Decoding Dyslexia Maryland (DDMD) is an unincorporated, grassroots network of parents, students and educators. There are five state leaders and 13 local chapters with local leaders and co-leaders. DDMD is parent-led and includes students, teachers and community partners. Many members and leaders are parents of students with dyslexia who are still "fighting the fight" to access effective reading for their child. At the same time, they are taking action to change reading instruction for students with dyslexia and at risk and struggling readers.
State Leadership Team
Winifred Winston, State Leader
From Baltimore City
Winifred A. Winston has worked in education providing career services for more than 10 years. She has worked with non-traditional students and adult learners in higher education as a career coach and adjunct instructor. In addition, she has served as a high school Career Technology and Education, CTE, teacher working with students with disabilities and students in an alternative high school setting.
Winifred is currently the Economic Inclusion Program Coordinator for a local organization to hire residents from targeted zip codes in Baltimore City. In this role, she sees first-hand the impact of how reading difficulties create challenges for adults to secure gainful employment and/or further their education. She is passionate about educating families on dyslexia and the IEP process, as she too, is fighting for her family to receive a free and appropriate public education.
As a city resident committed to service, Winifred also serves on GEDCO’s Community Service Committee, is a Board Member of the Morgan Community Mile, and recently accepted the Presidential Appointment as a Selective Service Board Member for the state of Maryland. Winifred holds a Master of Science in Human Resource Development from Towson University and a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Winifred is originally from Brooklyn, New York. However, she arrived in Maryland by way of North Carolina and embraces her southern roots. Winifred and her family reside in Baltimore City in the North East Ramblewood community.
Laura Schultz is the parent, daughter, sister and wife of creative and intelligent people with dyslexia. Her daughter Catherine is a high school senior and introduced her to the public school dyslexia dilemma. Over the last 12 years, she has advocated for her daughter in D.C., Annapolis and around the IEP table.
Recognizing others with the same struggles, Laura co-founded a support group for parents of kids with dyslexia, which led to co-founding Decoding Dyslexia Maryland (DDMD) in 2012.
Laura worked on Capitol Hill for Congresswoman Helen Delich Bentley and was Director of Federal and State Government Relations for the Foodservice & Packaging Institute in Washington, D.C. She led public affairs and government relations teams in Jacksonville, Florida, for Bottary & Partners Public Relations and clients included Sprint, Tenneco, CSX, Jacksonville Airport Authority and Jacksonville University.
Laura currently is active in her community and serves on the Planning and Zoning Commission in Leonardtown, MD and most recently served as a Family Engagement Board member for the National Center on Improving Literacy.
Her husband is active duty Navy and teaches engineering at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. She has a college age son who is attending the US Military Academy in New York. Her family lived in Florida, California, Virginia and Maryland, which created challenges obtaining appropriate and effective instruction for dyslexia.