Molly Ahrens (Manager, Middle and High School Writing Tutor, Organizational Skills Tutor, and College Admission Essay Coach) has been helping students fulfill their academic potential since graduating from Bryn Mawr College in 2003. Growing up in New York City, she attended Nightingale-Bamford, a competitive prep school. She also attended the Summer Writing Program at the University of Iowa throughout college and, following graduation, participated in an additional writing program at University College in Dublin, Ireland. Her articles and essays have been published in local publications including The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Weekly and Philadelphia Style. While Molly specializes in writing skills, she regularly works with students who need to improve their organizational and time-management skills, as well as high school seniors who are preparing college applications essays. Her students have been admitted to the top colleges in the country.
Sydney Barnes (Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics Tutor) graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education with her M.S.Ed. She is a certified physics, chemistry, and mathematics teacher. Sydney is currently a high-school AP and regular physics teacher at a magnet school in Philadelphia. She has experience teaching and tutoring math and science to students in middle school through college. As an educator, she strives to make learning engaging and meaningful, connecting topics back to real-world applications and centering class around her students.
Alicia Aughton (Mathematics Tutor) graduated from La Salle University with her B.A. in Secondary Education Mathematics, as well as her M.A. in Special Education. She is a certified mathematics teacher, focusing primarily on Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, and Geometry. Currently, Alicia is a math teacher at a high school in Bethlehem, PA. She has experience teaching math to special education students at a charter school in Philadelphia. Alicia is able to differentiate materials and instruction to fit the needs of her students. It wasn’t until high school that she discovered she was skilled at math and decided to pursue a career in helping others understand the subject.
Lauren Bianca (Middle and High School Reading, Writing, Organizational Skills, Spanish and ELL Tutor) has been teaching high school and middle school Spanish and ELL since 2009 in a public school. She has taught 6th, 7th and 8th grade Spanish, as well as Spanish 1, 2, 3 and 4 in addition to AP Spanish at the high school level. She is currently an ESL teacher while still teaching Spanish 2 and has focused on reading, writing, and assistance with subject classes, as well as time management and organization. She has taught English in Madrid as part of an exchange program. In addition, she has traveled to various Spanish-speaking countries and has gained a deep cultural appreciation and immersion in the language. Lauren earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Towson University and her graduate teacher certification in ELL from Rowan University.
Tim Carr (High School Writing and Reading Tutor & College Admission Essay Coach) works as a professional writing coach at a local university, assisting undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty and staff; he also teaches a reading and writing course for incoming students, focusing on the argumentative essay. Tim guides writers in their coursework and applications for graduate and medical schools. He also taught literature at an independent high school in Philadelphia, where he assisted students with college application essays. As an undergraduate, Tim attended Lebanon Valley College, focusing on English and secondary education; as a graduate student, he first attended Rowan University for Writing Arts, and then Sarah Lawrence College for his MFA in creative nonfiction. His essays have been published in literary journals, such as The Threepenny Review. At the core of his educational philosophy, Tim aims to meaningfully challenge and nurture learners by providing pragmatic tools and specific feedback, as well as showcasing how to effectively manage one’s time around deadlines. He wants learners to understand how and why they are making choices, and, ultimately, for readers and writers to enjoy their pursuits and achievements.
Maggie Day (Elementary and Middle School Math Tutor, Elementary through High School Writing and Organizational/Study Skills Tutor & College Admission Essay Coach) has worked at a Philadelphia charter school for five years as an academic advisor and as a counselor. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and also in Human Development & Family Studies from the University of Connecticut and a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Temple University. Maggie is passionate about teaching students both academic and life skills, and values regular communication, not only with her students, but with their families and academic supports. She has experience assisting students with writing assignments in a variety of subjects and with elementary and middle school math concepts, as well as helping students improve their test-taking habits and project management skills.
Brittany Flippen (Elementary through High School Spanish Tutor) has been teaching high school Spanish since 2012. She has taught in Detroit and Los Angeles, as well as Richmond. She has been sought after by colleagues to help tutor their children as well. Brittany graduated from the University of Virginia and went on to earn her Masters degree in Teaching in 2014. Brittany has a passion for education and believes that learning should not only be rigorous, engaging, and individual to each student, but should also be invigorating and fun. She is excited to bring her love of the Spanish language to even more students.
Ashley Opalka Halpern (Middle and High School Latin, History, Writing, Reading and Organizational Skills Tutor & College Admission Essay Coach) has taught language arts and Latin at independent schools for the past seven years. During that time, she also acted as high school placement coordinator and essay coach. Prior to teaching, she worked in secondary and college admissions. Ashley focuses on building genuine relationships and making learning enjoyable. She specializes in identifying how students learn best and helping them create academic habits that support their learning styles. She received her M.M. in Vocal Performance from Temple University and her B.A. in Archaeology and Classical Studies from Bryn Mawr College.
Margaret Heberle (Elementary and Middle School Reading, Writing and Mathematics Tutor) is a certified Middle Childhood Education teacher specializing in math and language arts. She is currently earning her Masters degree at the University of Pennsylvania’s Reading, Writing and Literacy Program with the goal of becoming a Reading Specialist upon finishing the program. Margaret has been teaching reading and writing skills to middle school students for the past five years. Additionally, she tutored students as she was completing her undergraduate degree. Her passion for reading, learning, and working with youth drives her desire to help students build their academic skills and confidence.
