Staff & Board of Directors
Executive Director - Judith Shuey
Judith earned a degree in economics and completed her Master's in counseling psychology. She has taught at most all levels from pre-school to college, owned a retail business, directed a museum, and spent the past 15 years in non-profit management and fundraising.
Board of Directors
After teaching in elementary schools in Boston suburbs and at an international school in Moscow, Sylvia served three years with her husband as a VISTA volunteer in West Virginia. Sylvia worked as a reading specialist at T. C. McSwain Elementary School in Staunton. She is currently retired. Sylvia has served as a tutor, tutor trainer, and president of the board of directors for LEARN ENGLISH.
Francine Johnston is retired from the Department of Teacher Education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she served as Director of Graduate Studies, Coordinator of the Reading Masters Program, and ran a clinic for struggling readers. Francine worked as a first grade teacher and reading specialist for 12 years in the Waynesboro public schools before getting her doctorate at the University of Virginia. She has consulted with school districts across the country and has served as a professional development speaker. Francine is a co-author of numerous books for teachers derived from the bestselling Words Their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction.
George Sproul earned a degree in Biology (Davidson College, 1970) and an MD degree (UVA, 1974). He had training in Pediatrics at the University of Rochester and UVA, opened an office in Staunton in 1977 and spent the next 38 years caring for children and advising their parents. He has been a strong advocate for the importance of parents reading to their children from an early age.
Ali is the Adult Services Programmer for the Augusta County Library. She earned her Master's in Library and Information Science from Syracuse University. Ali also volunteers with local community radio station 106.3 WQSV in Staunton and with the Friends of the Middle River. Ali has been a member of the board since May 2017.
Beverly Smith Riddell grew up in Staunton, Virginia; after living away for 25 years she returned in 2001. Beverly works as the Director of Instructional Technology at Mary Baldwin University. She has served on the boards of the Friends of the Staunton Library and the Celebration of Holiday Lights. Beverly loves to read and is happy to serve a cause that is dedicated to enabling and promoting reading.
Sharon Van Name
Sharon Van Name is returning to LEARN ENGLISH after a few years away. During her previous time, she served as the Treasurer, Tutor Trainer and President. She worked with a reading learner and has done informal ESOL tutoring. She has recently retired from a career in Quality Assurance and Industrial Training.
Jean has 35 years of healthcare and hospital administration experience, specializing in cancer care. She currently owns her own business as a health coach. Jean is active in the Staunton-Augusta rotary as the Service Chair, volunteers in local elementary schools as a reading and math tutor, and operates a small vegetable farm that benefits The Valley Mission. Jean is a tutor for Learn English and Reading Now, Inc. Jean joined our board in May 2017.
Jacqueline graduated from Wilson College in Pennsylvania as an American Civilization major and later earned her Master’s in Library Science from Catholic University of America in Washington DC. She spent her career in the Intelligence Community, retiring in 2005 after 32 years. Jacque and her husband Charlie chose Staunton for retirement and moved here from the Washington DC area in 2007. She volunteers with the Friends of the Staunton Public Library and in the Archives at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library. (3 year term)
Maureen graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Masters in Public and International Affairs. Her professional work included policy and project development for the City of Pittsburgh, Office of the Mayor, relocation specialist for PNC Park, and public involvement manager for a management consulting firm. Maureen served 10 years as a board member for the Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania and was a member of the Pittsburgh Chapter of Zonta International. After living in Pittsburgh her entire life, Maureen retired and moved to Staunton VA. (3 year term)
Dale grew up in Charleston, WV, and currently resides in Waynesboro. He attended Morris Harvey College, now the University of Charleston. Dale is a Graduate Gemologist of the Gemological Institute of America, based in New York City and Carlsbad, California. He has worked in the jewelry industry for 42 years, where he has been involved in sales and management of retail stores and wholesale offices. Together with his wife, Ginny, Dale founded and is president of D. Poynter & Company, Inc., a wholesale jewelry company serving accounts in the south-eastern United States.
Over the years he has served on the state industry boards of Virginia and North and South Carolina. He has one son, Mike, who lives in Harrisonburg. Dale looks forward to serving on the board of Learn English & Reading Now, Inc. and having an opportunity to expand literacy in the Valley and improve the lives of our neighbors. (3 year term)
Charis is a native of Chesterfield, VA. With degrees in both elementary and adult education, it is fitting that her professional career spans experiences in both k-5 public schools and higher education. A unique combination of degrees in education and (later) tourism led her to Shenzhen, China where she served as an ESL teacher. Currently, Charis is the Assistant Director for International Programs at Mary Baldwin University’s Spencer Center for Civic and Global Engagement. (3 year term)
Courtney is a native Pennsylvanian who has called Augusta County home for the past eight years. Courtney is the Assistant County Attorney for Augusta County. She graduated from Moravian College with a degree in History and received her law degree from Ohio Northern University College of Law. In her spare time, Courtney can usually be found enjoying her husband and three young children.
Cindy graduated from Bridgewater College in 1977 and taught in Staunton City schools for 30 years. She received her masters degree 2003. Cindy was honored to be chosen as Teacher of the Year in Staunton in 2004, which is an award chosen by a teacher's peers. Cindy also won the Dawburn Award in 2005. Cindy left teaching in 2007 and begin working part time as an advisor for GRASP, a program Cindy and her husband David brought to the valley which now serves all area high schools. Cindy has also worked at JMU as a student teacher advisor and for the state education department auditing schools with low SOL scores. In 2015, Cindy's granddaughter was born and she left all her school jobs to keep her!