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AIM Institute for Learning & Research

AIM Institute is thrilled to be part of the many state and district level initiatives worldwide in the Science of Reading. We are expanding our team to meet the growing demand for evidence-based literacy training for both administrators and teachers. AIM provides accredited courses, materials, implementation tools, and consulting needed to implement explicit literacy instruction into classrooms with our AIM Pathways courses and our supportive and skilled facilitation team.


We are excited to announce three additions to our rapidly growing team of individuals committed to transforming literacy training for educators and schools.

Stephanie Stephens

Stephanie Stephens, Director of Client Professional Development

Stephanie joins AIM with 20 years in education most recently as the English Language Arts specialist at UnboundEd where she used her knowledge and expertise in early literacy to develop and support the implementation of professional development programs in K-5 English Language Arts. Stephanie previously served as an early literacy content specialist for EdReports where she led multiple projects including all

Foundational Skills and K-2 comprehensive instructional materials reviews and several state/district adoption and evaluation projects. Stephanie, who lives in Jacksonville, Fla., has served in a variety of educational settings including Montessori education, alternative education, and detention centers.

Dr. Megan Gierka

Dr. Megan Gierka, Senior Content Developer and Facilitator

An architect of school improvement systems, Dr. Gierka joins AIM in June. Megan currently serves as an instructional coach and reading specialist for Cumberland Valley SD in Mechanicsburg, PA. As a local LETRS facilitator, she trained all teachers and administration in the fastest growing district in the state. With professional development as the catalyst, she spearheaded the redesign of district curriculum to equitable, evidence-aligned practices. She bolstered Tier 1 practices within a structured literacy framework while implementing a novel instructional coaching model. As a practitioner, she has supplied strategic MTSS guidance and Tier 2 and 3 intervention in grades K-8. With a humble upbringing and career in Title I schools, she aspires to help educators translate the science of reading into classroom practice.

Ernesto Ortiz Jr.

Ernesto Ortiz Jr., Senior Literacy Engagement Specialist

Ernesto, who will join AIM in July, is the current principal of McDonald Elementary School in the Centennial School District near Philadelphia and is an energetic, dynamic, and passionate instructional leader with over 20 years of experience in public education. His literacy leadership has advanced the science of reading in his school and contributed to how teachers are trained and students are educated across the district. He has also supported education professionals and leaders across the country who are looking to shift their literacy instruction to evidence-based practices through professional development work and conference presentations. This summer, he will be completing his doctorate in Educational Leadership/PA Superintendent Letter of Eligibility from Delaware Valley University.

When we launched AIM Pathways, our goal was to train 10,000 teachers in 5 years. In two short years, we are on track to shatter that goal impacting an estimated 1 million students with our shared vision of improved literacy instruction for all children.

To reach this goal and fulfill the growing demand for AIM Pathways training, our team is growing. AIM is currently looking for energetic, experienced individuals to fill roles in sales, consulting, digital marketing, LMS administration, and facilitation.

Interested in joining our team? Learn more here.

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