About Smart Start Tutors

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Alexa Imwalle,M.Ed

Owner/Founder
Literacy Specialist 

Hi! I'm Alexa, the Owner and Founder of Smart Start Tutors, LLC. I am a certified Reading Interventionist, Orton-Gillingham trained tutor, and former elementary education teacher. I am also a wife and mom to twin 5 year old girls and a baby boy. I am a Washington, D.C. area native and currently reside in Olney, Maryland just forty five minutes outside the city. After attending the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio, my now husband and I decided to return to the D.C. area where we got married and started our family. 

While at the University of Dayton, I graduated with a Bachelors in Early Childhood Education with an endorsement in grades 4th and 5th. After graduation, I went on to become an elementary school teacher where I worked in a variety of school settings. I was fortunate enough to work with children in many different grade levels including grades 3-5 where I spent the most time. During my years teaching in the school system, I realized my passion was in helping struggling students especially those who struggled to read. This stemmed from my personal experience as a struggling student, specifically a struggling reader, when I was in school. My desire to make a bigger impact on struggling students lead me to go back to school where I earned a Masters in Education specializing in Literacy Instruction for grades K-12th. 

 

Shortly thereafter, my husband and I got the news that we were expecting twin girls! I knew I wanted to be more present for my growing family, but also had a deep desire to find a way to continue doing what I loved-teaching! So after leaving the classroom setting in 2017 and being a stay-at-home mom for six months, I started Smart Start Tutors LLC and have been helping students in grades K-5 to close the reading gap and gain a love for reading ever since. 

 

I consider myself a lifelong learner and am dedicated to staying on top of the most recent methods and techniques for supporting students with Dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, non-specified learning disabilities, etc. This is why, after graduating with my Masters as a Literacy Specialist, I went on to earn an additional certification as a Reading Interventionist where I learned how to assess children in reading, identify their exact areas of need and build customized intervention plans in order to close the reading gap quickly and efficiently. During this time, I also received specialized training in the Orton-Gillingham methodology specifically designed for students with Dyslexia. At Smart Start we use the OG methodology as the foundation of all of our lessons not just for those with Dyslexia but for all of our students who need reading support. This is because research shows that a structured literacy program is the best way to support all readers. 

When I am not working with students or working behind the scenes at Smart Start, you can find me on the golf course, traveling with my family, reading, or chasing my three children around especially our newest addition, our son Luke. 

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Taylor

Literacy Specialist

Taylor is a fifth grade English Language Arts & Science inclusion teacher in Dayton, Ohio. As an inclusion teacher, Taylor has students with a wide variety of abilities in her classroom. She works closely with an intervention specialist to meet the needs of all learners within her classroom. Taylor has experience working with general education students, students with identified learning disabilities, and gifted students.

 

Taylor is a graduate of the University of Dayton and holds a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education, as well as an endorsement in teaching 4th and 5th grade. She received an additional certificate in teaching students with Dyslexia and other reading challenges. Taylor is trained in the Barton Reading & Spelling System, which is a multi-sensory reading and spelling program geared towards supporting students with Dyslexia and a variety of reading and language challenges.

 

When she is not teaching, Taylor enjoys surfing, wakeboarding, walking her dogs, and spending time with friends and family. She loves building relationships with her students and helping them realize and reach their full potential. Taylor is available to provide intervention and enrichment for Smart Start Tutors students in reading, writing, and math.

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Bailey

Literacy Specialist

Bailey is a graduate of the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio. She holds a Bachelors in Early Childhood Education. Bailey currently teaches Kindergarten in Vandalia, Ohio. She is proud to have returned to teach at the elementary school where she attended as a child.

Bailey comes to Smart Start Tutors with several years of teaching experience and was raised in a family of teachers. She is trained in the Orton-Gillingham reading approach as well as The Phonics Dance. Both are multi-sensory approaches to teaching reading and writing that are designed specifically for struggling readers and those with Dyslexia.

Bailey loves making learning come alive for her students by using fun, interactive activities that engage all of the senses. She truly believes that she is fulfilling her life’s mission as a teacher.

When not at school, Bailey enjoys teaching fitness classes at the local rec center and crafting on her Cricut machine. Bailey is available to provide intervention and enrichment for Smart Start Tutors students in reading, writing, and math.

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