Board of Directors


                                                                       President – Dr. Analisa Smith

Healthy Children Project Liaison 

Dr. Analisa L. Smith has served LDA for many years, being active at the national and state level. Smith is the Presidential Appointee on the LDA of America Board of Directors and has served as chair, cochair, and as a member on several national LDA committees, and on subcommittees and task forces. Smith has worked for 25(+) years in both the public & private sector advocating for individuals with disabilities, serving as a specialist in working with students with learning disabilities. She works professionally as an education consultant, as a special needs homeschool consultant, and as a distance education professor. She is certified in 12 areas of education in two states. Smith has a a Doctorate of Education in Education Administration from Nova Southeastern University, an M.Ed. in Education from the University of South Carolina, and a B.S. in Elementary and Special Education from Columbia College. Smith is the author of Transition Toolbox: Postsecondary Success for the Student with a Disability, a book that focuses upon transition issues and services for the mildly disabled individual. She is the mother of two children, with one son having Asperger’s and several learning disabilities, and a grandmother to a grandson and granddaughter. Smith’s passion is to promote advocacy and support for individuals with LD to ease the path of learning for them.

Vice President Dr. Ricky D. Brannon, Jr.

Dr. Ricky D. Brannon, Jr. (or Dr. B) is a native of South Carolina.  He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Limestone College located in Gaffney, SC.  While attending Limestone he majored in Biology and was president of the Limestone College Science Club.  He also enjoyed playing baseball for the Saints.  He earned his doctorate degree, with the Cum Laude honor, from Sherman College of Chiropractic.  Dr. Brannon and his wife, Eve, reside in Chapin, SC and have three children: Delilah, Maddox, and Emma.


Treasurer – Debbie Gladden

Mrs. Debbie Gladden is a School Psychologist with Chester County Schools. She has over 25 years experience working in both public and private practice serving students and their families who deal with learning disabilities on a daily basis.  Debbie has served as the Director of a postsecondary program for students with learning disabilities to transition from secondary education into the post-secondary setting.  She also has extensive experience with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in both home and educational settings.  Debbie has proudly served on the LDASC board for a number of years and welcomes your inquiries. Debbie Gladden was the 2014 LDASC Volunteer of the Year.

Anne F.Secretary – Anne Fogel

Healthy Children Project Liaison

Mrs. Anne Fogel has been an active member of LDA for over 25 years. Previously as part of LDAMD, Fogel served as Professional Advisory Board member, Secretary,Librarian, and Vice-President. With fellow LDA officers, she has networked and collaborated with many organizations & agencies to provide workshops, seminars, and information on learning disabilities to parents & professionals. Over the last 40 years, Anne has worked as a special educator & advocate for persons with disabilities. She has taught various subjects to students of all ages and has tutored privately and publically, with most teaching dedicated as a reading specialist, where she used her training in Wilson, Lindamood-Bell, Orton-Gillingham, REWARDS, and Soar to Success. Anne worked previously as an adjunct instructor for the College of Southern Maryland & Towson University (MD) providing instruction in college success skills, foundations of reading,children’s literature, and special education for teachers. Anne also volunteered to coordinate the field experiences for students at St. Mary’s College taking special education courses. The highlight of Anne’s teaching career was in 2010, when she was honored with LDA’s “Sam Kirk Educator of the Year Award”, and was recognized at the LDA convention in Baltimore, MD. In addition to being an LDA member, Anne was previously a member and on the Professional Advisory Board of Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (CH.A.D.D.). She was involved in the ARC of Southern MD for many years, serving as Vice-President, Secretary, and member of various committees, was a Special Olympics liaison, and was on the St. Mary’s County, MDBoard of Education’s Citizens’ Advisory for Special Education Committee from 1988 to 2012, serving as Secretary for five years and as the LDA representative. Other memberships have included: Council for Exceptional Children, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the International Reading Association, the Southern Maryland Reading Council (and Teacher Book Club), and Who’s Who in America. Anne received a BFA degree in Graphic Design and Art History from the University of Georgia and a M.Ed. in Special Education from the University of North Florida. Post-graduate work was completed at Towson University, Trinity College, Univ. of MD (doctorate courses), Western MD College, and George Washington University. She has certifications in Special Education K-12, Elementary Education, Administration/ Supervision in Special Education, and a Reading Specialist certification. Anne and her husband, Dean, live in Seneca, SC. They have three children and seven grandchildren.


