Our Story

Helping Children Become Successful and Happy Adults

Aperture Education is focused on addressing the whole child. Our social and emotional learning (SEL) solution, the DESSA Comprehensive SEL System, allows educators to measure, strengthen, and support social-emotional competence in youth K-12 grade. The DESSA System includes a suite of strength-based assessments, listed below, a universal screener that can be administered in less than a minute, foundational practices, and growth strategies and to strengthen social and emotional competence.  Actionable data and reporting helps SEL program administrators measure the impact of their programs and helps educators understand students’ SEL strengths and needs

The DESSA System features the DESSA suite of assessments- standardized, strengths-based measures of critical social and emotional skills such as personal responsibility, self-management, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. The available assessments include:

  • Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA)
  • DESSA-mini
  • DESSA-High School Edition
  • DESSA-Second Step Edition

Our Roots

We have recently grown out of two organizations – the Devereux Center for Resilient Children, a non-profit focused on creating resilient children, and Apperson, Inc, a for-profit focused on making sure educators have good data to make great instructional decisions. In order to realize their shared goals, a partnership was born: Aperture Education, a company rooted in the belief that our children hold the promise for a better tomorrow with an obligation to ensure that they have the skills and mindsets necessary to be good stewards of our future.

We encourage you to stick around to learn more about social and emotional learning and the positive impact it has on our youth. Check out our white papers, customer spotlights, webinars, and more for the latest information.

Our Mission

The mission of Aperture Education is to ensure that all members of school and out of school time communities, both children and adults, have the social and emotional skills to be successful, productive, and happy.

Our Approach

We achieve this by providing teachers, out-of-school-time staff, parents and students with accurate and actionable data about their social and emotional strengths and needs. We pair this data with research-informed strategies and resources leading to improved outcomes.

What is an Aperture?

noun: aperture; plural noun: apertures

  1. a space through which light passes in an optical or photographic instrument, especially the variable opening by which light enters a camera.

At Aperture Education, our main FOCUS is on promoting the resilience and social and emotional strengths of all children. Just like the aperture of a camera, we continually adjust our lens to ensure our focus remains on the whole child.

Team Members

Jessica Adamson
Chief Executive Officer
Paul LeBuffe, M.A.
Vice President Research & Development
Kristin Hinton
Director of Marketing
Tara Ketner, M.Ed
Director of Client Success
Jennifer Robitaille, M.S.
Senior Research Associate
Alyssa Ciarlante, M.A.
Research Associate
Kim Williams
Strategies Development Specialist
Angelica Rosen
Client Support Specialist
Meaghan Dunham
Marketing Coordinator
Lisa-Anne Williams, M.Ed
SEL Account Executive & Trainer
Tatiana Carter
SEL Account Executive & Trainer
Karen DeChant Ross
SEL Account Executive
Justin R. Eudy
SEL Account Executive
Delaney Brown
Sales Coordinator, Social Emotional Learning
Amber Hart
Office Manager

Board Members

Bill Apperson
Kelly Doherty
Sheryl Harmer, Ed.D.
Robert Dunne
Susan Damico


Jack Naglieri, Ph.D.
Ann McKay Bryson
Valerie Shapiro, Ph.D.