About Us

We are a nonprofit organization dedicated to learning for all as we recognize that all great minds don't think alike.


Meet Our Team

Meet our professional staff of diagnosticians and instructors versed in a wide range of disciplines.


Success Stories

Read stories and testimonials about learners of all ages who found academic and social success at the Stern Center.


Course Calendar

Join our knowledgeable and experienced staff in learning research-proven strategies in the areas of literacy, social cognition, math, and more.


Courses & Workshops

Browse our entire collection of Professional Learning offerings. Find a course for yourself or design a customized remedial program for your school/district.



Discover the program that teaches early care and education providers as well as parents how to foster early literacy skills in children ages five and under.


Blanche Podhajski, Ph.D.


Blanche Podhajski founded the Stern Center for Language and Learning in 1983 with a clear mission: she envisioned a learning center that combined direct services for individuals, training for educators, and research on learning differences. Thanks to her vision, the Stern Center has become a renowned learning resource for our region and nationally.

Dr. Podhajski has over forty years experience working with individuals with learning differences. She teaches and consults with educators throughout the country and is a frequent presenter at regional and national conferences. She is the co-author of Sounds Abound and BUILDING BLOCKS FOR LITERACY®.

View publications and presentations.

Michael Shapiro, M.B.A.

Chief Operating Officer

Michael has been working in corporate finance for 18 years. Past professional experiences include Fidelity in Boston, Sotheby’s in NewYork, and Revision Military in Essex Junction, Vermont. 



Janna Osman, M.Ed.

Vice President for Advanced Learning

Janna Osman comes to the Stern Center having spent 8 years as the Learning Disabilities Consultant at the Vermont Department of Education. She spent 12 years as a special education practitioner and a practicum coordinator at St. Michael’s College. Her collaboration with the Stern Center, in her role with the DOE, led to the development of The VT Lab School, and a Tier 3 assessment and instruction design for students with learning disabilities. Her position at the Stern Center enables her to design and provide outreach professional learning opportunities for educators and families, to enhance the lives of all learners, on both a state and national level.

Edward R. Wilkens, Ed.D.

Special Projects Advisor

Ed Wilkens served as a Vermont public school principal for 19 years across all grade levels pre-K through grade 12. He lives in Charlotte, VT with his wife and enjoys reading with his grand kids. 

Having the opportunity for a coach to watch your lesson and give you feedback based on a student's needs is crucial for professional growth. The O-G course and practicum are invaluable and the effects will last a lifetime for all of us.

- Special Education Teacher in an Orton-Gillingham Classroom Educator training course