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Ben Shifrin is serving his 14th year as head of Jemicy School in Owings Mills, Maryland. Prior to coming to the Jemicy School, Mr. Shifrin lived and worked in California and spent 14 years serving as a special education administrator in the Unified School District of Los Angeles. He later served as the head of Westmark School, one of California’s premier institutions for students with learning differences. During this time he also served as a board member of the L.A. Chapter of the International Dyslexia Association and a member of the Learning Disabilities Association and the National Association of Independent Schools. Ben moved to Baltimore to become head of Jemicy School in 2002, and shortly after, facilitated a merger with Valley Academy helping to successfully create Baltimore’s first 1st through 12th grade curriculum for students with language-based learning differences.
In 2009, Ben was appointed to the Executive Board of Directors for the International Dyslexia Association (IDA), served as its treasurer, and currently holds the position of vice president. In 2013, he was selected to serve on the Advisory Committee on Exceptional Children, which advises the U.S. State Department’s Office of Overseas Schools – helping families and educators in the identification and nurturing of children with both learning challenges and giftedness. In 2014, Ben accepted an invitation from Stevenson University to join the President’s Advisory Council, and in the summer of 2015, was selected by Maryland’s governor, Larry Hogan, to join the Governor’s Dyslexia Task Force.
Ben speaks nationally on the collaboration between neuroscience and education, as well as on other topics relevant to learning differences. He is a summa cum laude graduate of Temple University, earning an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and then a master’s degree in Special Education and Administration. Dyslexic himself, Ben brings a uniquely sensitive approach to working with Jemicy students and lives up to his commitment that students’ needs come before all else.