Dr. Jane R. Snider, Ed.D. - Founding Executive Director
Dr. Jane Snider, who received her B.A., M.A., and, in 1978, her Ed.D. in special education from The George Washington University, began her career as a special education classroom teacher. Since, she has become a pioneer in the field of educating children with certain learning disabilities. After personally observing and working with thousands of children who were not performing in their various school environments, she discovered that many students have differing learning patterns. Frustrated and lacking self-esteem, these children, often labeled as learning disabled, were crying out for help. They had trouble reading, writing, or breaking big tasks into smaller steps. Yet Dr. Snider knew they could learn with a different learning environment and teaching strategy. In her view, the children were not learning disabled; they merely learned differently.
Following classroom teaching, Dr. Snider became an assistant professor of special education at The George Washington University. After three years full time, she opened a diagnostic and tutorial center in Annapolis, serving hundreds of children from public, private and religious schools. She has a staff of tutors, and consulted with boarding schools throughout the east coast that serve students with learning challenges. The center served children and families from 1982 to 1989.
When Dr. Snider realized that few area schools could cater to dyslexic children, she envisioned creating a school environment in which children would be educated according to their individual learning styles and needs. Thus was born The Summit School, grades one through eight, with an academic program tailored to each child's specific learning needs.
Armed with her vision, she established an independent not-for-profit school, developed the school's mission statement, and in the fall of 1989, opened the doors, beginning with twenty-five children and seven teachers. Today, the nationally recognized campus has approximately one hundred students and more than thirty teachers. Hundreds of students have graduated and succeeded.
Dr. Snider's efforts have empowered the faculty, the parents, and especially the children. She is passionate in her desire to rebuild each child's self-esteem. "There are no learning disabilities," she said. "There are only teaching disabilities. Each child wants to succeed and each child is successful on his own time line." The parents of Summit School's children remain Dr. Snider's most powerful supporters. She now serves as Summit’s Executive Director.