About Spiral Skills

Spiral Skills Tutoring and Academic Coaching was founded in 2019 by Diane Talbot – a former teacher frustrated at her inability to provide the services that her students truly needed to be successful in a classroom setting.

After 13 years in public and private schools, Diane finally took the plunge and opened a full-time tutoring center. The need for services quickly outstripped Diane’s capacity, so she began the search for amazing tutors to further our goal of helping kids and young adults be successful. See below to read about our tutors.

At Spiral Skills, providing individualized instruction and support for students is our passion. We provide private tutoring and academic coaching at our Boulder, CO office or online.

We provide creative, flexible, individualized and assessment-based, research-based, multi-sensory, explicit, and emotionally sound methods to teach children with learning difficulties.

Click here to learn more about the services we offer.

Our Tutors

Diane Talbot, Director

My name is Diane Talbot. I have 15 years of experience working with special needs, twice exceptional, and gifted students. I am LGTBQ affirming.

I can provide enrichment for gifted and curious students who need a challenge, twice exceptional students, and students who are struggling academically for whatever reason.

I support students who need help organizing academic belongings, assignments, and adjusting to a new setting (such as high school or college) as well as with study skills. I can help them access the resources available on campus.

I specialize in working with bright, creative children and young adults who have/are:

  • Dyslexia
  • Dysgraphia
  • Dyscalculia
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Twice Exceptional
  • Gifted and Talented

I also work with students who struggle with:

  • Math Anxiety
  • Low Number Sense
  • Poor Handwriting
  • Poor Written Organizational Skills
  • Poor Executive Function

I also provide professional development for teachers and tutors. Some of my recent credits include:

  • “Project-Based Word Study” – Literacy Nest Online Conference: Building Readers for Life, 2021
  • “Digging Deep into Decodables: Mining Rich Words for Study” -Climbing the Ladder of Reading Success Conference, 2021
  • “Systematizing word study into your Orton Gillingham Sequence (Sounds in Syllables edition)” – ALTA Virginia Chapter, November 2021
  • “Advanced Online Tutoring Skills” -Tutor Success Academy Member’s Club, 2020
  • “Systematizing word study into your Orton Gillingham Sequence” – Literacy Nest Online Conference: Building Readers for Life, 2020
  • “Online Tutoring” – Guest presenter for Tutor Success Academy Member’s Club, 2020
  • “Online Tutoring” – workshops, 2020
  • “Supporting Students and Families during COVID” – Ladder Learning Services, 2020
  • “Adding Word Study to your Orton Gillingham Lessons” – Literacy Nest Online Conference: Building Readers for Life, 2019
  • “A Short History of the English Language” – Ladder Learning Services, 2019

I have also been been a guest Blogger for The Literacy Nest and Castle Rock Online Tutor.

You can learn more about my work on my YouTube channel.

I produce and sell word study products that align with Orton Gillingham methods at https://metamorphicwordstudy.com


  • MA in Education, Western State Colorado University, emphasis in literacy
  • Graduate Coursework in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education
  • Associate Level certification with AOGPE (Academy of Orton Gillingham Practitioners and Educators)
  • Certified Academic Language Practitioner (CALP) level with Academic Language Therapy Association (ALTA)
  • Structured Literacy Dyslexia Interventionist with Center for Effective Reading Instruction (CERI)
  • Math Interventionist certificate from Adams State University
  • Reading Specialist Endorsement from Colorado Department of Education
  • Special Education Generalist from Colorado Department of Education
  • Lindamood Bell LiPS trained
  • Kagan Cooperative Learning Trained
  • Board Member Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities (2013)

I am committed to continuous professional development and individual learning. Here are a few of my ongoing efforts and affiliations:

  • Has taken 50 hours of Certified Level of Academy of Orton Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE) coursework and is working on requirements for Certified Level.
  • Currently working toward becoming a a Certified Instructor with Institute for Excellence in Writing
  • Completed Coursework in Multi-sensory Math through ASDEC
  • Studies Structured Word Inquiry with a variety of teachers and mentors, including Latin for Orthographers 1 and 2, Greek Transcription, Greek for Orthographers, Understanding How to Read Lewis and Short, The Suffix -<-ic>, Lexical Doublets, and Real Script taught by Michel Rameau of Real Spelling.
  • Administrator of Word Study Investigation Facebook group
  • Active Member (and assistant administrator of) Orton Gillingham Instructors Facebook group and Book Study Group
  • Professional Member of the International Dyslexia Association
  • Member of Academic Language Therapists Association (ALTA)

On a personal note, I am the mother of five gifted and/or twice exceptional adult children and the grandmother to four. I am a serious ceramic artist, gardener, and yogi. I love to read and in 2019, often surpass my Goodreads reading challenge goal of reading 50 books each year.

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Michaele Griffey

My name is Michaele Griffey (Michelle) and I am presently in my twentieth year of teaching, providing highly effective, caring and friendly instruction. I currently teach 3rd grade math, science, social studies, and STEAM.  My goal is to make sure everyone loves math!

