The administration team at KFA worked together at an approved private school where they all served as top administrators. However, they were very disappointed in the best practices of using restraints to regulate students who were escalated. Each of them believed there was a better way to help students learn to self-regulate and one that would treat students in a humane manner. Dr. Janine set out to find strategies where students would be supported in an environment free from hands-on practices and strategies that would take safety into account. She found the perfect behavior practice called Ukeru. Dr. Janine presented this to the team and everyone agreed that we had to open an academy where students and staff would be free from physical and emotional harm. It was also important to this team that the work environment was a safe place for staff. Together they created systems that provide students with a safe environment, free to learn through making mistakes, having choices, using their voices, and experimentation. Students learn how to self-regulate, they learn what triggers them and how to avoid the triggers, they learn they are not alone and who can help support them, and they learn how to learn. Since 2018 KFA has been enrolling students who have found, by attending KFA, a family of educators who care and strive each day to provide the best support systems and rigorous academics that will propel attending students to continue growing in all aspects of their lives.

Dr. Janine M. Mathesz CEO
Mobile: 610-730-2655

Special Education School Pa Janine (1)

Dr. Janine Mathesz is an accomplished Senior Executive with more than 30 years of success in the education, medical, engineering, tech, electronics, security, and healthcare industries. Dr. Mathesz’s broad areas of expertise include business development, technology and educational coaching, culture assessment, and leadership development. Moreover, throughout her executive career, Dr. Mathesz has held leadership positions at Whitehall High School, Emmaus High School, Twin Valley High School, Kutztown School District, Building 21 Allentown High School, Cedar Crest College, The Pathway School, and PA Department of Health. In these roles, she has supported several students with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Intellectual Disabilities, Serious Emotional Disturbances and other neurological impairments. In addition, she has established business partnerships for high school students to participate in work opportunities, internships and dual enrollment with community colleges. After successfully starting three schools with various organizations, one being Building 21 Allentown High School, the third urban high school within the Allentown City School District; Dr. Mathesz surveyed the educational landscape and identified a great need for secondary schools focused solely on the Emotionally Disturbed population.

Dr. Mathesz was excited to launch Keystone Freedom Academy (KFA), in 2018, with a mission to bring freedom to learning for students who struggle with traditional education due to social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. At KFA we understand each student’s unique needs and incorporate a comprehensive curriculum that includes Ukeru for behavior management, STREAM, Trauma Informed Care Strategies, Restorative Practices, Second Step Social/Emotional Curriculum, and School Wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Strategies.

In her spare time Dr.Mathesz is active in her community serving on various local boards, taught Sunday school and led a girl scout troop. Dr. Mathesz currently lives with her husband- Richard, son-Ricky and Miniature Labradoodle-Jake.


  • Superintendent Letter of Eligibility – PA Department of Education
  • Ed.D.– Leadership, Management, Policy, Education Administration and Supervision, – Seton Hall University,
  • Principal Certification, K-12 – PA Department of Education
  • M.S. – Educational Leadership – Wilkes University
  • B.S. – Mathematics & Secondary Education Certification – Cedar Crest College
  • A.S. – Liberal Studies – Emphasis Education Department of Education – Keystone College
  • EMT/Paramedic – PA Department of Health

Dr. Elizabeth M. Criscuolo
Principal & Director of Eduction
Keystone Freedom Academy
732 Louis Drive Warminster PA 18974
Tel: 844-539-3366

Special Education School Pa Liz (1)

Dr. Criscuolo has extensive background in education both as a teacher and administrator. Her professional credentials and training have prepared her to meet the multifaceted challenges of working with a diverse group of learners. Dr. Criscuolo’s Bachelor’s and Master’s in Special Education from West Chester University provided a solid foundation in special education practices and learning. A Master’s in Educational Leadership from California University of Pennsylvania expanded her skill set to include program development, school practice, and building collaborative teams. In addition, she has obtained a Principal Certification K-12 and a Behavior Specialist License from the PA Department of Medicine. Dr. Criscuolo completed a doctoral program for Special Education with a focus on Emotional Disturbance at Gwynedd Mercy University which has assisted her with improving best practices and behavioral interventions for the students here at Keystone Freedom Academy. Dr. Criscuolo looks forward to meeting the rewards and challenges of each day working in a setting that promotes academic, behavioral, and social emotional progress.


  • Ed.D. Special Education Leadership, Gwynedd Mercy University
  • Principal Certification, K-12 – PA Department of Education
  • M.S., Educational Leadership, California University of Pennsylvania
  • K-12 Special Education Certification– PA Department of Education
  • M.S., Special Education, West Chester University
  • Behavior Specialist License, Pennsylvania Department of Medicine
  • B.A., Special Education, West Chester University

Laurie Cooper, M.S.
Behavior & Clinical Supervisor/ School Psychologist Keystone Freedom Academy
732 Louis Drive Warminster PA 18974
Tel: 844-539-3366

Keystone Freedom Academy Louris Cooper

Ms. Cooper earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Fairfield University and a master’s degree in school psychology from the University of Bridgeport. For the past 30 years she has worked as a school psychologist conducting psycho-educational evaluations and coordinating clinical and behavioral services in both a public and private school setting. Over the past three years, prior to joining the KFA team, Ms. Cooper facilitated a three-year implementation of School Wide Positive Behavior Intervention and Support at an approved private school that serves students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disability, Serious Emotional Disturbance and other educational disability classifications placed from over 50 sending school districts. Ms. Cooper is excited to help those she supervises in the behavior and clinical departments develop strategies using positive supports and trauma informed care techniques that will help students at KFA be successful. Ms. Cooper also plans to continue presenting at state conferences to help other educators grow in the use of positive interventions for behavior management.


  • School Psychologist Certification – PA Department of Education
  • 15 Graduate Credits towards Doctorate – University of Bridgeport
  • MS, School Psychology – University of Bridgeport
  • BS, Psychology – Fairfield University

Patricia E. Jeffers

Behavior Interventionist
Keystone Freedom Academy
732 Louis Drive Warminster, PA 18974
Tel: 844.539.3366

Private Special Education School Pa Headshot Patricia Jeffers

Ms. Jeffers began her educational career obtaining her associated degrees in Liberal Arts from Montgomery County Community College. She then solidified her concentration in Psychology and graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts from Temple University. Upon graduation, she spent several years gaining experience developing and implementing behavioral intervention programs and supported students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Emotional Disturbance, and Intellectual Disabilities. Ms. Jeffers is well-versed in classroom management de-escalation techniques and has a prior certification as a CPI de-escalation and crisis techniques trainer. Ms. Jeffers has a strong passion for working with students in a positive, safe, and trusting manner. Since starting at KFA, she has adopted Ukeru, a crisis management program that incorporates a hands-off trauma-informed approach during escalating situations. Recently, she has taken the next step to further her education and knowledge of trauma-informed positive behavioral approaches by obtaining her Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis. Ms. Jeffers is looking forward to continuing her work with students to develop goals and help support them to become successful individuals within their homes, schools, and communities.


  • Montgomery County Community College – Associates in Liberal Arts
  • Temple University – Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Psychology
  • Ball State University – Master of Education in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Certified Ukeru Trainer