Who We Are
Jill Dickerson M.Ed.
Founder and President
Founded by Jill Dickerson, a certified Reading Specialist who has a Master’s in Education in the area of Reading/Literacy with more than seventeen years experience working with children who struggle academically. Jill spent many years as a private reading tutor in the Chicago area. Always seeking to improve her practice, Jill took additional graduate courses offered by the Illinois Branch of the International Dyslexia Association. Once her own children were school aged she worked in a private school where she developed and implemented the school’s first reading resource program for children who were struggling with literacy. She spent two years as an adjunct instructor in the Master’s degree program at a university in the Chicago area. She is Wilson Language Certified, a trained Reading Recovery teacher and spent many years as a Reading Specialist in the Chicago suburbs. Jill is currently a Reading Facilitator in a public school in the Houston area. Jill believes in a balanced approach to building literacy skills, using a combination of authentic text and phonics with a multi-sensory approach. She will use her knowledge and experience to build your child’s comprehensive support plan. This plan will be specifically designed around your child’s strengths and weaknesses, delivered by an educator whose training matches those areas.
Brain research has shown that the use of multi-sensory instructional techniques allows the brain to receive information through multiple pathways increasing memory and automaticity. So, what is a Multisensory Approach to literacy?
- Multi-sensory teaching simultaneously presents information through hearing, seeing and feeling (visual-auditory-tactile/kinesthetic) integrating all pathways to develop automatic memory.
- It includes direct instruction of concepts presented in a sequential manner moving from simple to complex.
- Multi-sensory teaching targets total word structure. It uses sound/syllable segmentation and builds through constant repetition.
- Phonetically decodable words as well as sight words (those words that cannot be sounded out) are taught using multi-sensory techniques.
Katey Groya M.Ed.
Katey Groya is a certified School Psychologist with over 15 years of experience working in the school setting. She obtained an undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame and a Master’s in Education from the University of Cincinnati. Katey has conducted numerous trainings for districts on assessment of learning and behavior, data based decision making, instructional interventions and appropriate ways to monitor the effectiveness of interventions. Katey has developed a solid understanding of the assessments (e.g., NWEA MAP, AIMSweb, DIBELS) and the decision making process often used by schools to evaluate academic performance of students. Furthermore, she has worked with parents, school teams and private providers (e.g., neuropsychologists) to facilitate the implementation of recommendations from private evaluations within the home and school setting. The Illinois State Board of Education awarded Katey with a “Those Who Excel” Award of Merit in 2011 for her contributions to education in Illinois.
Shelley Rzewuski M.Ed.
Shelley Rzewuski is a certified Reading Specialist who obtained her Master’s Degree in Literacy Education from Northern Illinois University. She holds two Bachelor’s Degrees in the areas of Elementary Education and Psychology from the University of West Florida and recently completed courses for her Special Education Endorsement at University of St. Francis. She has worked with children for over thirteen years and has experience teaching reading with a variety of ages ranging from preschool to middle school. Shelley believes that no child should ever be deprived the wonderful gift of reading.
Dawn Morris holds a Master’s Degree in Education and is certified to teach both general education and special education students. With close to 20 years experience in the public schools, Dawn has taught in many environments, including both the special education instructional setting and the resource setting. She has worked with children with disabilities ranging from Autism Spectrum Disorders, Specific Learning Disabilities (reading, math, and written expression), Cognitive Disabilities, and ADHD, to Emotional Disabilities. Additionally, she is a certified Wilson Reading System instructor. Dawn is skilled in assessing and providing instruction in the areas of reading, written expression, and math to both general and special education students. Dawn’s knowledge and experience make her not only able to provide targeted instructional services to students, but to also assist parents in navigating the special education world from the initial case study request through the creation of an Individual Education Plan.
Nick Bertani received his undergraduate degree from The University of Illinois-at Chicago and his Master’s degree from National Louis University. He is currently a reading specialist in the Western suburbs of Chicago where he has worked for 9 years. Nick has also taught in the classroom as a 2nd and 5th grade teacher. In addition to being a reading specialist Nick also works with kids outside of school and coaches for youth sports. He is certified in Wilson Level I and Reading Recovery. Nick has a vast amount of knowledge regarding various reading and writing intervention programs. Nick feels it’s important to build a relationship with his students. That, combined with reading instruction targeted to the individual student needs and teaching with motivation and enthusiasm, is the key to reading success.