Since 1970, the Institute of Reading Development has taught more than two million students and trained more than five thousand teachers.

Colleges, universities, and other non-profit organizations nationwide contract with us to provide reading programs in their communities.

Our curriculum and teacher training programs have been developed by the Institute's founder, Paul Copperman. Mr.Copperman is the author of two influential books on education. In 1982, the United States Senate confirmed Mr. Copperman's Presidential appointment to the National Council on Educational Research.

Meet our team below.


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Paul Copperman

President and Founder

Founded the Institute in 1970

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Doug Evans

Vice President and Chief Technology Officer

With the Institute since 1995

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Josh Kizner

Chief Operating Officer and Director of Partner Relations

With the Institute since 2000


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Lisa Fink

Director of Curriculum

With the Institute since 1987

The Institute’s Curriculum department is responsible for the development of all Institute curriculum including lesson plans, student and parent materials, student assessment protocols, teacher training materials, and online reading programs. Curriculum is created, tested, and updated based on best practices from the field.

Lisa Fink, Director of Curriculum, oversees the department. Curriculum Developers on the team include Chris Clark (since 2004), Kathryn Culbert(since 2000), Jacob Grimm (since 2006), Ross McCornack (since 2009), and Jen Tallagnon (since 1992).

Teaching Department

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John Boyd

Director of Instruction

With the Institute since 1991

The Institute provides classroom instruction throughout the nation. We provide each teacher with more than 150 hours of training on reading development, Institute curriculum, and effective teaching. Many of our teachers return to teach in subsequent seasons; well over a third of our teachers each summer have taught for us in previous years.

John Boyd, Director of Instruction, oversees the department. Additional team members include Justin Stafford (since 2000), Teacher Supervisor, Leah Snyder (since 2004), Teacher Supervisor, Sarah Paulus (since 2013), Teacher Supervisor, Christine Morando (since 2012), Teacher Supervisor, Shannon McClain (since 2015) Teacher Supervisor, Roda Malco (since 2011), Teaching Operations Manager, and Elizabeth Hash (since 2016), Teaching Logistics Coordinator.

Contact Center

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Eugenie Borton

Customer Service Manager

With the Institute since 2010

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Tiffany Gilbert

Sales Manager

With the Institute since 2006

Whether potential customers learn of the programs through print or online advertising, they are provided a toll-free phone number to contact us directly for more information and/or to enroll. The Institute’s Sales department is responsible for handling all inquiries and works closely with the teaching department to ensure that customer questions during the program are fully and accurately answered. We also have a dedicated customer service staff that arranges makeup lessons, enacts level changes, and answers questions regarding the program.

Eugenie Borton (since 2010), Customer Service Manager, and Tiffany Gilbert (since 2006), Sales Manager, oversee the department. Additional team members include Jana Hilliar (since 2009), Sales Supervisor, Elizabeth Belkin (since 2011), Partner Relations Manager and Sales Supervisor, Kathy George (since 2013), Sales Supervisor, Andrea Wedige (since 2017), Contact Center Administrator, Elizabeth Ebel (since 2012) Customer Service Supervisor, Karen Mussabini (since 2000), Contact Center Operations Coordinator, Jessica Pereira (since 2008), Contact Center Operations Coordinator, Lora Larsen (since 2011), Contact Center Operations Coordinator, and Anna Carlson (since 2016), Contact Center Operations Coordinator.

Information Technology Department

The IT department works in concert with Teaching, Sales, Marketing, and Operations to provide technical support to the Institute's staff and customers. This includes deploying and maintaining the Institute's websites, computer applications, and online programs. Team members include Florita Ulivas (since 2010), Developer, Aaron Dockery (since 2010), Developer, Justin Mirabal (since 2014), Developer, and Nicole Prior (since 2008), IT Operations Manager.

Marketing Department

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Ryan O'Leary

Director of Marketing

With the Institute since 1995

The Institute’s Marketing department is responsible for the print and online advertising campaigns, and the design and maintenance of websites. All of the Marketing department’s activities are conducted in coordination with our university, college, and municipal partners.

Ryan O’Leary, Marketing Director, oversees the department. Additional team members include Rebecca Darco (since 2015), Marketing Manager, Megan Thompson (since 2016), Marketing Coordinator, and Stephanie Yang (since 2017), Email Marketing Manager, Kate Rice (since 2014), Marketing Content Developer, Mike Hilliard (Since 2000), Publicity Manager, Rebecca Staines (since 2013), Print Publicity Supervisor, Alyse Toy (since 2015), Print Publicity Campaign Project Manager, Maribel Esparza (since 2008), Flyer Project Coordinator, and Adam Hidalgo (since 2013), Publicity Coordinator.

Operations Department

The Operations department is responsible for scheduling classes at partner campuses and off-campus sites, acquisition of materials used by teachers and students, bookkeeping, and human resources. Josh Kizner, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Partner Relations, oversees the department. Additional team members include Jeff Foster (since 1998),Teaching Facilities Manager, Amber Hatfield (since 2005), Materials Manager, Anita Busciglio (since 2006), Bookkeeping Supervisor, Karen Mitchell (since 2000), Facilities Coordinator, Sean McAllister (since 2010), Facilities Coordinator, Rob Kuzenka (since 2015), Facilities Coordinator, Christie Arnie (since 2015), Facilities/Materials Coordinator, Gladys Segura (since 1997), Bookkeeping Coordinator, Mercedez Aragon (since 2017), Bookkeeping Coordinator, and Nikki Thomason (since 1993), HR Coordinator.