Collaborators & Contributors

Katrin "Kate" McElderry            Christine Hyde                          "BJ" McElderry                       David Donohue                                                                    

Christine Hyde, M.ED., is a reading specialist, currently teaching at the Rockboro Primary School. A master teacher, she specializes in the topics of English, literacy, dyslexia, and mathematics. Christine studied at Boston College, University of Denver and University Cork College, where she received a masters degree in education. Christine is known for her multi-sensory instruction and holistic approach to teaching. Considering the whole child; the social-emotional wellbeing, physical health, as well as intellectual potential, is at the heart of Christine's teaching practice. She infuses topics of leadership, resilience, and mindset work into her curriculum. Christine currently devotes much time learning and teaching about the virtues of yoga, mindfulness, meditation, and healthy eating. An experienced instructor, she has worked with a variety of ages--from young to older students in reading and mathematics. Based in Cork, Christine enjoys connecting and collaborating with other educators and dyslexia advocates in Ireland and the United States. An accomplished, equestrian and runner, Christine competes competitively. In her free time, Christine enjoys these activities and having fun with her family.

Katrin "Kate" McElderry, has taught science, art, language, and literacy skills in both traditional and non-traditional settings; online and in the classroom. She currently teaches at The Odyssey School, a unique learning community for students with dyslexia. Trained and certified in Phono-Graphix, Orton-Gillingham reading programs, Spell Links word study, and the EmPOWER writing method, Kate holds a M.A. in instructional systems design and curriculum development. During her studies, Kate taught as a graduate assistant at University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) in the education department. She is a contributor to the Creativity and Education platform and serves on the Board of Directors for International Dyslexia Association in Maryland. A returned, Peace Corps Volunteer, Kate served in Paraguay working in schools and developing courses with universities and non-profit organizations. She has been developing curriculum and programs ever since. Besides South America, her in-person workshops have spanned the US, UK, and Ireland, with online workshops, serving participants from Kenya and Nigeria as well. Empowering youth, supporting parents, and connecting internationally, are some of Kate’s passions. The daughter of an artist, Kate is a believer in the arts as a form of self-expression, and also as a mechanism for learning and bolstering academic skills. She loves creating art herself and traveling when she can. In her free time, Kate takes advantage of a variety of outdoor activities with her family. 





Barbara "BJ" McElderry, is a gradute of Maryland Institute College of Art and Wesleyan University. She holds degrees in Fine Arts; Drawing and Painting, Education, and Art History. A teacher for over 40 years, she has taught all ages, focusing much of her career teaching adolescents at the high school level. At the Garrison Forest School, she developed many interdisciplinary art programs, including the Asian Studies program. BJ recently helped illustrate a book and founded the Adventures in Chinese Summer Program. She is a member of the Confucious Institute through University of Maryland College Park and has served on several boards at art colleges and universities. Over her long career, BJ has particpated in teaching and painting sabbaticals that have taken her to France, Italy, Ireland, England, Germany, Egypt, Paraguay, Argentina, China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. Mother to two grown children, Kevin and Kate, BJ is an active grandmother, community member, and artist. She volunteers at her grandchildren's schools doing interdisciplinary programs like "Crazy 8's" (mathematics and art) and joins Flourish as a guest teacher for workshops.

David Donohue, is the author of three children's books including, the best-seller, Walter Speazlebud. Before segueing into a career of music, film-making and writing, he completed a four-year degree in graphic design and communications from the Waterford School of Art. His work has been featured on BBC and RTÉ. David developed and facilitated the Young Critics Project with Carlow Arts Festival and Kilkenny Arts Week and held the David Donohue Book Club—an online summer book club for youth. As a visiting artist, author and speaker, David delivers inspirational talks to children and educators about the power of encouragement, creativity, and noitanigami (that's imagination spelled backwards). David's workshops educate and also entertain with his rich sense of humor and special talent for backwards spelling. Participants are afforded opportunities to become writers and artists themselves, reflecting upon their unique learning profiles as they write, discuss, and create. Besides a life in the arts, David is a script writer, film collaborator, journalist, horse-racing enthusiast, and an oyster farmer. He enjoys wild food foraging and painting in the Burren, Ireland. 

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