Mara Imms-Donnelly (Elementary through High School Reading and Writing Tutor, Spanish and ESL Tutor, and Elementary through Middle School Mathematics Tutor) earned her M.S.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania in the Reading/Writing/Literacy Program. After receiving her B.A. in Spanish from Colgate University, Mara worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA for two years at a community-based center in South Philadelphia where she coordinated its Adult ESOL program, led after-school teen programming, and facilitated educational workshops for community members and visitors. As an educator, Mara believes that relationship lies at the heart of learning, and she seeks to support her students’ curiosity, creativity and critical thinking skills as she helps them work toward their goals.
Wintre Foxworth Johnson (Elementary through Middle School Reading, Writing, Mathematics Tutor & ISEE/SSAT Test Prep Tutor) has worked in an instructional capacity with a range of students (preschoolers, elementary-aged children, matriculating college freshman, and adults) beginning in high school. She developed a passion for early childhood education and literacy instruction during her time as a Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten teacher. As a result, she pursued and earned a doctorate in Reading/Writing/Literacy from the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, Wintre holds a B.A. with high distinction in African American and African Studies and a B.A. in Government from the University of Virginia. Her teaching philosophy is that learning should not only be rigorous, engaging, and responsive to individual students, but also fun and exciting.
Maya Josiam (Mathematics and Science Tutor) graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education with her M.S.Ed. and the University of Texas at Austin with her BBA in Finance and Business Honors. She is a certified mathematics teacher, focusing primarily on Mathematical Concepts and Reasoning, Pre- Algebra, and Algebra, as well as science topics including Chemistry and Physics. Maya is currently a math teacher at a Philadelphia charter middle school. She has experience teaching and tutoring math to students in late elementary school through early high school. Additionally, she is experienced in science teaching, having written and taught interactive science lessons for elementary and middle school students. As an educator, she is dedicated to supporting students in their learning goals through fostering curiosity, criticality, and a fun learning environment.
Sarah Lynch (Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics Tutor) graduated from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry with a B.S. in Environmental Biology and from Temple University with a M.Ed in Secondary Science Education. She teaches biology at a Philadelphia-based high school and has many years of tutoring experience. She believes that patience is important because it allows students to process their thoughts. While teaching and tutoring, she has found that students work best by working through the material and practicing content consistently.
Aqil Tarzan MacMood (Mathematics and Physics Tutor) graduated with an M.S.Ed from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education and a B.A. in Educational Studies and Mathematics from Swarthmore College. Tarzan was a graduate of a Philadelphia public magnet school and is currently a teacher in a Philadelphia public magnet school. Being a student in the School District of Philadelphia was a strong motivator for him to return to the city as a full-time educator. Although certified to teach mathematics at the middle and high school levels, Tarzan has experience tutoring mathematics at the elementary level. Furthermore, he has tutored calculus and introductory physics courses at his undergraduate institution for multiple semesters. Tarzan deeply values interdisciplinarity, the intersections of multiple academic disciplines. He actively seeks to demonstrate to his students the connections of mathematics to other subjects and the value of mathematics to one’s personal growth and to society.
Daris McInnis (Reading/Writing Tutor, Elementary School Mathematics Tutor & Organizational Skills Tutor) is currently a fourth year doctoral candidate in the Reading/Writing/Literacy Program at Penn GSE, and holds a Masters of Arts in Teaching specializing in Early Childhood Education. His research interests include early learning, out-of-school literacy with an emphasis on summer break learning, family literacy, and differentiated reading instruction. He specializes in providing reading and mathematics support to elementary-aged children, and prior to coming to Philly, Daris taught pre-school (age 3), pre-K (age 4), and kindergarten in D.C. for four years. Additionally, Daris teaches college-level courses in reading instruction, and is a Learning Instructor (at Weingarten Learning Resources Center at Penn) where he enjoys working closely with students to develop successful strategies in academic wellness and time management. Daris is a 2020 Tillman Scholar and served five years on active duty in the U.S. Army.
Kaylyn Miller (Mathematics Tutor) graduated from the the University of Pennsylvania with her M.S.Ed. in Mathematics Education, as well as the University of Florida with her B.A. in Mathematics and a minor in STEM Education. She is certified in 7-12 Math and General Science, and is currently teaching 7th grade Math and Science in Northwest Philadelphia. Kaylyn has experience teaching elementary through high school math with research-based practices. Additionally, she spent three years working in informal science education at a natural history museum. Kaylyn believes in using rich discussion and manipulatives to build conceptual understanding.
Carolanne Mitchell (Elementary and Middle School Reading Specialist and Writing Tutor) graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education in January 2012 with her M.S.Ed. in reading, writing, and literacy. She is a certified Reading Specialist and has been working with children and young adults as an after-school teacher, camp counselor, and tutor for ten years. She specializes in reading comprehension strategies and helping reluctant readers find books that they enjoy reading. She has also helped students through the writing process and uses writing to enrich reading experiences.
