Institute Leadership & Staff
Patricia M. Roberts
AIM Co-Founder and Executive Director
Pat Roberts, is a co-founder and current Executive Director of AIM. She is is both a passionate educator and successful businesswoman. Her lifelong commitment to education began as a graduate of West Chester University where she received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in education. Her career began in the laboratory school at West Chester University where she taught children in research-based early childhood programs in both regular and special education settings. A successful business woman, she incorporated three businesses in the education and technology spaces before joining with Nancy Blair to found AIM in 2006.
AIM Co-Founder and Associate Director
Nancy Blair is a co-founder and current Associate Director of AIM. She started her career as an intensive care nurse after completing graduate training in Nurse Anesthesia at the University of Pittsburgh and becoming licensed as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). Nancy believes her training in medicine has prepared her to have a deeper understanding of the recent scientific studies where functional MRI's have shown the importance and the critical need for explicit and systematic evidence-based instruction for children with learning disabilities. She holds her Level I and Level II Wilson certification and is honored to be a Wilson Level I Trainer and is a Wilson Dyslexia Therapist. In June 2006, her dream of helping many more students was realized when she collaborated to start AIM Academy. She sat on the PBIDA Board of Trustee from 2004-2010 and Co-Chaired the PBIDA annual conference in 2009 and 2010. She has also been selected to serve on the IDA Program Review and Accreditation team.
Dawn Brookhart, the Associate Director of the AIM Institute for Learning & Research, has worked in public education for the last 20 years, including serving in numerous administrative roles. She is accredited through IMSLEC as an Orton-Gillingham Scholar and formerly served as the Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Technology in the Danville Area School District where she created a national model for the science of reading and transformed the district into a top-performing school district in the state. Dawn founded the Danville Area Reading and Dyslexia Academy, the first of its kind for public schools in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. She serves on the board of the Pennsylvania Branch of the International Dyslexia Association and The Reading League PA. She holds two master's degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and has an undergraduate degree in economics and Japanese Studies from Bucknell University.
Director of Educational Outreach
Karen Keesey, the Director of Educational Outreach at AIM Institute for Learning and Research, has diverse background working in both non-profit and for profit organizations. She is the former Program Director at a Residential home for adjudicated teenage girls where she had oversight of the educational program including an onsite secondary school program, as well as a full GED program. Prior to coming to AIM, Karen was the Director of Staffing Management at Careers Express, a full services staffing solution firm that serviced large and small organizations through the Philadelphia metropolitan and suburban areas. She holds a BS in Business Management, a secondary education certification and a MSA in Human Resources.
Director of Partnerships & Engagement
Deborah Lynam is the Director of Partnerships & Engagement at AIM Institute for Learning & Research. She is currently chair of the NJ State Special Education Advisory Council and also serves on the Family Engagement Advisory Board for the National Center on Improving Literacy. She is a founding member of Decoding Dyslexia–NJ. She previously worked as a Family Resource Specialist for New Jersey’s federally-funded Parent Training & Information Center and is the parent of three children, two of whom are dyslexic. Deborah served on the NJ Department of Education’s Dyslexia Handbook Committee and was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award by the NJ Branch of the International Dyslexia Association in 2013. She is an IMSLEC certified Orton Gillingham Teacher.
Director of Instructional Coaching and Training
Suruchi Keenheel is the Director of Instructional Coaching and Training at AIM Institute for Learning and Research. Suruchi began her career in education in 2006 in Washington, D.C., where she taught reading, writing, and mathematics in K-6th grade. She also designed and implemented the first inclusion program in the school’s history, introducing the special education department to the academic and socio-emotional benefits of collaborative planning and quality co-teaching for ALL students. In 2009, Suruchi had the unique opportunity to co-found a charter school in West Philadelphia; she started out as the coordinator for special education, interventions, and assessments, and later took on the role of Assistant Principal. As the Director of Instructional Coaching and Training at the AIM Institute for Learning and Research, she leads the development and execution of training and coaching programs for elementary educators and school administrators to provide effective, evidence-based literacy instruction. Suruchi earned her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology, Linguistics, and Spanish at the University of Michigan and her Masters of Arts in Special Education with a concentration in learning disabilities at American University.
Education Director & Wilson® Credentialed Trainer
Kris is a dedicated educator and administrator as well as an experienced reading and special education teacher. She was a member of the original team of eight mothers who worked diligently to help bring the vision of a school for students with language-based learning disabilities, with research-based best practices, to reality. Kris has been an integral part of AIM Academy since its inception in 2006 and has served as the Education Director since that time. She has designed curriculum, developed educational plans for students, maintained licensure, supported teachers, and taught students with language-based learning disabilities in a unique arts-based environment. As the school has grown and developed, her responsibilities have also evolved to focus on the second mission of AIM: to disseminate best-practices to educators by providing access to the latest research-based curriculum, technology and training.” Kris is a Wilson® Credentialed Trainer and has trained hundreds of teachers in the Wilson Reading System®, Just Words® and Fundations®. She has had extensive professional development opportunities in research-based best practices including training in many of the LETRS® modules and RAVE-O®. Kris has also served as adjunct faculty for several years at St. Joseph’s University in the Master’s of Special Education distinguished by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) for meeting the standards outlined in their Knowledge and Practice Standards.
