Educational Services for Children and Adults with Learning Differences

Bend Learning Center is headed by founder, Sanford Shapiro, M.Ed.

Sanford’s Formal Resumé...
Sanford Shapiro

When I was growing up in Brooklyn, NY, I made a promise to myself to become an adult who always remembered what it’s like to be a kid. That promise and desire was part of the fuel that led me to go into teaching.

After earning a degree in education and learning disabilities I taught for several years in Australia, New England and New York City. Later, I learned about a new school in Monterey, California for bright kids with reading and writing difficulties, and was hired as its first teacher.

I decided to apprentice myself for a year to the director, one of the nation’s top educators of dyslexic students. There I began honing an approach to teaching that would later become validated by the National Reading Panel. This school is now one of the best.

Wanting to share these skills and experiences with wider audiences I began training other teachers and tutors to recognize and teach dyslexic learners. Along the way, I was lucky enough to meet and marry my wife and we have raised two boys, one who has learning differences and for whom the early school years were difficult.

As a result of being a parent of a child with learning disabilities I now found myself on the other side of the coin or desk so to speak, and learned first-hand the experiences and emotions that come when it is your child who seems misunderstood. I had the “pit in my stomach” feeling when it seemed his learning needs weren’t met. I can’t overstate how this experience changed me.

In 1989 I was recognized as the Outstanding Teacher of the Year on the Monterey Peninsula. I understood that it is a blending of expertise and appropriate teaching along with heartfelt understanding of each child as a learner and person that leads to profound change and growth in kids.

After earning a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from George Washington University we moved to the San Francisco area of California where I was the Director of a K-12 school for kids with various learning disabilities. Having the responsibility of running this school deepened my appreciation for the value of each student, as well as the need to accurately assess the nature of their strengths and weaknesses before understanding how to teach them.

At the Bend Learning Center we help you understand your child’s challenges as well as their strengths and help them discover effective learning strategies.

Sanford Shapiro, M.Ed.
Director, Bend Learning Center

Mike Marshall, M.Ed.

Mike Marshall

Mike Marshall has a passion for working with kids, be it on the ski slopes, soccer field, or classroom setting. As a licensed teacher in Oregon, Mike is excited about bringing his vast knowledge about how to engage, inspire and excite students to reach their full potential to his practice at The Bend Learning Center where he will be providing reading intervention as well as executive function coaching. Mike is acutely aware of the impact a learning disability can have on a child as he watched his own son struggle to learn to read. His son began having meltdowns before kindergarten and his once happy-go-lucky child took on a dark cloud. Mike and his wife brought their son to Sanford Shapiro at The Bend Learning Center. Their son not only began to read, but his transformation into a confident learner that 12 years later continues, compelled Mike to shift gears to become a classroom teacher.

Mike completed his Masters of Arts in teaching in 2010 and is identified as a highly qualified teacher for grades K-6th. He has a strong foundation in working with youth, which he has done for the past 30 years guiding raft trips for Sun Country, teaching skiing at Mt Bachelor and coaching for the Mount Bachelor Ski and Education Foundation. For the last 15 years Mike has been the “go to” instructor for taking active, challenging, and sometimes misunderstood 8-10 year old skiers and, with a strong understanding of their developmental needs shaped them into solid racers. Mike’s appreciation of the diverse learning and behavior profiles of his skiers fostered his curiosity about positive behavior management, social/emotional growth and learning disabilities which has paved the way for his journey to The Bend Learning Center.

Since 2010 Mike has been a sought after substitute teacher. His choice in subbing was a family decision, allowing him the freedom to meet his two son’s needs while his wife Sondra, worked full time. Mike eagerly sought out opportunity to work with students with learning differences and found success in connecting with them and engaging their learning curiosity. There is nothing Mike gets more thrilled about than seeing a student who has struggled, light up with excitement as he/she has achieved something that felt out of reach, including having a teacher treat him or her with dignity, respect and kindness. In fact, as important as using evidenced based instruction is, Mike believes that the teacher-student and teacher-parent relationships are of the utmost importance and necessary before any learning will take place.

Working with parents is critical as they are at the “point of performance” and need to feel confident in understanding their child’s uniqueness as well as how to help and advocate for him or her in the school setting. As a reading specialist Mike will educate parents about the underpinnings of reading disorders (such as dyslexia) as well as offer things they should (or perhaps in some cases should not) do with their child at home. As an executive function coach, Mike will work together with parent and child to assist them in establishing systems at home that will make doing things such as chores and homework more successful (which have been tried out on his own two children and definitely work!).

Mike and his family have lived in Bend since 1999, and while he took an 8 year sabbatical to Utah to meet his wife (who is also a partner at BLC), he has been a part of the Bend Community since 1980. Mike and his wife are eager to meet your family, help identify your needs and offer a continuum of services to ensure your child’s full potential is met.

Sondra Marshall, Ph.D.

Sondra Marshall

Dr. Marshall has been a licensed psychologist in Oregon for 15 years. She has also worked as a French teacher, school counselor and school psychologist in the Bend LaPine Schools. Dr. Marshall completed her doctorate in Educational Psychology at The University of Utah in 1997. She worked under Dr. Sam Goldstein, internationally known researcher and expert in ADHD, Learning Disabilities and Autism, as well as Dr. Sally Ozonoff, a renowned expert in autism who is an endowed chair at the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute.

Dr. Marshall has an extensive pediatric neuropsychology background, which she will be using to provide learning disability evaluations at the Bend Learning Center. Dr. Marshall will also be available for consultation to assist BLC providers in their work with clients. Oregon License #1443

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