True Potential Education was established in 2014. Both business partners, Dawn Philbin and Nina Lorimor-Easley, have learned from personal journeys with dyslexia and bring a passion for excellence to True Potential Education every single day. At True Potential Education families and students alike will receive the services they need to support our students academically, and personally. True Potential Education is on a mission to be the resource that did not exist when each of the business partners needed it most.

T&J Hands on Board

Our Approach

At True Potential Education, we use the Orton-Gillingham (OG) approach to remediate dyslexia, and we ensure that it is being delivered with absolute fidelity. Orton-Gillingham has repeatedly been endorsed as the most appropriate and effective means of remediating dyslexia. 

Meet the Team

Our management team, combined with our team of professional educators, is what makes True Potential Education the outstanding educational facility that it is. Our caring and dedicated staff will not rest until every student is successful. Click on any name below to learn more!

TPE Ownership



Nina Lorimor-Easley

Ms EdPsy, MEd CCID, Cert. Dys.

Nina's Story: I have three children, two of whom are dyslexic.  Trying to help them through school, and realizing the extreme lack of resources in the public school system, I took on the dual role of parent and advocate.  What started as a plan to help my son, became a plan to help every family that encountered the same issues as mine.  This passion, over time, became my partnership in TPE.

  • Wrightslaw Advocacy Certification
  • Dyslexia Training Institute Advocate Level 1 certification
  • Dyslexia Training Institute Advocate Level 2 certification
  • iCater Assistive Technology Training certification
  • NIH Research Certified

Favorite quote: "Dyslexia may not be your fault, but it is your problem."


Dawn Philbin

MA/CCC/Speech/Language Pathologist

Dawn's Story: I am a single mom to twin daughters, Ally and Annie, who are in high school in Waukee.  I have raised them as a single parent since they were three years old. I am so proud of them!  I love country music, especially Brad Paisley!  I have life-long friends from my college years who live all over the world, and are my besties, and I get together with them once a year.  I love dogs and I have three of them….Max, Regis and Chippy.  I have traveled to many different countries, and have lived in Italy, Germany and Israel.

I have so many great TPE stories, but one of my favorites was watching a child demonstrate what he had learned in the third day of the summer intensive reading program, and watching his mom smiling so big, with proud tears in her eyes, because she had never heard her child read before.  This is why I do what I do!  These kids simply steal my heart!

The feeling of helping a struggling student become a successful reader and writer, while simultaneously watching their self-esteem and love of learning improve….is what keeps me still in this wonderful specialized profession 30+ years by now.  I hope for at least another 15, with many more wonderful stories to share!

Additional Certifications:

  • Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech Language Pathology, ASHA, 1988
  • Certified Wilson Language Therapist
  • Certified Dyslexia Diagnostician
  • IDA Certified Dyslexia Practitioner
  • Certified PESL Accent Modification Instructor
  • Master Clinician specializing in Childhood Apraxia of Speech, in progress

Favorite Quote: Just keep swimming!

Full-Time Staff and Interventionists


Kathi Berry

BS Pastoral Ministry/Family Counseling, 
MA Transformational Leadership -SF

Kathi's Story: I honestly love what I do, I love my profession.  My favorite thing about being a Teacher at True Potential Education is definitely helping the kids. I love to be able to get to know each student and his or her areas that need work. It is very rewarding to see them progress in a way they have never been able to do before. The self-awareness that these children have is tremendous.  Many of them feel so inadequate when they begin tutoring. I have heard the phrase “I’m stupid” way too many times, and many see themselves in the shadow of the learning process. I love being a part of bringing them out of that shadow or shell, it is so rewarding.  I tend to cry at times as I see them progress, because I feel so much a part of that process with them. Each child is unique to me, and I will continue to be their voice in the world and fight for these kids, because I know we can help them!

I am a Quaker Pastor in addition to teaching, and serve as lead pastor at Earlham Friends Church. I am also a mother to five grown children, 3 of whom are married. I have five grandchildren and keep myself very busy running up and down the road to SE Iowa to see them

Favorite quote:  “Let us remember: one book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.” - Malala Yousafzai


Casey Condon-Yu

BA Education

Casey's Story: They say if you find a job you love, you will never work a day in your life.  I feel very fortunate to have found “my place”.  My journey has evolved as a mom trying to fully understand the definition of dyslexia and how it applies in my own world, to a dyslexia therapist, advocate, and currently as the communication coordinator. I love what I do!

Favorite quote:  “They succeed, because they think they can.” - Virgil


Cheri Hayes

BS Exercise Science, Licensed EMT 

Cheri's Story: I love interacting with all of the kids and parents; being an ear for their stories of struggle or success. All of the kids are like my own, and I treat them as such. I like working with my bosses and co-workers and I feel like each one of them is an extended family member.

I love to work on crafts, DIY craft projects, sew, knit and crochet. I have a part-time job at Mercy Medical Center and during the summer I work weekends at a drag racing facility.

Favorite quote: "Don't be afraid to give up the good and go for the great."

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Maddie Johnston

Maddis's Story: Coming soon!

Favorite quote: 

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Jennifer Johnston

Jennifer's Story: Coming soon!

Favorite quote: 

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Molly Thuente

Certified Speech Language Pathologist - MA, CCC-SLP

BS Communication Disorders, MA Communication Disorders,

Molly's Story: Coming soon!

Favorite quote: 

Jenny May

Jennifer May

BS Communication Sciences & Disorders

Jenny's Story: The most fulfilling part about working at TPE is seeing how much progress the student has made. Especially if I have worked with that student from the very beginning! It’s so rewarding seeing the student actually having that “ah ha” moment and realizing the progress they have made after putting in all that hard work.

I enjoy “attempting” other accents. When I have a student who seems mad or sad, I throw out an accent before starting the lesson, and it never fails to put a smile on their face! But let me be clear, I never said I was good at them!

Favorite Quote: “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring”- Marilyn Monroe

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Kenzie McMurrin

Kenzie's Story: Coming soon!

Favorite quote: 

Dyslexia Interventionists

Amy Dutchuk

Abby Peterson

Taryn Smith

Rhonda Stoker

Michelle Wilkinson

Jenny Teaching