Greetings from the Principal of Woodland Hall Academy.
We are excited about sharing information concerning Woodland Hall Academy. Our school offers a unique learning environment for children with Dyslexia, Specific Learning/Language Disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders or related language and learning disorders such as Aspergers and Auditory Processing Disorders. We have come a long way since our first one room school house at the end of Velda Dairy Road in 1975.
Hundreds of children have attended Woodland Hall Academy; some moving from out of state or across the state to attend the school. Many have graduated with a regular diploma and moved into post-secondary, often receiving college scholarships. Other students have “graduated” at an earlier grade and returned to successfully complete their secondary education in public or private schools. The overall goal of Woodland Hall Academy is to remediate students during the years they are here and equip them to be successful and eager life-long learners.
Woodland Hall Academy’s longevity, and the fact that many of these learning issues are inherited, has made us “grandteachers.” We have now taught several children of our former students. Alumni also constantly drop by to say hello, share what they are doing, or ask for advice on different aspects of their lives. Some of our alumni have returned to deliver a graduation speech for our current graduates or to give presentations to our students. We often hear from parents of former students who thank Woodland Hall Academy for the difference in not only their children’s lives but that of their entire family.
We hope you will find a wealth of useful information as you browse the site, whether you are inquiring about the school for the first time or know us well. For first-time parents, the section on Unique Curriculum and The Hardman Technique should answer many of your questions. For alumni and friends, check out our Brag Book and Support the School sections; write to us with your memories for the Brag Book. We look forward to hearing from you.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Patricia K. Hardman, PhD. brings over 50 years of experience and study to the field of Dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders and related learning differences. Her development of The Hardman Technique is a direct result of research and field study using the philosophy:
“If they don’t learn the way we teach, then we’ll teach the way they learn.”
ABOUT FOUNDER AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Distinguished Service Award Recipient 2011 The Coalition of McKay Scholarship Schools
Dr. Patricia K. Hardman has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Dyslexia Research Institute and Academic Administrator of the Woodland Hall Academy since it was founded. She is also the Director of Hardman & Associates, an educational consulting firm.
Dr. Hardman has worked in the area of dyslexia since 1969. She has been involved in graduate classes in Administration and Learning Disabilities at USC, University of Missouri, University of Florida, Florida State University, and Barry College. She received her Master’s Degree in Education at The Citadel, and her Ph.D. in the area of dyslexia from Walden University. She has studied under, and was associated with, the late Dr. Charles L. Shedd for the areas of diagnosis and remediation of learning disabilities. Dr. Hardman has also worked with Mrs. Joyce Jones Pickering in Montessori and was qualified as a Director of Modified Montessori by the Reading
Research Foundation of Lafayette, LA.
She has been guest speaker at National and International Conventions on Dyslexia and Modified Montessori, state and local meetings, medical meetings, parent-teacher association meetings, graduate classes, clubs, and professional group meetings. She has conducted classes on dyslexia, reading techniques, and diagnostic testing at Valencia Community College, Tallahassee Community College, Florida A&M University and Florida State University. She has been a guest lecturer at the Texas Learning Disabilities Association Conference and at the National Association for Adults with Special Learning Needs. She also conducts in-service workshops in public and
private schools and colleges. Dr. Hardman was a founder and director of the Reading Clinic of South Carolina and Trident Academy in Charleston, South Carolina from 1969-1972. She was Director of the Reading Research Foundation from 1972-1977, which operated Woodland Hall Academies in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina; Statesboro, Georgia, Tallahassee, Florida and Winter Park, Florida during this time. Dr. Hardman has been the director of Dyslexia Research Institute since 1975.
She has authored and co-authored in excess of 50 textbooks on reading, writing, mathematics, grammar, auditory and language development for use with dyslexic and attention deficit disorder children in tutorial and full-time school situations. She has researched, written and published articles on testing, characteristics, allergies, and behavior in regard to the dyslexic and attention deficit disorder child. She has written The Sugarless Cookbook in an effort to help parents maintain the proper nutritional program for their child. She has been published in Academic Therapy and the Journal of Learning Disabilities.
