Leadership 2018-04-20T18:07:30+00:00

Executive Team

Leadership Roster

Tim Shenk, President

Ryan Breisch began his career with the Literacy Council of Reading-Berks in 1993 when he served as a volunteer tutor.  In November 1995, he joined the staff as a curriculum developer and ESL coordinator, and became the Executive Director in 2010.  Ryan holds a B.A. in Spanish from Kutztown University and serves as the Immediate Past President of PAACE.

Vice President: Vacant

Member Services Chair: Dyan Schauer

Clara Folino, Communications Chair

Lynne Watson, Professional Development Chair

Lori Como, Conference Chair

Lori Como has worked in adult education with Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council since 1999.  She has her Master’s in education and her bachelor’s in business and economics.  Lori started at GPLC as a program coordinator and is now the Associate Director, overseeing the programs and partnerships for the agency.  She has served on the board of PAACE for over 13 years in the roles of secretary, several vice president roles, president, and conference chair.  She co-chaired the national COABE conference that was held in conjunction with PAACE in 2014.  Lori received the Joan Y. Leopold Award for service to PAACE in 2014.

Cheryl Hiester, Advocacy Chair

Cheryl has been working in adult literacy and basic education since 1991. She has been a teacher, a curriculum developer and project manager. Today, she serves as the chief executive of The Literacy Council of Lancaster-Lebanon. Cheryl serves on the Pennsylvania Association for Adult and Continuing Education Board of Directors as the co-chair of the Public Policy Committee.

Alex Dow, Treasurer

Alex initially joined the PAACE board in 2007 as Western Regional Representative. In 2009 he transitioned to the role of Treasurer and has been serving on the board in that capacity ever since. Alex currently works at Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council (GPLC) as Database Manager for the agency. Over his 17 years working in Adult Education Alex has also been an AmeriCorps member, a volunteer manager, and a site manager. Alex has a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and a certificate in Accounting from the University of Pittsburgh.

Kim Gavlick, Secretary

Kimberly Gavlick has worked in adult education since 1997 with Luzerne County Community College in Nanticoke, PA. Kimberly has a Master’s in Education and Reading Specialist certification.  As of September 2013, she took over the role of Program Director. Over the past 21 years, Kimberly has coordinated the program’s ABE/GED component, including the data management system, providing training and advice on the use of technology in the classroom, developing the program’s distance learning plan, customizing workplace training, and conducting online and face-to-face training for all the program staff.  Kimberly has been a member of PAACE since she began working in adult education. She has also been a member of COABE for several years.  Currently, Kimberly is the PAACE secretary.  Additionally, she has presented at past conferences on various topics related to adult education, including project-based learning, distance learning, integrating technology, and managed enrollment.

Administrator: Chair; Gillian Maule

Gillian Maule has been the Executive Director of Adult Literacy Lawrence County since 2013. Born in Scotland, she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from the Robert Gordon’s Institute of Technology in Aberdeen and subsequently earned her Social Work Certification. Prior to moving to the United States in 2001, Gillian worked for fifteen years in England with delinquent youth, first as a social worker and later as a Juvenile Probation Officer. Here in the US, she spent nine years as a counselor and residential supervisor working with those impacted by domestic and sexual violence at Aware, Mercer County, and the Crisis Shelter of Lawrence County, before moving into the field of Adult Basic Education.

Adult Literacy Basic and Secondary Education (ALBSE): Chair; Joy Zamierowski

Joy Zamierowski is a consultant with the Professional Learning Opportunities Project of the PA Adult Education Professional Development System with Tuscarora Intermediate Unit #11. She has worked as a teacher and a program coordinator, prior to working with the PA Adult Education Professional Development System. She has facilitated professional development at the local, state, and national levels.

English as a Second Language (ESL): Chair; Kimberly Chernesky

Fundraising: Chair; Denise Alexander

Denise holds a Master’s degree in Education and an ESL certification from Holy Family University. She began her teaching career in 2003 and has been working with English Language Learners since 2006. Denise joined the instructional staff of Bucks County Community College in 2015 teaching non-credit ESL
to adult learners. In January 2018, she became the Program Coordinator for Continuing Education at Bucks County Community College. Denise currently serves on the board as the Fundraising Chair.

Committee and Division Co-Chairs

Member Services Co-Chair: Vacant

Communications Co-Chair: Vacant

Professional Development Co-Chair: VACANT

Administration Division Co-Chair: Barb Gade

Public Policy and Advocacy Co-Chair: JoAnn Weinberger

ALBSE Division Co-Chair: Meg Ashenden

ALBSE Co-Chair: Meg Ashenden

ESL Division Co-Chair: Aimee Firtz

Aimee Firtz has a Master’s Degree from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois in Intercultural Studies and Teaching English As A Second Language (TESOL). Aimee has worked in adult education with ESL students for over 10 years. She taught ESL with World Relief to refugees in West Chicago and Wheaton, Illinois and spent a summer teaching at a university in Hanoi, Vietnam. Over the past 10 years, she has taught various ESL class levels with the Allegheny Intermediate Unit in Pittsburgh, created and maintains the school database, and has presented staff and case management trainings including presentations at the PAACE conference. She is currently the Student Support Coordinator at the Allegheny Intermediate Unit Adult Education Program providing guidance and support services to ESL students who are looking for jobs and who are interested in entering the university.

 Remote Past President: Barb Gade

Tim Shenk, President

Ryan Breish, Immediate Past President

PAACE Organizational Coordinator: Sharon Bonney