Shands Institute
Shands Institute is a nonprofit organization serving children with learning differences in the greater Charlotte area.
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Liz Morris, BA Psychology, OVT, Director
Robert Beaver, Kung Fu
Liz Morris is a graduate of Queens University
with BA in Psychology, with an emphasis on
cognitive development. Liz has worked with
children with learning differences for more than
a decade and spent 5+ years as a vision
therapist treating individuals with visual
dysfunctions. She is also trained in the
Orton-Gillingham/Wilson Method and Brain Gym.
Her extensive understanding of how visual perception affects
learning led her to create a unique program to develop cognitive
skills. Her passion is working with children diagnosed with ADD,
ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome, Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Visual
Processing Disorder, PDD, and other learning disabilities.
Robert is the owner of The Tiger and Crane in
Indian Trail and a certified Tai Chi and Kung Fu
instructor. He was a children’s instructor for
seven years, teaching students with different
learning styles. “Teaching compassion,
empathy, and helping people find their goals is
the greatest reward.”
Suzanne Ingram, MA, Ed. English - Language Arts Instructor
Suzanne started her teaching career at
Appalachian State University, where she
earned her B.S. and MA degrees. She
continued at CPCC and in CMS before
she landed at UNC Charlotte, where she
is a Senior Lecturer in the University
Writing Program. She sees writing as an
important life skill and a crucial tool in
learning and self-discovery.
Author and Pulitzer Prize winner (and
subsequent judge) Glenn’s journalism career
spanned 41 years before he “retired.” First a
Marine and Vietnam veteran, then a professor
and lecturer (at more than 30 colleges and
universities), the longtime professional mentor
consults individuals and organizations
nationwide. His passion for teaching and mentoring
students is legendary and has spanned his entire career.
Glenn Proctor - Writing Instructor
Synthia Gerson, MS Ed. - Reading, Social Studies, & Science Instructor
Synthia earned a BA in elementary education and
history from Hofstra University, and her MS in
elementary education with a specialization in
children’s literature from Queens College. She has
completed some additional graduate courses in
special education from The Center For Integrated
Teacher Education (CITE) and The College of Saint
Rose, and has experience co- teaching inclusion
classes. She has taught 6 th grade language arts, social studies,
science, and math in public schools in New York City and Charlotte
for over 15 years. Synthia is passionate about fostering a life long
love of reading literature with her students.
Olivia Brock recently completed her first year
of teaching at a small private school in
Matthews, which catered to those with minor
learning disabilities and mental health
disorders. She has been professionally
tutoring since she graduated high school in
2014, with Math as her primary focus. She is
also a private piano and voice instructor. Her passion is to
help children enjoy learning, despite their circumstances!
Olivia Brock, Assistant Teacher
Author, life coach and motivational speaker
Paula Lesso’s life is built on change and
challenges. She has used her personal and
professional experience to challenge her
students to believe in themselves and find
the resilience to overcome setbacks. She
thrives on helping those who feel
overwhelmed recognize their barriers, find their priorities
and take action to make changes.
Paula Lesso - Writing Instructor
 
Susan believes yoga is a external practice that
has led her to internal peace. Through her 20
year practice of asana, pranayama, mantra and
meditation she has learned how to control
emotions and clean up the internal
environment. The practices of yoga enabled
Susan to connect to others on a spiritual level. The
practice of yoga has allowed her heart to open so big that she has
room for everyone. Having experienced this for herself this has
created a passion to lead others to the the same state of
consciousness.
Susan Mangum, Yoga Teacher
Open Enrollment for 2018-2019 Year