The 2017 Annual Meeting may be over, but there’s still so much to talk about! For the newest Fellows and COVTs who earned their certifications this year, this past Meeting in Jacksonville, Florida, is sure to be one that they never forget. 

In order to continue to honor their outstanding effort and commitment, we reached out to each of these newly-certified optometrists and vision therapists to bring you the “WHY” (and how and where!) of their certification process. This week is Shannon Sires, COVT!


Where are you now?

  • Where do you practice/work?
    I work in La Crosse Wisconsin at Vision Therapy Academy. We have one optometrist (Dr. Ann Wonderling), 2 full-time Certified Optometric Vision Therapists (including myself), and 2 other part-time vision therapists.

How did you get involved with VT?

When I was 16, I went through vision therapy. I was a straight-A student, but my school work took me much longer than all my classmates. I had to work extremely hard for my grades.  I was amazed how much easier my school work was [after vision therapy] and ended up graduating Valedictorian of my class.

The Certification

  • What made you decide to pursue certification through COVD? 
    I am always striving to learn more for my patients and I thought this would be a great way to better myself, and my patients

What have you learned?

With working through this with a mentor, and during the oral examination  I came across a few new activities that I can bring back to help my patients.  I think it’s always great to communicate with other offices to see how they may be able to help a patient that in our office is struggling with something.  I also was able to study strabismus and amblyopia more in depth. I think these are topics that you can never know too much on.

It’s not just about patient care, what else matters most to you in your practice/career?

  • What’s next for you?
    I am super passionate about helping patients with traumatic brain injuries and those who want to work on sports vision, so I am always trying to learn more about these populations and how to help them.

There’s more to life than vision care…

  • What other things are important to you?
    I am married to my high school sweetheart Andy. We will be married two years in August. We do not have any children yet, but we have one cat named Tebow.  We love to fish, be outdoors, and hike.  I also love to be crafty and create just about anything.

Thank you to Shannon for sharing her certification story with us! Our certification programs are always accepting new applicants and you could be next!