I meet and or exceed academic goals with excellent communication and teaching skills that have resulted in above district and state average CMAS score 3 years in a row.  I guide my students with motivating, encouraging, and challenge tasks to help them reach their highest potential. I help my students by thinking on my feet and adapt my teaching to fit any learning style.  If a student is not understanding a concept, I am able to teach it in another way until the student is able to “see” or visualize the idea being taught.  I try to make learning fun and engaging for every student.

I specialize in working with low performing students who are struggling academic or have low motivation.  Having learning difficulties as a child drove my passion to learn how to help others with like difficulties know that there is always a gift in any “difference” they may have and that can be used not only succeed but also thrive.  I integrate growth mindset vs fixed mindset into my teaching to illustrate the only failure is in giving up.  The most powerful word is the word YET!

I am the mother of two boys, the stepmother to three girls, have two cats and two dogs.  I need coffee to get me through the dirt and hair left from my furry friends.  I enjoy being outside and listening to books on audio.


  • M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction in Math & Science, University of Colorado, Denver
  • M.A. in Psychology-Contemplative Psychotherapy, Naropa University, Boulder
  • Elementary teacher 20 + years
  • International Baccalaureate-Level 2 trained
  • Lindamood-Bell Trained
  • Kagan Cooperative Learning Trained

Kiso Kyle

My name is Kiso Kyle and my years of teaching experience depends on what you count. I caught the teaching bug while working as a Peace Corps volunteer in Armenia. There I taught ESL and health classes for two years.

A few years after I returned, I worked in preschool for three years while I earned a master’s degree in secondary education. After earning my MaED, I began work at Westgate School as a middle school teacher. I worked there in multiple classes from fifth grade all the way through high school, teaching all four core subjects, as well as heading the after-school theater program. The school specialized in working with gifted and twice exceptional students.

In 2018, I moved to the public-school system working in the middle school and again teaching all four core subjects during different years. This school is an intensive program for students who wish to have an international focus.

I also worked for over 10 years with the Hope refugee program teaching ESL to adult refuges from all over the world.

I help students complete content work and with organizational skills, work completion, and self-advocacy.


  • Master’s degree in secondary education, endorsements in k-8 general, secondary language arts, and secondary science (general)
  • Years of experience: Preschool/kindergarten/afterschool clubs – 5 years, Level 5/6 (math, science, world studies) 3 months, Middle school – 6-8    6 years ( all core subjects – math, science, language arts, and world studies), High school 1 year – language arts and science, Adult ESL – over 10 years
  • Week long course on 2 E learning from CDE
  • Two day long conference on 3 dimensional learning in science from NSTA (National Science Teachers of America
  • Data and learning certificate from the Museum of Nature and Science
  • GLOBE certificate on weather

Arlene Vigil Olech

Arlene Vigil Olech retired from Adams County School District 14 in May 2020. She was a special education teacher for 29.6 years.  Arlene and Diane met when they were both board members for the Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities. Arlene was president for CCLD in 2013.

Arlene has  a Master’s Degree in Moderate Needs, an Endorsement in Severe Needs, an Endorsement in Linguistically Diverse Education, and is recognized by the State of Colorado as a Special Education Generalist and a Special Education Specialist.

In addition to her formal education, she has been a trainer for CR Success Learning Program and Language 3!  Also, she has taken Associate Level training in the Orton-Gillingham Methodology through The Academy of Orton Gillingham Practitioners and Teachers (AOGPE.) During her teaching career, she has been a special education teacher as well as a special education coach.

Arlene and her husband, Dan, have been married for 47 years. They moved to Colorado from Chicago, Illinois in 1977 and they have four children and nine grandchildren.  

Lisa Rice

I am a certified elementary school teacher specialized in working with young children, grades preK-3. 

Trained in:

  • Early childhood development
  • Multi-sensory learning approaches for reading and math instruction
  • Orton-Gillingham (OG) reading instruction
  • Phonemic Awareness & Phonics instruction
  • Scientifically-proven practices in remediating reading difficulties

I believe every child can become a successful student. Whether your child has been diagnosed with a learning disability such as dyslexia, has fallen behind their peers, or simply seems unmotivated or frustrated when it comes to learning, I am here to help. As the mother of a child with dyslexia, I understand the complexities of teaching and raising a child with a differently-wired brain. I can’t wait to meet your unique child and help them build their confidence and skills! 


  • Bachelor of Arts in Business: CU Boulder
  • Multiple Subject Teaching Credential: SF State University
  • Elementary teacher 5 + years (Grades K-3)
  • Certified to Administer the GDO-R Child Development Screening:  Gesell Institute
  • Orton-Gillinham Trained: Institute for Multi-Sensory Education
  • Phonemic Awareness Trained: Heggerty 
  • Multi-Sensory Mathematics Trained: Marilyn Zecher