Debbie Dodd, owner/operator of Academic Associates Learning Center since 2005, has a BA from California State University Long Beach and teaching credentials in elementary education and special education K-12 and is a Reading Instruction Specialist. In addition to teaching in California and Texas she and her husband Rick have home schooled their 4 daughters.

The founder - cliff Ponder

Cliff Ponder, an elementary school principal and teacher for 20 years, was frustrated that large numbers of students couldn't learn to read. After leaving school administration, he studied exciting new research on the neural architecture of the brain and began developing a logical, step-by-step method of teaching reading that would work in harmony with the brain. The Academic Associates™ Reading Course was launched in 1985. Since then it has helped thousands of students of all ages in schools and reading clinics across the United States and in several different countries.


Faith Manguba opened her first center in the summer of 2010 and has served hundreds of students since then- teaching non-readers and turning them into readers. She began her career as a classroom teacher. After teaching for several years and seeing the need for students to learn to read, she started her Academic Associates® reading business, teaching kids to read out of her home. The program was so successful that she went from teaching two students in February to 30 by summer. Cliff Ponder passed the presidency of the Academic Associates Learning Centers® and Academic Associates Reading Program® to Faith in June 2016.

Alpha Reading Center is proud to be the headquarters for the Academic Associates Learning Centers® which is used throughout the United States and around the globe.


Loren Prato

Loren Prato has a BA in Middle-Level Education Math and English and a Masters in Reading with Dyslexia. She is also a certified teacher, a Reading Instruction Specialist for the Academic Associates Reading Program®, and a former teacher in the AISD. Loren is a creative and innovative teacher and we are grateful to have her as an instructor at our center.

Jessica Ross

We are excited to welcome Jessica Ross as a teacher with Academic Associates Learning Center. Jessica has a degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Abilene Christian University and is a Reading Instruction Specialist. After teaching 4th grade in Abilene ISD Jessica and her husband went to Rwanda, East Africa to teach in an international school for one year. They returned to Abilene where they are raising their two young children. Jessica says she has always loved teaching and helping children grow, discover the world, and develop the tools they need to succeed in it.