Building Thriving Minds , LLC

Building Thriving Minds specializes in identifying, strengthening, and transforming the lives of struggling students.


Mission Statement

Building Thriving Minds provides foundational cognitive and academic skills enabling struggling students to become more engaged and focused on their learning. Additionally, through my tutoring practice, I strive to provide parent support and outreach so they understand how to advocate for and assist their child in school and beyond.


"Science has moved forward at a rapid pace so that we now possess the data to reliably define dyslexia...For the student, the knowledge that he is dyslexic is empowering...[It provides him] with self-understanding and self-awareness of what he has and what he needs to do in order to succeed."

Sally Shaywitz, M.D., co-director of Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity

—Testimony before the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, United States House of Representatives


Specialized Tutoring in:

  • Providing interventions to increase cognitive abilities related to visual and auditory processing issues, such as dyslexia and dyscalculia, slow working memory, attention and comprehension skills.
  • Strengthening and creating new neural pathways in the brain to facilitate efficient learning.
  • Building foundational skills necessary for students to be successful in reading, spelling, writing and math. 

Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability. "Dyslexia refers to a cluster of symptoms, which result in people having difficulties with specific language skills, particularly reading.  Students with dyslexia may experience difficulties in other language skills, such as spelling, writing, and speaking.  Dyslexia is a life-long status, however, its impact can change at different stages in a person's life. It is referred to as a learning disability because dyslexia can make it very difficult for a student to succeed academically in the typical instructional environment."

-Taken from The International Dyslexia Association (IDA)

Classes & Hours


Building Thriving Minds, LLC offers one-on-one tutoring sessions based on diagnostic and prescriptive assessments to determine the best educational plan moving forward. 


  • Sessions can be scheduled from 7:30 AM to 6:30 PM,  Monday through Friday.
  • Minimum of two 50-minute sessions each week. 
  • Quiet classroom in my home-learning center, centrally located in Missoula, MT
  • Keeps communication open between teachers and parents.

Services Offered

Structure of Intellect (SOI)

The Structure of Intellect theory (SOI) was developed by Dr. J. P. Guilford during World War II to assist the US Army select future pilots for their rigorous training. He identified specific cognitive abilities necessary for prospective pilots.  Since WWII, Dr. Bob and Mary Meeker adapted the Structure of Intellect to measure abilities needed for academic performance.

. . .

Currently SOI is being used around the world to help children with learning difficulties, as well as with "gifted" children to increase performance in already developed skills. SOI works to enhance learning abilities. Structure of Intellect's philosophy is that intelligence is not "fixed,” as had been supposed. 

Intellectual abilities can be taught. 

With the appearance of studies in the plasticity of the brain, researchers have brought this new awareness into the fields of neuroscience and education.

By focusing on improving the underlying brain functions that are impeding a person’s progress, we see huge gains in overall cognitive function, and even the remediation of learning disabilities. 

. . .  

SOI-IPP: Integrated Practice Protocol

IPP was created from client needs because there was often an indication through SOI testing and therapy that a client may have vision or sensory-integration problems that were as inhibiting to learning as were the undeveloped learning abilities. These conditions often underlie learning achievement. 

SOI-IPP allows trained practitioners to treat clients’ problems with specially developed exercises to build focusing skills, sensory integration, and auditory skills. Weaknesses in these areas inhibit successful learning in school and beyond. Areas assessed include: 

Sensory Integration:

Crossing the midline of the Body

Mentally Crossing the Midline


Body in Space

Small Motor Coordination



Moving Focus

Eyes – Teaming

Shifting Focus

Aiming Focus


Reading & Spelling

I offer individualized instruction for students experiencing language-related difficulties using an Orton-Gillingham or Structured Literacy approach, which provides the multi-sensory and systematic foundational skills necessary to enable confident reading and spelling. Orton-Gillingham has been shown through research to be highly effective for students with language-based learning difficulties, such as dyslexia. Prior to starting an O-G program, it is often necessary to first build a strong phonemic awareness of our language, using highly specialized programs to help students develop these critical pre-reading skills.


Math & Writing


When teaching math to young children, I use an approach that follows Orton-Gillingham methodology, Math-U-See, which focuses on concretely building the concepts of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole numbers and fractions, telling time and understanding money through the use of manipulatives.

The Institute for Excellence in Writing curriculum lays the foundation for my writing instruction. "In order to succeed in every area of life, children must hone the skills needed to communicate confidently and effectively. Through the process of learning to write well, students learn how to think clearly and to express themselves eloquently and persuasively." IEW website


Equipping Minds is a holistic approach that goes beyond academic instruction. It addresses underde

Equipping Minds - Cognitive Skills Training


Equipping Minds is a holistic approach that goes beyond academic instruction. It addresses underdeveloped cognitive areas which make learning and remembering difficult. Recent research has demonstrated that Equipping Minds works to increase working memory, processing speed, attention, comprehension, critical thinking, and communication skills by focusing on the whole person, by incorporating this cognitive development program with sound therapy and primitive reflex exercises to strengthen the memory, providing a strong foundation for effective learning. 

Certifications & Trainings


Completed Dyslexia Certification Program through the Dyslexia Training Institute, June 2016

Structure of Intellect

Certified Practitioner with Structure of Intellect (SOI) and  Integrated Practice Protocol (IPP), Summer 2019


Equipping Minds

Completed training in Spring, 2018.