The Reading League Indiana

The Reading League Indiana is an affiliate chapter of a 30,000 member national not-for-profit organization, The Reading League. Together we promote knowledge to reimagine the future of literacy education and accelerate the global movement toward reading instruction rooted in science.

Mission

Our mission is to advance the awareness, understanding and use of evidence-based reading instruction across the state, by connecting all stakeholders and providing sound educational resources.

Vision

Our vision is that every child in our state is able to read proficiently.

We recognize literacy as a fundamental right that empowers individuals in a society. Research has yielded proven instructional practices that provide equitable access to the knowledge students need to be competent readers. We believe that all children deserve to learn to read and that all teachers can learn to teach them.

To bring our vision to reality, we have developed three core areas of focus:

Education: Providing sound educational resources

We are committed to ensuring that educators are equipped with the knowledge they need to effectively teach all students how to read.

Collaboration: Developing strong partnerships & connecting stakeholders

We will work to build a collaborative environment throughout our state among parents, educators, school leaders, pre-service teachers, colleges and universities, mission-aligned partner organizations, and community leaders.

Advocacy: Statewide advocacy that promotes long-term systemic change

All students deserve to have an education rooted in equity that is built upon access to the tools they need to reach their full potential, including a science-based approach to reading. We acknowledge and will work to eliminate the disparity in access to evidence-based literacy instruction that currently exists in Indiana.

Together, these core areas will accelerate the global movement toward reading instruction rooted in science here in our state. We know we will truly be successful when reading metrics soar throughout Indiana.

Meet Our Team
 
Our board of
directors meets
virtually each month
to set goals and
priorities.
 
We are grateful
for their dedication and

unique expertise!

Articles

Melissa Abernathy
Melissa AbernathyPresident
Melissa has been in education for 16 years as a teacher and administrator. She resides just south of Indianapolis, Indiana. Melissa received her B.S. in Elementary Education from IUPUI, her Masters in Education from Indiana-Wesleyan, and completed her educational leadership courses through the University of Indianapolis.
In 2018, her daughter was identified with a Specific Learning Disability in Reading. After multiple years of failed interventions, Melissa set out on her journey to discover the Science of Reading and how it can benefit all students. Melissa is currently finishing her Orton-Gillingham certification through the Orton Gillingham Online Academy.
Andrea Setmeyer
Andrea SetmeyerPast President
Andrea is a nationally certified school psychologist. She received her BA from Huntington University and her Master’s degree from Northern Illinois University. She lives in Indianapolis with her husband, Adam, and their three children. Andrea previously served as a school psychologist for the MSD Decatur Township, where she assisted in district-wide planning to roll out the requirements of the 2019 Indiana dyslexia legislation and provided training on dyslexia and the science of reading. Andrea was the founding President of the Indiana chapter of The Reading League; initiating the chapter in 2021. Currently, Andrea serves as the National Chapter Coordinator for The Reading League.
Melissa Fisher
Melissa FisherVice President
Melissa is a non-profit consultant specializing in organizational development. She is also a fiber artist focused on starting Spindle and Spade, – a business that will combine her love of fiber artistry and urban farming in Indianapolis, IN. As a mom of four, and with children that have both dyslexia and dysgraphia, Melissa realized early on that there needs to be significant advocacy for students with learning differences. As an advocate within the public school system, she continues to fight for access to services and support for all students, especially for early identification and intervention, an increase of proven and effective science-based literacy strategies and making the current IEP process less traumatic and more accessible to families.
Jennifer Zent
Jennifer ZentSecretary
Jennifer is a nationally certified school psychologist with an independent practice endorsement. Jennifer lives in Fort Wayne, with her husband and three children. Jennifer graduated from the University of Dayton with MSE and EdS degrees. She completed a Dyslexia Certificate Program Level 1 in 2019. Specialized training in dyslexia and Orton-Gillingham have prepared her to serve as the Dyslexia Coordinator for her school district, Northwest Allen County Schools. Jennifer has served as a Region Co-Leader for IDOE Dyslexia Community of Practice for Region 8 as well. Jennifer’s interest in dyslexia, providing evidence-aligned reading instruction and interventions for at-risk readers developed from her own experiences as a parent and school psychologist.
Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithTreasurer
Shannon has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Centre College and a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. She has worked with people with developmental and acquired disabilities to navigate daily life, overcome barriers, and enhance their quality of life. Her focus turned to helping those struggling to read when her very bright middle child had difficulty learning to read and write. She is passionate about educating people on the science of reading to help all individuals achieve their right to read and prosper. She lives in Indianapolis with her husband and three children.
Walter Setmeyer
Walter Setmeyer
Wally is a Pharmacist and Financial rep with a lifelong love of reading. He is also the parent of a child with dyslexia who has first hand knowledge of the struggles and frustrations of learning to read.
Wally spent time in Texas and Oklahoma before coming back to Indiana to be closer to both his and his wife Julie’s family.
Wally enjoys trying new tabletop games with his kids, riding his bike along the many trails in Indiana and reading cookbooks to get new ideas for healthy meals.

Patrick Jones
Patrick Jones
As Senior Vice President of Leadership and Equity, Patrick Jones leads The Mind Trust’s implementation of their racial equity priorities and commitments.

