New Faces at IDA

New Faces

IDA has recently hired additional staff to support the Educator Training Initiative (ETI). Dr. Monica McHale-Small has joined IDA as the Director of Program Accreditation, a newly created position, and Sue Timony-Hall was recently hired as the new Coordinator of Educator Training Initiatives.

The Center for Effective Reading Instruction (CERI) has hired Desjanee Threat to serve as the new Certification Coordinator.

Please reach out to Monica, Sue, and Desja with a warm IDA welcome!
Read on to learn more about our new hires and how to get in touch with them.


Dr. McHale-Small will spend her first several months developing training resources and infrastructures to support the recent launch of IDA’s refined Program Review and Accreditation initiative before taking on outreach and expansion initiatives in international markets and public policy forums.

“Dr. McHale-Small’s deep commitment to promoting evidence-based language and literacy practices across the P-20 continuum and her rich and varied professional experiences make her the ideal candidate to lead the accreditation initiative,” says IDA’s Chief Academic Officer of Educator Training Initiatives, Dr. Jule McCombes-Tolis. “As a former superintendent, Dr. McHale-Small understands the positive impact that a classroom-ready reading teacher can have on student achievement and on districts’ operating budgets.”

Dr. McHale-Small holds a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development from the University of Pennsylvania and has recently retired from public education after twenty-seven years of service, most recently in the role of superintendent.

You can contact Dr. McHale-Small with your accreditation questions by emailing

Ms. Timony-Hall became interested in literacy in 2008 while volunteering for children experiencing homelessness in New Haven, Connecticut. This interest led her to coursework in Orton-Gillingham and practicum experience with both underprivileged and private school students. In recent years, Sue has served as an authorized minister of children and youth with the United Church of Christ.

“Sue’s deep commitment to social justice and equity are a wonderful fit for ETI, and her warm, supportive nature will help us to expand our initiatives in considerate ways,” says Dr. McCombes-Tolis.

Sue will support ETI, including the accreditation initiative, by assisting with the establishment and coordination of a range of advisory and working groups, developing pathways for branch collaborations, and expanding the voice of parents.

To reach Sue, please send her an email at:

Ms. Threat (Desja) was born in Fresno, California, and moved to Baltimore, Maryland, August 2018. She attended California State University, Fresno, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration Management with a minor in Philanthropic and Community-Based Leadership. She is currently working towards her master’s degree in Higher Education Administration at Morgan State University. Desja started as the CERI Coordinator in November 2018. She believes that everyone should have access to education to lead the way for future generations. She wants to dedicate her life to giving others access to education through community and economic development.

You can get in touch with Desja by emailing

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