Our Team

The Authors

Phyllis Bertin, M.S., a noted lecturer, teacher trainer and school consultant is a senior faculty member of the Windward Teacher Training Institute in White Plains, New York. After teaching mainstream and special education classes, she went on to become the Director of Special Education for the Weston Connecticut Public Schools and then Director of Education for Windward School in White Plains. Mrs. Bertin has been a Board Member of the New York State Branch of the International Dyslexia Association and received the Branch Award from the International Dyslexia Association in 1999. Recently, she co-authored an Orton-Gillingham based Spanish reading program, Aprendo Leyendo, for native Spanish speakers.

Eileen Perlman, M.S. began her career as a classroom teacher and reading specialist and was Clinical Director of the Reading Initiative at the Churchill Center, in Manhattan. For over thirty years, she was a learning disabilities specialist for the White Plains Public Schools. In addition to her private practice involving diagnosis and remediation, Ms. Perlman is a highly regarded lecturer, teacher trainer and educational consultant.


Both Mrs. Bertin and Ms. Perlman are Fellows of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators and Dyslexia Therapists certified by the International Dyslexia Association.

Our Leadership Team

Amy Linden, has been in the teaching profession for over forty years. She received a Masters in Special Education from Columbia University and a B.A. in Elementary Education from Temple University. She taught in public schools in New York City, Chicago, and White Plains, NY. In White Plains, she coordinated the Learning Strategies Program designed to provide academic support. Ms Linden also worked for over twelve years at The Windward School, an independent school for students with language-based learning disabilities, as their Reading Specialist. Currently, Ms Linden leads PAF’s team of Master Teacher Trainers. 

Kaarina Bauerle, has a Masters in Professional Studies and is certified in Elementary and Special Education and Multisensory Structured Language Education by the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Counsel (IMSLEC).  She has over 30 years of classroom experience teaching PAF. She began her career teaching at The Windward School, an independent school for children with language-based learning disabilities. After 20 years in the classroom, she became the Coordinator of Language Arts for grades 1-4 and mentored teachers and provided in-service training. Ms Bauerle is a Senior Master Teacher Trainer. 

Sophia Schwatka, has a Masters in Childhood General and Special Education from Bank Street College of Education. She is certified in New York State and by IMSLEC. She began her career teaching at The Windward School, an independent school for children with language-based learning disabilities. She has since worked as a Learning Specialist for grades K-4 at an independent school, and taught Kindergarten. Sophia joined the PAF team in 2016 when she co-authored several of the books in the PAF Reading Series.

Elizabeth McGoldrick launched her life-long career in education directly after graduating from Dartmouth College with a BA in Psychology, a concentration in Education and a newly minted teaching license. She holds a Masters in Education from Regis University and a permanent New York State teaching certification for PK-6. She has taught in a variety of educational settings, both public and private, for more than 20 years, most recently serving as the Literacy Coordinator at Waterside School in Stamford, CT. She is a founding member of KEEP, an organization committed to keeping girls vulnerable to trafficking and early marriage in school, and leads book clubs for tweens at her local library. Elizabeth has worked with PAF since 2009 in content development.

Magdalena Zavalia is the CEO of the PAF Reading Program. As a parent, she became deeply familiar with the current crisis in literacy education and made it her personal mission to help bring change to the way reading is taught in schools. Before her work in education, Magdalena practiced law at Latham and Watkins LLP. She graduated from the Universidad Católica Argentina Law School in Buenos Aires and has an LLM (Master of Laws) from Columbia University. She is admitted to practice in Buenos Aires and New York. Magdalena is also Founder and CEO of Aprendo Leyendo and serves on the board at The Windward School, the Achelis & Bodman Foundation, and the Whiting Foundation. She is a member of the Haskins Global Literacy Hub.

Guillermo Jasson is the President of PAF Reading Program. He has been involved in education for the past four decades in different capacities including lower, middle & high school teacher, professor in the Universidad de Buenos Aires, and member of different advisory boards and councils at the Tuck Business School at Dartmouth College. Guillermo earned an Industrial Engineering degree from the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina, and an MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College. He worked at McKinsey & Co in Europe, Morgan Stanley in New York, and was Vice Chair of the Smithsonian Latino Center Advisory Board. He is currently a partner at Sterling Legacy, a member of the Woodrow Wilson Mexico Institute Advisory Board and the Chair of Tuck School’s Latin American & Caribbean Council.