Meet Our TEAM
Beth Hatlen, M.Ed., CEO
Classmates Educational Group, Inc.
Beth received her training and certification at National-Louis University where she earned a Master of Education in Reading, as well as, Curriculum and Instruction. For over 20 years, she has provided academic instruction in a public school, as an early childhood special education teacher, kindergarten, and first grade teacher. Beth spent the last 5 of her 22 years of teaching as the reading specialist in a K-6, Title One school in suburban Chicago. In this role, Beth is often the one to first observe signs of dyslexia for students early in their academic career. Beth regularly presented to staff members within the district on best practices in reading, with a direct focus on students with dyslexia. Additionally, she has presented at the national NWEA conference, Illinois Reading Council conferences and local professional development conferences. She has been awarded as the Teacher of the Year by her local teachers’ union for her passion for teaching reading to students and encouraging growth among her colleagues. Beth is a published co-author of an educational book in a series titled NOW Classrooms: Enhancing Teaching and Learning through Technology (2018).
Karla O'Brien, M.Ed., CEO
Classmates Educational Group, Inc.
Karla is a nationwide presenter of dyslexia, structured literacy, and various topics related to early literacy instruction. She has over 20 years of experience as a special education teacher working with administrators, teachers, and students in the field of reading intervention, the RTI process and special education. She is the author of "Dyslexia: Practical Methods to Improve Student Outcomes (Grades 6-12)." Karla has extensive experience working with special education teams, collaborating with families and staff to meet the needs of students with an array of learning needs, many of whom have been diagnosed with dyslexia. She has solid knowledge of the structure of the English language and Orton-Gillingham methodology. Karla is a proud member and supporter of the International Dyslexia Association and Reading League.
Marsha A. Geller, M.Ed.
Creator & Original Author
Marsha has over 30 years of experience consulting with teachers and working with students with reading difficulties in both private practice and public school settings. Marsha has an extensive background in Orton-Gillingham, bringing that knowledge into the development of the SLANT System®. She consults with schools to provide professional development in the areas of reading and early literacy, as well as in implementation of RTI/MTSS practices and reading assessment. Formerly, Marsha was an Assistant Professor in the Special Education Program at National Louis University in Wheeling, IL. where, for over 25 years, she developed and taught classes in the diagnosis and remediation of reading disabilities. Marsha is a former president of the Illinois Branch of the International Dyslexia Association and a frequent speaker at state and national conferences.
Coaches & Instructors
All SLANT System® Coaches, Instructors, and Consultants have at least a Masters' Degree in Education or Special Education. All have extensive experience in the classroom, or as interventionists, administrators, or educational diagnosticians. All coaches and instructors are independently contracted by Classmates Educational Group, Inc.