Decoding Dyslexia CA (“DDCA”) was formed as a grassroots movement in 2013. 

DDCA is a chapter of Decoding Dyslexia.

Megan Potente, Co-State Director

Megan has been active in DDCA leadership for over 4 years. She is also a Co-Leader of DDCA’s San Francisco Support Group and serves as DDCA’s Regional Leader for San Francisco/Peninsula Region. Megan is a former 20-year elementary educator with experience as a classroom teacher, literacy specialist, literacy coach, special education teacher, and educational therapist in private practice. She has a BA from University of Michigan and MEd from DePaul University. A graduate of University of California Berkeley’s Educational Therapy program, Megan has extensive structured literacy experience, including expertise in the Slingerland Approach. Megan has been featured on KQED and also moderates the California: Science of Reading–What I Should Have Learned in College Facebook group. She has a son, brother, and a nephew with dyslexia.

Lori DePole, Co-State Director

Lori is a former executive of a technology company and has been active in DDCA leadership for over 6 years. She is a Certified Structured Literacy Dyslexia Interventionist through the International Dyslexia Association and an Associate Level Orton-Gillingham Practitioner through the Orton Gillingham Academy (formerly the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators). She also has a Level 1 Dyslexia Certificate from the Dyslexia Training Institute. Lori is a former volunteer Board member of the Northern California Branch of the International Dyslexia Association. She also served as a volunteer Board member and Treasurer of Project Second Chance, Inc., supporting the Contra Costa County Adult Literacy program. She has volunteered for many years in providing education advocacy assistance and Structured Literacy tutoring to foster youth and adults with dyslexia.

Rachel Hurd, Assistant Director

Rachel has been active in DDCA leadership for over 7 years. She also serves as a DDCA Regional Leader for San Francisco/East Bay Region and a Support Group Leader for DDCA’s Tri-Valley Support Group. Rachel is currently the President of the Board of Education for the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, and she has served as a school board member for over 16 years. She is a board liaison to the SRVUSD Special Education Community Advisory Committee, the San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs, the Deep Learning & Innovation Steering Committee and the Equity Steering Committee. Rachel has been involved with the San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs for over 20 years, serving as Council President President, Special Needs Chairman, VP-Communications, and continues as an advisor and member of the communications committee. Rachel was the lead on the California PTA resolution on “Dyslexia: Addressing the Educational Implications in Public Schools” that was adopted in May of 2016. Rachel is on the Delegate Assembly of the California School Boards Association (CSBA) representing Region 7, serves on CSBA’s Policy Committee, and is SRVUSD’s representative to the Contra Costa County School Boards Association. Rachel works as the Executive Director of Leadership San Ramon Valley, a local non-profit organization that provides an annual community engagement and leadership development program for adults who live and/or work in the San Ramon Valley. She is also a charter member of the Dougherty Valley/San Ramon Rotary Club, of which she is a past-president. Rachel is a parent of grown children with dyslexia, and has tutored students using structured literacy approaches, on a volunteer basis for many years.

Hiroko Okazaki, Support Group Co-Coordinator

Hiroko has been active in DDCA for over 5 years. She also serves as DDCA’s Regional Leader for Los Angeles County Region and Support Group Leader for DDCA’s Los Angeles Support Group. She has two children with dyslexia.

Melinda Saunders, Support Group Co-Coordinator

Melinda has been active in DDCA for over 4 years. She also serves as Support Group Leader for DDCA’s San Francisco Peninsula Support Group. She has two children with dyslexia. Melinda has been an active volunteer in her local public schools serving in various PTA roles including Unit Auditor, Treasurer, President and Council President. Sparked by her interest in math in dyslexia, she has taken over 400 hours of Making Math Real coursework and tutors neurodiverse and neurotypical students.

Stephanie Simpson, Member Communications Coordinator

Stephanie has been active in DDCA for over 2 years. She also serves as Support Group Leader for DDCA’s North County San Diego Support Group. Outside of the support group, she is very involved in her local community and often meets with parents of children with suspected dyslexia to offer support and resources. She has two daughters with dyslexia and is active at their school in a variety of roles from planning school-wide events to supervising during recess. Before deciding in 2019 to stay home with her children and help them navigate their journey, she worked for over 10 years in a top-producing commercial real estate team. Her experience and the tools acquired in that position have benefited her as DDCA’s Member Communications Coordinator.

DDCA also has Regional Leaders, Associate Regional Leaders, and Support Group Leaders across California.  Please contact us for more information.