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Diana Hanbury King, Educational Pioneer
The "Einstein of Education"

Working Miracles and Transforming Lives

Diana Hanbury King is one of the most influential Orton-Gillingham practitioners in history. In the course of her 54 years as a teacher, she has transformed the lives of countless young people with dyslexia, and even received training under Anna Gillingham.

Her vision created cutting edge education for students with dyslexia, and she developed a program for training teachers at Kildonan that has become a model program. - The International Dyslexia Association

Diana was born in London. She is a lover of language (speaks Italian, German, French, and taught Latin), who fell in love with teaching as well. On a trip to South Africa, she met an uncle with dyslexia.

When few people knew or understood what dyslexia was, she started a camp for children with learning difficulties in Pennsylvania.

She has been working with children with dyslexia almost longer than anyone else in the field. She has tutored students one-on-one since the early 1950's and trained hundreds of teachers.

She was the founder of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators, (AOGPE) which certifies Practitioners and Educators who use the Orton-Gillingham Approach.

“When a child is not learning, the teacher is not teaching.”

One By One: The Teachings of Diana King

The daily Orton Gillingham tutoring is the most effective way of enabling students to gain the skills they need in order to reach their potential. The results of these one-to-one tutorials are often nothing short of miraculous.
—Diana Hanbury King, Founder of The Kildonan School

In 2014, Emmy Award winning filmmaker Harvey Hubell V’s produced and directed the documentary, “One By One: The Teachings of Diana King" chronicling Diana and her groundbreaking work.

videoWatch the trailer - as "Diana shares a lifetime of knowledge as she effortlessly instructs 3 students, ages 5-15, at her charming country home in Connecticut, highlighting the importance of early intervention, motor memory and teacher engagement."

In the film, Harvey showcases Diana’s personality, wisdom and approach to teaching as she shares and demonstrates concrete tools, techniques and best practices for early intervention and working with students– particularly those with dyslexia and learning differences.

The film is a cutting-edge tour de force in the world of learning differences, presenting content never before captured or presented on film and designed to be accessible and especially relevant to individuals, families, and professionals in the field.

Diana will be the featured speaker at Reading in the Rockies 2017 in October 2017, sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Branch of the International Dyslexia Association. During this event, you will also have the chance to to view the film One By One: The Teachings of Diana King.

In 2013, Diana visited Pete and Pam Wright at their home in Deltaville, VA and spoke about the traits of dyslexia that make the dyslexic adult so successful. She is considered to be one of the top "Guru's" in the field of dyslexia.

videoDyslexia: The most important trait is...

Listen as Diana describes the importance of innate and instinctive personal charm, and of thinking outside the box.

Diana Hanbury King is a master teacher with over half a century of experience.

In late 2016, Diana was nominated for a "Teacher of the Year" award from the National Teachers Hall of Fame (NTHF). Pete Wright, in his capacity as a former "Student" was asked to write a one page letter in support of the nomination. Instead of awarding her a "Teacher of the Year" award, she was awarded their Lifetime Achievement Award, only the second one in their 25 year history!

They asked Pete Wright to present the Award. Why? Because in the early 1950's, for two years, every day, after school, an hour a day, using the Orton-Gillingham Approach, she taught Pete how to read!

At the NTHF ceremony, the attendees began calling her the Einstein of Education!


Started Camp Dunnabeck in Farmingham, PA, a camp for children with learning difficulties. Diana ran Camp Dunnabeck for 28 summers. The Camp continues today at Kildonan School.


Opened a school, beginning with seven students, in Buck’s County, PA.


Relocated the school to Amenia, NY. Diana named the new school Kildonan, after her uncle's farm in South Africa. The Kildonan School is exclusively for students with dyslexia and language-based learning disabilities.


International Dyslexia Association’s New York Branch Annual Award.


Samuel T. Orton Award, the highest award of the International Dyslexia Association, in recognition of her gifted teaching that has enhanced beyond measure the quality of life for a myriad of dyslexic students and their families.


Founding Fellow of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators


Recognized as an IDA Pioneer for the enormous contributions to the understanding and treatment of dyslexia world–wide, impacting the fields of education, speech and language and medicine.


Margaret Byrd Lawson Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her compassion, leadership, commitment to excellence, advocacy for people with dyslexia, and work nationally recognized as furthering the mission of IDA.


Retired from teaching at age 85.


Lifetime Achievement Award from The National Teachers Hall of Fame.

Books by Diana Hanbury King

A Guide for Helping Your Child at Home; Developing Foundational Skills in Reading and Writing

Writing Skills I

Writing Skills II

Writing Skills III

Writing Skills for the Adolescent

Keyboarding Skills

English Isn’t Crazy: The Elements of Our Language and How to Teach Them

One By One: Working With Dyslexia

Cursive Writing Skills

Celebrating a Milestone

Happy 90th Birthday, Diana! Diana Hanbury King, a Founding Fellow of the Academy, turns 90 on September 2, 2017!

Help celebrate by sending Diana a birthday or thank you card. Email your birthday wishes, thank you note to info | at | ortonacademy.org or snail mail your card to the Academy office (AOGPE) and it will be hand delivered to Diana on her birthday.

c/o Diana King
PO Box 234
Amenia, NY 12501

Not sure what to say? Let Diana know what her life's work means to you, include a funny story, a training tale, or simply wish her a Happy Birthday.

Thanks for participating in this birthday surprise.

Read More about Diana King

Three Generations of Dyslexia at the U.S. Supreme Court

Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators

videoTribute to IDA Pioneers: Diana Hanbury King

IDA - Moving Forward While Looking Back - IDA’s Pioneers recognized at 62nd Annual Conference.

Diana Hanbury King receives Lifetime Achievement Award from National Teachers Hall of Fame

Diana King Retires from Teaching

The Kildonan School

On May 12, 2012, Kildonan held a Founder's Day presentation and Pete talked about Diana's life and her impact on him.

Originally Created: 08/25/17, last edit: 09/12/17

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