, she is Chairperson of the Conference Committee at the National level.

She and her husband, Johnny, live in Farmington.

Dalene Magsam, Board Member

Special Education Consultant, Easterseals Outreach Program

Dalene Magsam, M.Ed. Special Education, is a special education consultant at Easterseals Outreach. She brings both the educator and parent perspective to the LDAA board. Dalene has taught in a variety of grade levels and environments within special education over the past 18 years and is passionate about making a positive impact on students. In her current position, she has the privilege of supporting special education teachers and students throughout the state, promoting high levels of learning for all students. In her current role, one of her favorite activities is developing and presenting training for educators.

Dalene and her husband Ryan have three teenagers at home with a variety of combined needs including ADHD and learning differences. She and her family live in northwest Arkansas.

Susan N. Perry, Board Member

Assistant Professor, Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education Dept., University of Central Arkansas

Dr. Susan Perry has over 25 years of experience in K-6 education. She has a Doctoral degree in Higher Education with an emphasis in Disabilities, Education Specialist in Reading, Master’s degree in Special Education, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education.

She is certified as a PK-12 Curriculum Program Administrator, Certified Academic Language Therapist (CALT), National Board-Certified Teacher in Literacy, Reading Recovery Teacher Leader, 1-6 Elementary teacher, PK-12 Special Education Instructional Specialist, PK-8 Reading Specialist, and K-12 Dyslexia Interventionist.

Susan has served in various educational occupations including classroom, special education and alternative education teacher, Reading Recovery teacher, K-2 Literacy Coach, ADE K-12 Literacy Specialist/Reading Recovery Teacher Leader, and University faculty member. She is currently in training to receive her Academic Language Therapy Qualified Instructor certification.

Susan teaches graduate education classes in dyslexia for the University of Central Arkansas.
Her research interests include higher education disability, K-12 Response to Intervention, service
animal rights and legislation, Attention Deficit Disorder, best teaching practices for students with reading disorders, and the comorbidity that exists between dyslexia and Attention Deficit Disorder.

She and her husband, Marty, are proud parents of a 14-year-old son, 16 year-old daughter battling Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy, seven rescued four-legged fur babies, and an Epilepsy service dog.

Rebecca Walker, Past-President