Our Founder-Dr. Donald E. Lyman

Dr. Donald E. Lyman spent a good portion of his life, 49 years, working with children with learning differences.  Dyslexic himself, he dropped out of school at a young age.  He taught himself how to read and write using a series of “tricks” he developed himself.  These “tricks” enabled him to enroll in Catholic University where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1957.  Then, as a participant in the A.E.G.I.S. program at Columbia University, he earned his doctorate in Education.

Throughout his remarkable career, Dr. Lyman taught children, much like himself, in New York City, Buffalo, Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey public schools.  In addition, he founded three private schools in Florida where he served as principal and full-time teacher.  He also taught and tutored children privately and trained hundreds of teachers in his method.

Dr. Lyman also wrote two books, “A School Worth Walking To”, Ivy Books, 1966 and “Making the Words Stand Still”, Houghton Mifflin, 1987.  His teaching methods have been used in various research studies, all showing dramaticallly significant positive results not only with dyslexic learners but also with children suffering from ADHD and other learning differences.

In 2005, Alliance Academies, founded and owned by Dr. Lyman, purchased what was then known as Montessori Children’s Academy.  Dr. Lyman had always admired Dr. Montessori’s philosophy and teaching methods as they involved the individualization and hands-on qualities much like those found in his own program.  He renamed the school Baldwin Oaks Academy not only to emphasize the natural beauty of the campus but to represent the school’s goal of growing strong minds, bodies, and spirits in the children that were to attend.

Unfortunately, Dr. Lyman passed away on March 27, 2007.  Today, Baldwin Oaks Academy keeps this Master Teacher’s legacy alive through a continuation of his program, on a daily basis, at the elementary campus.  Beginning readers at our Primary campus who may be struggling with sounds or writing are introduced to the W.I.N (Weaving Interactive Networks)program, a version of Dr. Lyman’s program tailored to fit the needs of the youngest of our students.


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