Alison Mosier-Mills (Middle and High School Reading, Writing, Organizational Skills, Science, Math, and History Tutor, MCAT Prep Tutor & College Admission Essay Coach) is a graduate of Yale University currently studying medicine at Harvard Medical School. She enjoys helping students with reading, writing, history, college essays, MCAT content and study strategies, time management and organization, as well as math and science. While in college, she won awards in writing and history, and after graduating, she received a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct public health research in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She has tutored young children and teenagers in a variety of settings over the past five years, and looks forward to working with additional students. In her free time, she enjoys reading and attending theater.
Cassandra Ogbevire (Elementary, Middle and High School Reading, Writing, Organizational Skills, Social Studies Tutor & College Admission Essay Coach) is dedicated to ensuring that students develop the necessary academic and social skills to become well-informed global citizens. She has extensive experience working with diverse learners of all ages (elementary-aged to young adult) in traditional and nontraditional educational spaces to strengthen their reading, writing, time-management/organization, and research skills. Cassandra’s teaching philosophy is rooted in helping students make meaningful connections during classroom instruction and becoming confident in their critical-thinking abilities. Cassandra graduated with honors from Spelman College where she earned her B.A. in Psychology and received her Reading Specialist certification through the University of Pennsylvania.
Jennifer Phuong (Elementary, Middle and High School Reading, Writing and Organizational Skills Tutor and Elementary/Middle School Math Tutor) is a Philadelphia native and a current doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. She has bachelor’s degrees in linguistics and French, after which she completed a master’s degree in secondary special education. She was a high school special education English Language Arts teacher for six years in New York City before beginning her studies as a Ph.D. student. Jennifer has extensive experience working in diverse schools and non-profit organizations as an instructor, tutor, classroom assistant, and after-school program leader, working with a large variety of students based on ability and language background. In these different capacities, she has worked with students mainly on reading, writing, organizational skills, and English as a second language, as well as elementary/middle school math. She believes that developing strong connections is key to learning, and that learning should also be fun and rigorous.
Erica Rosenthal (Elementary and Middle School Reading, Writing, and Mathematics Tutor, SAT/ACT & GRE Tutor, and College Admission Essay Coach) is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania’s Urban Teaching Apprenticeship Program with her Master’s degree in Elementary Education. Prior to that, she earned Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Comparative Human Development from the University of Chicago. She has worked in many elementary and middle schools in Pennsylvania and Chicago. For the past 3 years, she has worked for an education non-profit, where she taught debate and public speaking skills to elementary and middle schoolers, completely redid the curriculum, and managed 30 staff members. Her approach to teaching begins with a strong bond with the students and incorporates social justice and social-emotional learning into every lesson she teaches.
Martha Van Nuis (Middle and High School Reading, Writing and History Tutor, College Admission Essay Coach, Organizational Skills Coach and Elementary/Middle School Mathematics Tutor) taught grades three through twelve over a twenty-seven year career in a Philadelphia independent school, where she also served as department chair for the English and Visual and Performing Arts Departments. A flexible and creative tutor, she has helped students navigate the requirements for cross-curricular and project-based learning as well as those who struggle with essential text analysis and response. She has taught English language learners in grades six through twelve, working with them across the curriculum. She has TESOL/TESL/TEFL certification. Martha has graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in city planning and elementary education and a bachelor’s degree from Goucher College.
Lauren Ward (Elementary and Middle School Reading and High School French Tutor) earned her B.A. in French from Bryn Mawr College in 2003. She went on to earn a Master’s in French Studies from NYU and her Master’s in Counseling Psychology from Temple University. Lauren studied in France on three ocassions during her undergraduate and graduate studies. She taught English in primary schools as part of the Teaching Assistant Program in France and has also served as a French teacher at Concordia Language Villages. Lauren loves sharing her passion for the French language and culture with her students.
Annabel Zinn (Elementary and Middle School Math, Reading, Writing, and Social Studies Tutor) received her Master of Science in Education at the University of Pennsylvania in 2016 and her Bachelor of Arts in History from Allegheny College in 2015. She holds her teaching certificate in middle level (grades 4-8) English and Social Studies. In addition, she has worked as a Research Assistant for the Consortium for Policy Research in Education, assisting in projects that study the progression of how students learn major mathematical concepts, such as multiplicative thinking, proportional reasoning, and fractional understanding. Annabel recently worked at a charter school in North Philadelphia where she served in a variety of roles, including a 4th grade maternity substitute, upper elementary reading teacher, 5th grade writing teacher, and 7/8th grade social studies student teacher. During college, Annabel served as an Allegheny Volunteer Service Leader, working as a coordinator for the Martin Luther King Jr. Mentoring Program. She provided academic and social/emotional support to 7th/8th grade students at the local middle school, as well as organized and facilitated mentor hiring, field trips, and major program events. During college, Annabel also worked as a Teacher Fellow with the Breakthrough Collaborative Pittsburgh site where she taught small group 7th grade writing for an intensive 6 week summer program. Annabel believes that improving the ability to communicate and understand language is one of the best ways to strengthen a student’s confidence and voice.