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Our mission is to ensure that all individuals with dyslexia become readers.

Our Story

Sarah McGuire_Family Photo.jpeg

Sarah Dieck McGuire

& Family

If you are like us and are itching to know who you are reading about and know how they ended up working together, then here you go! Here is ‘Our Story’.

We first met in 2003 and quickly became friends. We were both teachers at a reading school in Co Dublin, Ireland, a school for children who have dyslexia. We had much in common-we both loved traveling, having a laugh, and spending time with our families. We both had U.S connections-one of us hailing from Chicago, and one of us having lived in NYC. We even shared the same name,


Sarah Watchorn family photo

Sarah Lumsden Watchorn

& Family

We had a shared commitment and passion for getting children reading which was clear all those years ago and remains so today. We would spend many late nights and weekends working together on finding the most effective approach to teach our students with dyslexia how to read.


We tried and tested numerous reading programmes, approaches and systems from Ireland, Australia, the UK and USA in the classroom. We were determined to find a solution!

After all our research and trial and testing, we had finally figured it out. It was actually quite simple. We knew our students learn differently and need to be taught differently. We needed to find a comprehensive programme that followed the Orton Gillingham approach and was specifically designed to teach students with dyslexia HOW TO READ. A programme that starts at learning/ relearning sounds, no matter what stage the learner is at and upon mastery, systematically builds up. The programmes available did not accomplish this. They addressed parts but not the whole.

We knew that once our students mastered the foundations of how to read, they would be able to practise and read accurately; comprehend and read for fluency.

Our mission is to ensure that all individuals with dyslexia become readers.

As both teachers and parents, we are passionate about the importance of helping children with dyslexia to be able to read fluently.

We understand deeply the challenges caused by low confidence and poor self-esteem in children who would like to be able to read more easily. This course is designed to help unlock their reading potential, and in turn help them access all areas of education.

This step–by-step programme is designed for you to go at the pace of the learner, to ensure that they get to understand, practise and use their new skills each step of the way.

Sarah Dieck McGuire Director at The Learning Academy

Sarah Dieck McGuire


Sarah Dieck Mc Guire (Director) was born and raised in the USA. She attended Western Michigan University and went on to earn an honours Masters degree in Teaching, Special Education at the University of Charleston, S.C.,and this is where she fell in love with teaching children with dyslexia how to read. 


Sarah has been successfully teaching students with dyslexia how to read for twenty-three years, in the USA and in Ireland, in a range of settings. She says the best part of her job is seeing the children’s confidence and self-esteem soar as they begin to understand how to read and see that they have the capability to read.


Sarah now lives in beautiful Béal an Mhuirthead, (Belmullet), Co Mayo, in the west of Ireland, with her husband and two daughters. ​ 


Sarah has completed the Wilson Reading System Advanced Diploma and the Orton-Gillingham practitioner's course.

Sarah Lumsden Watchorn Director at The Learning Academy

Sarah Lumsden Watchorn


Sarah Lumsden Watchorn (Director) has been teaching children with dyslexia for the past twenty-seven years. A mum who loves nothing more than family time with her husband and three children in Greystones, Co Wicklow, Sarah is passionate about teaching reading. 

Sarah spent her childhood in Paris, and taught in NYC, two cities she holds close to her heart. Sarah earned her Masters degree in Special Educational Needs (M.Ed SEN) from University College Dublin.

Sarah has completed a degree in Montessori Education, the Wilson Reading System Advanced Diploma and the Orton Gillingham practitioner's course.


“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”

― Dr. Seuss

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