Dr. Hardman is a member of the Society for Clinical Ecology, Association for Children with Learning Disabilities, Orton Dyslexia Society, Florida Literacy Coalition, National Association for Adults with Special Learning Needs, and various professional organizations. Dr. Hardman is a past member of the Board of Directors for the Florida Branch of the Orton Dyslexia Society. She has been recognized by Who’s Who, Community Leaders and Noteworthy Americans, Outstanding Young Women of America, Notable American’s Award and Personalities of the South. She was on the Board of Directors for the Refuge House, a home for abused and battered women in
Tallahassee. She was the president of The Altrusa Club of Tallahassee for 1988-89.
Dr. Hardman was recognized as Woman of the Year by Tallahassee Chapter of American Association of University Women in March 1990. In 1990 she was recognized and received an accommodation from the South Carolina House of Representatives for her contributions to the field of dyslexia and her service and community efforts. In 1990-91 Dr. Hardman co-chaired the National Task Force on Dyslexia/Learning Disabilities. She co-chair of the Committee on Learning Disabilities for the National Council of Juvenile Family Court Judges, 1993-1994. She has served on the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) work group to reassess the role of DVR in
serving the learning disabled population. Dr. Hardman was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to be on the Senate Task Force reviewing the McKay Scholarship 2003-2004.
Dr. Hardman serves on the Legislative Committee of The Coalition of McKay Scholarship Schools. She advocates at the state and national level for the rights of children with all disabilities to have more options in their education. She was instrumental in developing Florida’s John McKay Scholarship Program which is the largest parental choice program for children with disabilities in the U.S.
Dr. Hardman has dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders herself.
Founder and CEO Patricia K. Hardman, PHD
Program Director and Teacher Trainer
Robyn A. Rennick, M.S. has been with Woodland Hall Academy since 1979. She began as a teacher and then became the principal IN 1982 – a position she held for 19 years. Ms. Rennick is the Program Director and oversees all teacher training, adult programming, special projects and general administrative duties. Ms. Rennick has a Master’s Degree in Adult Education and has achieved the Teacher Trainer Certification and Director Certification in The Hardman Technique.
Teachers only “change” children when they are willing to change themselves. If a student isn’t learning, we must review what we are doing and change our teaching to meet the students’ needs.
About Program Director and Teacher Trainer
Robyn A. Rennick has served at Woodland Hall Academy in Albany, Georgia, and Tallahassee, Florida. She moved from Tallahassee to Albany in August of 1980 and rejoined the Tallahassee staff in August 1982 as the principal.
Ms. Rennick received her B.A. degree, cum laude, from Florida State University in 1978 and her M.S. degree in Adult Education in 1993. She taught English at Killearn Academy from 1978 to 1979. In 1979, she was appointed principal of Killearn Academy and began working more closely with Woodland Hall Academy. She has attained the Director Certification, awarded by Hardman & Associates. This required a minimum of 150 hours in workshops covering characteristics, behavior and diagnostic testing, given by a recognized Director of the Hardman Technique.
Ms. Rennick presents workshops on the Hardman Technique, characteristics of dyslexia, behavior, and diet for parents, professional groups, teachers, schools and colleges. She has been a guest lecturer at the Texas Learning Disabilities Association Conference, International Dyslexia Association, National Association for Adults with Special Learning Needs, Federal Bureau of Prisons and numerous other state and national conferences. She was the editor of the newsletter, Hardman & Associates News & Views, a newsletter for educators and parents concerning topics of dyslexia. She has written articles for the paper, Tallahassee’s Child.
In 1998, Ms. Rennick became director of the Dyslexia Research Institute Literacy and Life Skills (DRILLS) program. This was a remedial program for adults who have dyslexia and/or Attention Deficit Disorders. The techniques used at Woodland Hall were adapted to meet the learning needs and vocational needs of adults.
