Dr. Donald E. Lyman spent over 47 years of his life working with children with learning differences. Dyslexic himself, he dropped out of school at a young age. He taught himself how to read and write using a series of “tricks” he developed. These “tricks” enabled him to enroll in Catholic University where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1957. Then, as a participant in the A.E.G.I.S. program at Columbia University, he earned his doctorate in Education.
Throughout his remarkable career, Dr. Lyman taught children, much like himself, in New York, Philadelphia, New Jersey public schools and Florida. In Florida he founded three private schools where he served as principal and full-time teacher. He also ran private tutoring centers where he taught children and adults and trained hundreds of teachers in his method.
Dr. Lyman also wrote two books, A School Worth Walking To, Ivy Books, 1966 and Making the Words Stand Still, Houghton Mifflin, 1987. His teaching methods have been used in various research studies, all showing significant positive results not only with dyslexic learners but also with children dealing with ADHD and other learning differences.
In 2005, Alliance Academies was founded by Dr. Lyman, soon after he purchased what was then known as Montessori Children’s Academy. Dr. Lyman had always admired Dr. Montessori’s philosophy and teaching methods as they involve the individualization and hands-on qualities much like those found in his own program. He renamed the school Baldwin Oaks Academy not only to emphasize the natural beauty of the campus but to represent the school’s goal of growing strong minds, bodies, and spirits in the children that were to attend.
Sadly, Dr. Lyman passed away on March 27, 2007. Today, Baldwin Oaks Academy keeps this Master Teacher’s legacy alive through his daughter Jennifer Lyman who continues the use of his program, on a daily basis, at The Lyman School.
In honor of Dr. Lyman, Nieves and Jennifer Lyman formed The Lyman Learning Institute a 501c3 corporation in 2015 and in 2016 integrated Baldwin Oaks Academy elementary program with the new opening of The Lyman School which exclusively uses the Lyman Program along with other innovative programs.