Meet Our Board of Directors

EunMi Cho, President

Along with serving on LDA as the Professional Advisory Board Chair/Member and President of LDA-CA, EunMi has been a Special Education Researcher, Professor, and Program Coordinator at Sacramento State and Parent Advocate in her community. She is also a Founder and Coordinator, “One Mind Group: Parents Support Group” in Northern California since 1998 and has been developing Special Education Teaching Credential Programs and training teachers in Uganda, Malawi, Kenya, Philippines, China, S. Korea, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Mexico since 2002.

Diana Welsh, VP, Northern CA

Diana is an Education Specialist who teaches in the Elk Grove Unified School District. She works to support the academic, social and emotional needs of students with disabilities in Grades K through 6. She believes working collaboratively with general education teachers and families to support students is an ongoing process, with communication being vital to developing strong relationships with students and stakeholders. Because Diana works with children over multiple years and grade levels, she is able to see her students’ growth in skills over time, which is a joyful and rewarding feeling. Diana also supports teacher candidates by serving as a cooperating teacher, primarily with student teachers from Sacramento State University. Diana has been teaching since 2004 and is the mother of 3 children.

Maria Davis-Perkins, PhD., M.A., Sp-CCC, Secretary

Maria Davis-Perkins has authored and presented on subjects including: engaging parents of English Language Learners, and tapping student cognitive linguistic skills to improve written expression and confidence in writing skills. Her professional experiences have included: educational consultant to high school staff; speech-language pathologist in schools as well as hospitals; intern supervisor; co-creator of Kaiser cognitive-computer lab; and speech-language pathologist in the private sector. Her research interests include: academic literacy and language skills, speech motor function and dysfunction, the neurological basis of reading and writing development, second language acquisition and its impact on literacy learning; research methods appropriate to assessing intervention effectiveness.

Jemma Kwon, Treasurer

Jemma Kwon is an Assistant Professor in the Teaching Credentials Department of California State University, Sacramento. She worked in inclusive education settings for more than ten years as a special education teacher in Seoul, South Korea, before coming to the United States for her doctorate. She received a Ph. D. degree from the University of Florida with areas of scholarly concentration on students with mathematics difficulties and disabilities, adequate mathematics instructions for those learner populations, and quantitative research methodology. Jemma is the treasurer for the Learning Disabilities Association of California and takes the lead in endeavors regarding STEM education for students with learning disabilities. Ever since moving to the United States, she has been on the road trip for her 63 National Parks bucket list hung on the wall every year.

Alisa Cunningham, Board Member at Large

Alisa Cunningham has been teaching in higher education since 1993 at San Diego Christian College. Alisa began in the business department but eventually landed in study skills, developmental math and handling students on academic warning. Life shifted when she and her three daughters were in a car crash with a drunk driver. All survived but many adjustments were necessary to relearn and adapt, due to a traumatic brain injury and various physical limitations. This is when Alisa learned and lived the value and importance for learning accommodations. Fast forward ten years and her current title is Academic Success Manager and Student Accessibility Services Coordinator for the college.

Cari Edwards, Board Member at Large

Cari is founder and educational advocate with the nonprofit “Achieve Educational Advocacy.” She is also the parent of three school age children and a long time Tracy resident who graduated from San Jose State University. Her involvement in special education began first as an advocate for her own child. She volunteers with Decoding Dyslexia CA a grassroots organization that advocates for Dyslexia awareness. Cari also volunteers with the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) and served as co-chair from 2017-2019 in San Joaquin County. In 2018 she attended William & Mary School of Law (ISEA) Institute of Special Education Advocacy certificate program. In 2019 she completed the COPAA SEAT 2.0 a year long special education law and advocacy training program, and SEAT 3.0. She is passionate about inclusion and equity in education. She works hard to empower parents to learn the tools to advocate for their own children.

Wendy Hileman, Board Member at Large

Wendy Hileman is the Executive Director of a local wellness agency and teaches classes at Southwestern, USC, and SDSU. She chairs the Wellness Committee of LDA-CA. She has a double Masters in Public Health and Social Work and a Ph.D. in Psychology. Most importantly, she’s a caring and energetic person to supports people with disabilities.

Tiffany Maciel, Board Member at Large

Tiffany is a mother of two, an attachment based early support specialist, co-founded the parent initiated nonprofit, Eureka! Inclusive, and serves as the disability representative on the City of San Jose Human Services Commission. A strong advocate for children and equity-based social justice across all sectors of society she is committed to dismantling ableism, de-stigmatizing disability, and desegregating education. She believes that together we can build a world that is accessible and equitable for every single person without exception.