Meet Our Team
"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." -Mahatma Gandhi
Dixie has a true passion for literacy. She is a Certified Dyslexia Interventionist and advocate for children and adults with dyslexia. She is a member of the Arkansas Dyslexia Support Group and supports many other groups dedicated to improving literacy in Arkansas. Dixie is constantly learning about the best practices for teaching literacy skills and supports the use of scientifically researched and proven methods.Her goal is to give everyone the opportunity to learn to read and achieve their goals. I her spare time, Dixie enjoys spending time with her husband, Brad, and their daughter, Natalie. She loves the theatre and cooking. Dixie is an active volunteer and supporter of many organizations.
Linda holds both a BS and an MAT degree and has taught mathematics in Ontario, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. She started working with the Literacy Council of White County following her retirement from ASU-Beebe in 2010, and she has served as both vice-president and president of the Board of Directors. Reading has always been one of Linda's favorite activities. She enjoys both fiction and non-fiction. Her favorite authors include Beverly Cleary, John Grisham, Doris Kearns Goodwin, David McCullough, and James Michener. Linda also volunteers as a tutor, and she appreciates the emphasis on phonics that is in the Laubach material she has used with her students.
Valerie Canepa is a retired newspaper executive who now works as a real estate agent at Re/Max Advantage in Searcy. She is a graduate of Searcy High School and the University of Arkansas and has a BA in journalism. Her 25-year newspaper career with Gannett and McClatchy newspaper companies took her from Little Rock to California and back. She started as a reporter at the Arkansas Gazette and retired as publisher of the Ledger-Enquirer, a daily newspaper in Columbus, GA, before moving back to Searcy in 2011. She has volunteered for a number of charitable and community organizations, including Columbus Hospice, San Francisco General Hospital and CASA of Fresno County.
Alison Baird joined the Board of Directors in 2014. She holds a B.A in Sociology, an M.Ed in Early Childhood Education, and an M.S. in Library and Information Science. Alison works to promote literacy daily in her job as Elementary Librarian at White County Central Schools in Judsonia. She and her husband, Jim, are active in their community, participating in the Boy Scouts of America and their local church. Alison serves on the Literacy Council board because she wants all parents and children in White County to experience the bond that comes from reading together. She believes that educating parents is vital if we are to break the cycle of illiteracy in Arkansas.
Dr. Kristi Bond is Assistant Professor of Spanish at Harding University. She specializes in methods of teaching foreign languages. Dr. Bond moved to Searcy in 2011 while completing her Ph.D. in Linguistics at the University of Kansas. Her passion for languages has led her to participate in many overseas trips with students and in foreign missions, as well as consulting for non-profit organizations. She has served on the board of the Literacy Council since 2012, a decision that was prompted by her desire to learn more about the needs of Searcy residents and contribute to the well-being of our community.
Rosario Estrada is a freelance interpreter in Central Arkansas. She holds an Arkansas Child Care Orientation Certificate from the University of Arkansas and was awarded a Certificate of Completion of After-school Provider Training from the University of Arkansas, Cooperative Extension service. Her dedication to inspiring, nurturing, and challenging the minds of ESL students through teaching led to her employment at Bald Knob Public Schools, Bald Knob Head Start, Bald Knob Hippy Program, CAPCA Head Start Migrant Program in Kensett and membership of the Literacy Council of White County since 2005.