Technology Specialist & Oversight Advisor Hetlena J. Johnson

Hetlena Johnson is a Digital Resource Coordinator in Richland School District Two, Columbia, SC. She is the sibling to two individuals with learning disabilities. With over 15 years of expertise in education, she holds an Educational Specialist Degree in Computing Technology in Education from Nova Southeastern University. Along with advocating for equal educational services for all, she is the Chief Volunteer Officer and support group facilitator for the Lupus Foundation of America South Carolina Community Partner organization. As the Chief Volunteer Officer, she leads the coordination of training and supporting those diagnosed with lupus in the state of South Carolina.  Hetlena has been living and thriving with lupus for the past 25 years and is the author of Diary of a MAD Lupus Patient, a book about the first years of her diagnosis. Her ability to coordinate strategies, design solutions, and consult provides needed leadership for peer group activities. Hetlena specializes in delivering dynamic and energetic motivational experiences. Her technology cheerleader appeal has graced such stages TEDxDENVER and numerous state-held education conferences. Follow Hetlena on Twitter @hjohnsonec.

Board Member Ann Whitten

Mrs. Ann Whitten holds an M.Ed. in Special Education from the University of Florida and undergraduate degrees in English, Communication Arts, and Special Education. She has taught students with learning disabilities for over 30 years in private, public, and clinical/research settings, and currently runs Aiken Learning Lab in Aiken, SC, a private practice in Aiken, SC serving students with learning disabilities, primarily in reading. She has served as LDA South Carolina’s (LDASC) past State President, as State Presidents’ Representative, on the national Board of Directors, and on various committees. She represented LDASC during 2012 on the SC Dyslexia Task Force. Whitten currently serves as State President for the South Carolina Branch of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA-SC).  She has presented at numerous state conferences and at LDA and IDA International Conferences, and has conducted workshops for local schools. Her areas of particular interest include early intervention and remediation of reading disabilities and the practical classroom use of research-based instruction. Ann Whitten was the 2015 LDASC Volunteer of the Year.

Board Member April Mitchell

April Mitchell is a highly qualified special education teacher in the Upstate of SC with sixteen years experience. She holds a Master of Arts degree from Furman University with a concentration in Emotional Behavioral disorders. Her undergraduate degree in special education is from Southern Wesleyan University. Mrs. Mitchell is certified in intellectual and learning disabilities, EBD, and multi-categorical. She is currently working on a post-master’s degree from Furman University in School leadership. She is an active member of the Council for Exceptional Children and attends yearly conferences sponsored by the International Dyslexia Association. Mrs. Mitchell is married with two daughters and one grandson. April believes nothing is hard work when a person does not mind doing it.

amyBoard Member Dr. Amy Gregory

Dr. Amy Gregory holds an M.Ed in elementary education and one in supervision and leadership. She has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education all from the University of South Carolina. She taught school for eleven years before moving into administration. She has 25 years of experience in the public school system.  Two of her sons struggle with reading. One was diagnosed with a learning disability. The journey she travels with them has sparked an interest in becoming an advocate for all students struggling with learning disabilities.

Board Member Mandy Joye

Mandy Joye is a Health, Nutrition, and Wellness Coach. She is passionate about empowering people with the knowledge to heal themselves. Mandy is the host of the Joye and Wellness radio show on at 100.7 The Point and TV show host on at Jam Vibes TV Network.  Mandy is the owner of  Joye and Wellness, CEO and owner of Diverse Fit, and CEO and director of  Hems of Grace Ministry.  She has worked as a educational tutor to homeschoolers for almost twenty years and is an advocate of creating proper learning strategies for all to achieve.  Mandy has worked with children with learning and attention issues through tutoring and through her nutrition and wellness education programs.

Board Member X’andria Sutton 

X’andria Sutton is a native of South Florida, but relocated to South Carolina in 2014 with her family.  X’andria lives in the Irmo area with her spouse, Adrian, and two small children: Braedyn and Bakari. X’andria received her Bachelor of Science in Family, Youth and Community Science from the University of Florida in 2009.  X’andria went on to obtain Masters in Counseling and Educational Psychology from Barry and Capella University. After graduation, X’andria has worked with students with special needs and their families in various roles, including as a behavior interventionist, school counselor, and as a community based counselor with the Department of Social Services.  X’andria is currently teaching within a self-contained special education classroom and working on completion of a Doctorate in Education in Curriculum Studies from the University of South Carolina. X’andria is passionate about issues of access and equity in education, specifically for students with varied needs.

Student Intern – Katie Little