AIM Research Liaison, Instructional Developer
Aviva Coyne-Green is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and holds degrees in elementary and special education as well as a Master’s degree in public policy with a concentration in education policy. She is currently a 5th grade teacher and Wilson Certified Instructor at AIM Academy where she has participated in the development of literacy curriculum in reading and writing. Aviva also serves as the AIM Research Liaison. In this position, she helps develop, coordinate and implement various research studies through partnerships between AIM Academy and a variety of universities and research institutions such as Haskins Laboratories, Florida Center for Reading Research at Florida State University and Middle Tennessee State University. Additionally, Aviva serves as a content developer for the AIM Institute's Pathways courses.
Instructional Developer and Trainer
Becky Jensen is an experienced teacher, trainer and administrator. She taught in a public high school for many years and has twenty years of experience teaching children with dyslexia and training teachers in Structured Literacy instruction. She served as Director of an after-school tutoring center and was, most recently, Director of Teacher Training at an independent school for children with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. She is the parent of three children, one who is dyslexic. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Secondary Education from Illinois State University and her Master of Arts Degree in Reading, PK-12, from the University of Nebraska, Kearney. She is a Reading Specialist and holds a number of certifications for teaching and training teachers in the implementation of Structured Literacy including Certified Academic Language Therapist and Certified Dyslexia Therapist.
Instructional Developer, Coach and Trainer
Nicole Kingsland is an experienced reading and special education teacher. Nicole was previously a teacher at AIM Academy where she taught 3rd grade, wrote curriculum, and served as a mentor teacher for colleagues and student teachers. Over the years, Nicole has participated in extensive professional development opportunities in research-based best practices including LETRS® modules and the Wilson Reading System®. Nicole received a Master of Science Degree in Special Education from Saint Joseph's University, and holds a Wilson Level I certification. She is enthusiastic her role as an instructional developer, coach and trainer where she work closely with teachers to increase their knowledge in the science of reading, in an effort to positively effect students' literacy outcomes.
Instructional Developer, Coach and Trainer
Helen Mannion has 20 years of experience in education and has taught math, reading and writing to children from grades 2-12. In 2013, she was the Director of Language and Literacy Remediation at a school that specializes in meeting the needs of students who struggle to learn. In this role, she trained and coached teachers to ensure that their instruction included effective, evidence-based practices which met the needs of their students. Helen has extensive experience interpreting various assessments and developing students’ learning profiles. In a parallel role as the Director of Teacher Training, Helen developed an Orton-Gillingham based curriculum which was certified by the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council. She developed an introductory and advanced training and coaching curriculum for evidence-based literacy instruction for educators, learning specialists and school administrators. Helen is passionate about helping teachers bring research into their classrooms and has presented at numerous national conferences on topics in literacy instruction. She holds a number of certifications for teaching and training teachers in the implementation of Structured Literacy including Certified Academic Language Therapist, Certified Dyslexia Therapist, and Instructor of Certified Academic Language Practitioners. Helen earned her Bachelor of Arts at Bucknell University and her Masters of Arts in Reading and Literacy at Benedictine University. Helen is currently pursuing her doctorate in the Cognitive Studies in Reading at Widener University.
Instructional Developer, Coach and Trainer
Nikki Maloney is an experienced K-12 Literacy Specialist with over 25 years experience in numerous public and private school settings. She is passionate about supporting students with learning differences including: Dyslexia, ADD, and ADHD. Nikki enjoys helping teachers reach the most challenging students. She is passionate about working with teachers to increase their knowledge in evidence-based reading strategies in order to improve student's literacy outcomes. Nikki has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and a Master of Science in Reading. She is a published author and has years of athletic coaching experience at the elementary through collegiate levels.
Instructional Developer, Coach and Trainer
Julia Salamone has been at AIM since 2012. She has a BFA in photography from Arcadia University where she majored in fine arts and art education. After working as a discrete trial trainer, Julia returned to Arcadia to pursue her master's in special education. Julia loves working with students who learn differently as it allows her to think outside the box and approach learning from a creative lens. She also loves teachers and believes that teacher empowerment and knowledge are key to success in the classroom. When not working, Julia enjoys traveling to the Poconos with her family and spending time with her husband, Scott, daughter, Lena, and niece, Ava. She can also be found in the spin studio and loves to practice yoga.
Executive Administrative Assistant
Carol Purcell is the Executive Administrative Assistant at the AIM Institute for Learning & Research. Her passion for empowering others has provided an administrative career that spans over 20 years in both corporate and non-profit environments, in such industries as banking, healthcare, insurance, IT, and social services. Her ability to stay focused and highly organized keeps her team on task. She holds a BA in Business Management from Monmouth University. She is a Board Member for Camp Onas, Ottsville PA and participates on the Advancement Committee and currently working on a Capital Campaign.