Wendy Taylor, M.Ed.
As Executive Director of Learning Essentials, Wendy Taylor’s mission is to meet the individual needs of each student she serves. She maintains that every student is capable of success both in and out of the classroom, but finds that many students lack the strategies to achieve success. That is why she founded Learning Essentials to guide students and instill study habits that assist learners of all abilities to attain, if not exceed, their goals.
Wendy has extensive experience working with students of all ages and abilities, with a focus on learning differences and disabilities. Prior to founding Learning Essentials, she served as a faculty member at Saint Petersburg College, a supervisor of pre-service teachers and a Montgomery County Public School teacher. A certified educator and qualified educational diagnostician, Wendy holds a B.S. in Social Science and Secondary Education from Frostburg State University and a M.Ed. in Special Education from George Mason University.
Our Team Promotes Life-Long Learning…Click on Blue Tabs to Learn More About Each Team Member
Jen Adleman, M.Ed.
Jen Adleman is a certified special educator. After receiving her B.A. from Guilford College in North Carolina, she began working with students with severe learning and emotional needs. She received her M.Ed. in Special Education from the University of Maryland, College Park. As a teacher, Jen focused on providing individualized instruction and behavioral supports. Jen is dedicated to helping students maintain motivation around schoolwork while overcoming challenges with learning, attention, and executive functioning needs. She uses a variety of positive behavior supports to encourage students to monitor their achievements and keep tutoring sessions fun and motivating.
Jen Brennan, M.S.
Jen Brennan is a certified special and general teacher. She has worked in the field of education for 10 years, first as a Learning for Life teacher and then as a high school social studies teacher. She has taught AP and elective social studies courses, English and Read 180, and she has created workshops for students on study skills, time management, organization, and coping with academic and life stress through healthy means. Jen earned her B.S.E. in secondary social studies from Mansfield University and her M.S. in Educational Leadership from Towson University. Jen’s holistic approach to learning focuses on preparing students to develop and strengthen the necessary skills to meet any challenge they may face with confidence and determination.
Genevieve Bouquet, M.Ed.
Genevieve is a certified special educator. She earned her B.S and M.Ed. degrees from the University of Maryland – College Park in Special Education. She has taught in both public and private schools, working in inclusive and self-contained classrooms. She currently teaches students with a variety of needs, including moderate to severe language, learning and sensory motor disabilities, mild to moderate autism, and executive functioning difficulties. Genevieve believes in individualizing instruction to address the whole child and his or her unique needs and learning styles. She also works to keep learning and practicing skills fun to increase confidence and foster a love for knowledge.
Maria Dalley, Ed.D.
Maria Dalley is a certified special education teacher for Montgomery County Public Schools. She is completing her doctorate in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis in Behavioral Health from Grand Canyon University. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Barton College in Deaf Education and a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction. Before moving back to Maryland, she was a deaf/hard of hearing itinerant teacher in North Carolina for pre-K – 12th grade students and a classroom, resource, and itinerant teacher of the deaf/hard of hearing in Philadelphia for middle and high school students. Subjects taught include study skills, math, English, social studies, science, communication, and art. In addition to teaching, Maria has over five years of experience providing ABA therapy and academic support to children with disabilities. Maria believes that learning is a life-long process and is dedicated to creating a safe learning environment that will motivate, inspire, and challenge her students.
Julia Driscoll, M.A.
Julia is a certified educator, holding certificates in Deaf and Hard of Hearing, ages birth through twenty-one, as well as regular elementary education. Julia holds a B.A. in Speech and Hearing Sciences from Indiana University, Bloomington, as well as an M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin in Communication Sciences and Disorders. After staying home with her children for ten years, she reentered the work force in Maryland in 2005 as a teacher for Montgomery County Public Schools. She is an itinerant teacher in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing program where she works with students from K-high school. She has extensive experience teaching children with varying learning abilities, including executive functioning issues. She specializes in individualizing instruction and modification of materials in order to meet a student’s needs. She uses a multi-sensory approach to teaching, incorporating hands-on, visual, as well as auditory strategies as needed.
Susanne Fuller, M.Ed.
Susanne Fuller is a special educator with over 10 years of experience in the field, focusing primarily on Autism Spectrum Disorder and inclusive practices in the school setting. She received her B.S. in Early Childhood Special Education from Union University in Jackson, TN, and a M.Ed. in Birth-Kindergarten: Interdisciplinary Study of Education and Development from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She has taught in North Carolina and Wisconsin before recently relocating to Washington, DC, with her family. Susanne has a passion for both supporting her studentsand assisting families in understanding their child’s needs and IEP.
