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Legacy LDA Board Member and Steadfast Agency Supporter

My first encounter with the Learning Disabilities Association (LDA) occurred when the part-time coordinator spoke at my first graduate course in 1975. She must have been very impressive because it was not long afterwards that I focused my studies on Special Education and Learning Disabilities in particular.

While all this was occurring, one of my sons was struggling with learning to read. He was frustrated and often asked, “Why is this so hard for me and so easy for everybody else?” Decoding was a struggle but his comprehension was terrific.

I became a Special Education teacher and worked for more than 30 years in the Rochester City School District at the elementary or preschool level, then in administration for the District.Former Monroe County Executive Bob King, Shirley Jung, and LDA members celebrate Learning Disabilities Association Month in the early 1990s

 

From LDA, I learned the importance of knowing and following the requirements of the law in seeking support and help. As my son progressed in school, I learned how to request the appropriate services and supports he needed to be successful.

In the late 1970s, I joined the Advisory Council for LDA. We planned workshops and conferences for families and school personnel, and held fundraisers.

Being on the Board and participating in workshops and conferences was extremely helpful during those years. I loved the support of the staff and other volunteers. At one workshop, one of my co-board members commented, “Shirley, ten years ago, we were the parents out there!”

I served on the LDA Board for at least 20 years—as Secretary, Vice President, and President—and eventually the LDA Foundation Board.

My husband, Joseph, and I have three children and two grandchildren. We now live in Florida. Our son graduated from high school, graduated from college, and worked in law enforcement in Georgia for 22 years. He recently retired, and now lives near us.

I support Starbridge because my experiences at LDA showed me the importance of having support when you have to navigate through large organizations like school districts and other government systems.

I want other families to have the same opportunities I had – or better.

~ Shirley Jung

“Shirley was the consummate professional special ed coordinator. She was fair, consistent, and highly organized. Her in-depth knowledge of children with special needs was respected by everyone who knew her.” ~ Cheri Riley, retired teacher and Starbridge Board member

“Shirley was an instrumental leader on our board, advocating for children and youth with learning disabilities to receive an appropriate education. Her passion, both professional and as a volunteer, continues to this day.” ~ Colin Garwood, President/CEO of Starbridge

 

This article originally appeared in Champions, Issue 4, in Fall of 2018.