Before joining The Mind Trust in 2018, Jones served as Director of Secondary Schools for Tindley Accelerated Schools, where he coached principals and oversaw the development of instructional systems at the Indianapolis-based network of six charter schools. In 2011, Jones led the founding of Tindley Preparatory Academy as its first principal and before becoming principal, Jones taught at Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School.

Jones holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Fisk University and a master’s degree from California State Dominguez Hills. He is pursuing an Ed.D. in organizational leadership from Marian University.

Karen Betz
Karen Betz
Karen has been an educator for twenty-five years. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a B.A. in Psychology, B.S. in Elementary Education, M.Ed. In Elementary Education, and a Gifted Endorsement. She is looking forward to continuing her education at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati to obtain her Doctoral degree in Reading Science. She has served as a classroom teacher, gifted interventionist, building and district coach, and now serves as the Assistant Professor of Literacy at Marian University in Indianapolis. She is passionate about urban education, educating aspiring teachers about the Science of Reading, and her family and friends.
Christa Snyder
Christa Snyder
Christa is a member of The National Reading League and is on the board of directors for The Reading League – Indiana. She has been in education for over 13 years and has taught 1st thru 4th grade. Christa did her undergraduate work at Ball State University and completed her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Coppin State College. Currently, Christa devotes her time as a reading specialist in Title 1 and instructing multi-language learners. She is an avid supporter of The Reading League and considers herself “A Little Leaguer” among a group of consummate professionals. Christa is passionate about public education and works diligently towards promoting systematic changes.
Jamey Peavler
Jamey Peavler
Jamey Peavler is a full-time instructor in the Reading Science Graduate program at Mount St. Joseph’s University, where she is also a student in the first doctoral Reading Science program cohort. Jamey is also a National LETRS Trainer and textbook reviewer for post-secondary programs for the National Council for Teacher Quality.

Prior to joining the MSJ team, Jamey served as the Director of Training at the M.A. Rooney Foundation (MARF) in Indianapolis, Indiana. While at MARF she trained teachers in using the
Orton-Gillingham approach in a classroom setting.

Jamey also has more than twenty years of experience as an elementary teacher and literacy coach for Indianapolis Public Schools. While working within Indianapolis Public Schools, she developed a pilot program utilizing Orton-Gillingham as a Tier 1 whole-class preventative approach in K-2 classrooms. The result of the pilot was a drastic reduction in students needing Tier 2 and 3 interventions, reduction in reported behavior incidents, and an increase in the number of students reaching end-of-year universal screening benchmarks.

Jamey’s certifications include: Fellow-in-Training with the Orton-Gillingham Academy, Structured Language Dyslexia Specialist with the Center for Effective Reading Instruction, Master’s Degree in Reading Science at Mount St. Joseph University, and Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education. Jamey has also served as a board member on the International Dyslexia Association Indiana Branch since 2008.

Joe Risch
Joe Risch
Joe Risch is currently in his 15th year of education. For 9 years he has served as a special education teacher in the K-6 setting. He then worked with special education programs throughout the state as an instruction coach at Indiana University School of Medicine. In the late Spring of 2018 Joe started his role at the Indiana Department of Education serving as the state’s first reading specialist trained in dyslexia and shepherded the implementation of Senate Enrolled Act 217, or “the dyslexia law”. Currently Joe serves as an assistant principal at a central Indiana elementary school.

Joe received his bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education from Butler University, he later earned his master’s degree in autism and applied behavior analysis and licensure in school administration through Ball State University. In the summer of 2010 Joe received Orton-Gillingham training to find the best way to help his students learn to read. At that time, he found his passion for teaching struggling readers. Joe has spent the past 11 years teaching students how to learn to read and helping educators deliver evidence-based reading instruction. Joe is excited for the opportunities to continue to move reading instruction forward for all Indiana students.

Eddie Rangel
Eddie Rangel
Eddie began his teaching career in Southern California, teaching 4th and 5th Grade music. He moved to Indianapolis in 2012 where he taught instrumental music, 1st Grade, and 5th Grade for Indianapolis Public Schools. In 2015, Eddie became the founding assistant principal of Tindley Genesis Academy, a K-5 public charter school. Eddie then served as the principal of Tindley
Renaissance, before transitioning back to Tindley Genesis as principal. While at Tindley Genesis, 100% of 3rd graders passed the Indiana state promotional reading exam and ranked as the second-highest performing public school in the greater-Indianapolis area. Student achievement results also grew 19 points in math and 14 points in English/Language Arts proficiency.

In July of 2019, Eddie was accepted as an Innovation School Fellow at Indianapolis’s education non-profit, The Mind Trust, where he co-founded Adelante Schools as the founding Executive Director. Adelante Schools is an Indianapolis-based non-profit school management organization that operates Emma Donnan Elementary and Middle School on the southside of Indianapolis.

Kelly Williams, Ph. D.
Kelly Williams, Ph. D.
Kelly Williams is an Assistant Professor of Special Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Indiana University. Her research focuses on improving academic and post-secondary outcomes for students at-risk for and identified with high incidence disabilities. She is particularly interested in reading interventions for adolescents with reading difficulties and disabilities, including students who are English Learners, and preventing dropout with at-risk populations.

Previously, Kelly was a high school special education teacher and reading specialist in resource and inclusion settings for students with high-incidence disabilities. She also has extensive experience tutoring elementary and middle school students with reading disabilities and ADHD. Dr. Williams co-authored the IDOE’s Dyslexia Toolkit and has participated in conversations on literacy at the state level.

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