Sarah Gayman, MEQ
Sarah Gayman is a certified educator with a background in Secondary English Education from The University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Sarah moved to Maryland in 2013 after teaching in Pittsburgh. Her teaching experience includes 6th-8th grade English and Reading. Currently, Sarah is a 6th grade English and Reading General Education teacher for Montgomery County Public Schools. She utilizes creativity, real-world application, and student-centered activities with a focus on individual student interests while working with her students.
Steve Hanna, M.Ed.
Steve Hanna is a certified special education teacher. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Sport Studies and a Master’s degree in Special Education, both from Towson University. He has worked for Montgomery County Public Schools as a Special Educator since 2011 in both inclusive and self-contained classroom settings, specializing in Social Studies and English. Steve has experience working with children with a variety of learning needs, such as executive functioning and processing disorders, ADHD, autism, time management, and other organizational skills. He believes in creating a positive environment and using student-centered strategies to empower students to take risks and advocate for themselves.
Jean Hickey, M. Ed.
Jean Hickey is a special educator. She has worked as a private tutor and educational consultant for over ten years in the Metropolitan area. She has twenty plus years of experience working with a variety of learning needs, including learning disabilities, ADD, Autism, Fragile X, Down Syndrome, Visual Cortical Blindness and Cerebral Palsy. Jean’s extensive background proves to be an excellent resource. In addition to private tutoring, she is available to review, develop and write Individualized Education Plans, write reports, consult with educational teams and advocate at IEP meetings. Jean earned a Bachelor’s degree in Severe Special Needs from Boston College and a Master’s degree in Special Education from University of Maryland, College Park. Jean provides a creative, life-learning approach to academics. She continually engages, challenges and develops the minds of her students.
Katy Litzinger, M.A.
Katy Litzinger is a math educator with a degree in middle school education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Indiana, PA. Katy previously taught at a private school in Johnstown, PA, where she gained experience teaching math and study skills to middle-grade students. She recently earned her M.A. in Mathematics Education from Western Governor’s University. Katy is currently a 6th grade Math General Education teacher for Montgomery County Public Schools. She also sponsors various math clubs at her school. Katy encourages all students to succeed by working hard and staying positive.
Eva Patrone, M.A.
Eva is a math and writing instructor who specializes in teaching students with language-based learning differences as well as executive functioning, attention and processing disorders. She began her career as a public high school teacher through the Teach For America program, and for the past 14 years, she has continued to teach and tutor diverse students. Previously, Eva was the math and science department chair at The Siena School, a school for students with language-based learning differences, and she holds a Multisensory Mathematics II certification from the Atlantic Seaboard Dyslexia Education Center. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Mathematics from the College of William and Mary and her M.F.A. in Writing from the University of New Orleans. In addition to working with Learning Essentials, she creates math curriculum for New Classrooms and is writing a YA novel. She enjoys forming long-term relationships with her students and using a variety of teaching methods to help them discover how they learn best.
Issie Resti, M.A.
Issie has worked in the field of education for more than 15 years. She began as a preschool teacher but has since taught a variety of subjects in elementary through post-high school, with a special focus on English/Language Arts. Issie received her M.A. from George Washington University in Special Education and her certification as a Literacy Coach from the University of Maryland. After six years of working in Montgomery County Public Schools, she initiated a program for students with intellectual disabilities at a Jewish day school. She currently oversees a young adult program for students in a non-public special education school. Issie believes that her job as a tutor is to help students become more successful, independent and confident. She loves seeing students come alive when they discover the potential inside themselves.
Sarah Summerlin, M.A.Ed., CALT
Sarah Summerlin is a special educator and a certified academic language therapist (CALT) with extensive experience working with children with learning differences. Sarah received her B.A. in Elementary and Special Education from Southwestern University and her M.A.Ed. in Special Education (Learning Disabilities) from Western Carolina University. Sarah completed her Multisensory Structured Language Education training and practicums through the Key Learning Center in Asheville, NC.
Sarah has taught elementary and middle school students in public, private, and international schools. Through more than a decade of teaching, she has come to the conclusion that students learn best from educators they trust. She builds a strong tutor-student relationship through engaging, multisensory lessons built on a nuanced understanding of the child’s strengths and needs. Sarah also utilizes humor to keep lessons lighthearted and engaging.