Ms. Rennick has been recognized in the directory of Outstanding Young Women in America. Ms. Rennick was a member of Altrusa International of Tallahassee and was president for 1993 and 1994. She is a member of the Orton Dyslexia Society and has served as a member of the Nominating Committee for the Florida Branch and as Secretary of the Florida Branch. She is currently on the Board of the National Association for Adults with Special Learning Needs. Ms. Rennick is the founder and past president of The Coalition of McKay Scholarship Schools.
Ms. Rennick is the Program Coordinator and oversees all teacher training, adult programming, special projects and general administrative duties at Woodland Hall Academy and for Dyslexia Research Institute.
Program Coordinator and Teacher Trainer Robyn A. Rennick, M.S.
Amber Mitchell began teaching at Woodland Hall Academy in 1994. She was promoted to Assistant Principal in 1996 and to Principal in 1999. Ms. Mitchell has a degree in Elementary Education and has achieved the Teacher Trainer Certification and Director Certification in The Hardman Technique.
Amber Mitchellreceived her BS degree in Elementary Education from Florida State University in 1994. She began teaching at Woodland Hall in the fall of 1994. Mrs. Mitchell achieved her Teacher Certification in The Hardman Technique in 1996 and became a certified Trainer of Teachers in 1997. The Hardman Technique is an MSLE approach and is the only Teacher/Trainer program in Florida accredited by the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC). Mrs.
Mitchell attained Director Certification in 1998, awarded by Hardman and Associates. This required a minimum of 150 hours in workshops covering characteristics, behavior and diagnostic testing, given by a recognized director of the Hardman Technique. She was awarded the 1998 Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year in the Tallahassee Area.
Mrs. Mitchell served as assistant principal from 1996-1998 and became principal of Woodland Hall in 1999. She has conducted teacher workshops, training in Grammar, Language Development, Reading, Math and Content areas. Mrs. Mitchell presents workshops for parents on the Hardman Technique, characteristics of dyslexia and how to read with children. Ms. Mitchell is a diagnostic test administrator for Hardman and Associates which involves administering and grading a battery of 22 diagnostic tests to identify leaning styles and disabilities in children and adults.
Mrs. Mitchell is currently the representative of Hardman & Associates, Inc. on the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC). She has presented workshops at the International Dyslexia Association National Conference.
Principal Amber Mitchell
It is not always what you teach, but HOW you teach that makes a difference. Just as our students need to be taught differently, OUR TEACHERS MUST BE WILLING TO TEACH DIFFERENTLY. When a child is not learning, our teachers understand that they must review what they (the teachers) are doing, so they can help the child. “We must be willing to change our behaviors or teaching strategies if that change is what the child needs to be able to learn.” Ms. Rennick
Our teachers come from a variety of backgrounds. Woodland Hall Academy’s teachers:
Have a four-year college degree;
Have a minimum of 40 hours of training prior to entering the classroom;
Have 125 hours of training in The Hardman Technique by the time they end their first year of teaching;
Have a positive attitude toward teaching;
Are structured, but are also flexible in order to meet the individual differences of our students;
Are willing to learn new teaching techniques and patterns;
Work well as a team so that consistency may be maintained in all classes;
Attend three teacher meetings a week to discuss teaching techniques and behavioral plans to enhance students’ individual success.
By the end of their first year at Woodland Hall Academy, our teachers earn their Teacher Certification through Hardman & Associates. Hardman & Associates’ teacher training program is accredited through The International Multisensory Structure Language Education Council. To earn this certification, a teacher must demonstrate mastery through a teacher exam and ongoing observations by certified Hardman & Associates teacher/trainer.
“Ms. Terri”, WHA’s anchor in the main office, and Ms. Grove, our business manager, always ensure that things are running smoothly behind the scenes. Ms. Terri has been assisting teachers, students, parents and guests at WHA since 1988. Ms. Grove is new to our school family but already is an invaluable part of it.