Meet Our Exceptional Teachers!
Meet our exceptional teachers! In addition to having master’s degrees, and classroom teaching experience, our teacher-tutors possess a unique collection of qualities, skills, and teaching abilities, such as communication with both parent and student, listening, collaboration, adaptability, empathy, and patience.
In addition to these basic qualifications, our teachers focus on conducting engaging sessions, while teaching best practices, coupled with creating and building relationships with each of their students, that inspire and motivate each to a lifelong love of learning.
S4 Study Skills Teacher Kam I.
“An inspiring teacher needs to have a contagious passion for the subject matter…and clearly demonstrate that they care…[with] empathy and compassion…if the student doesn’t think you care, it doesn’t matter how interesting your lesson is”.
S4 Study Skills Teacher Jessica L.
“..From those moments when students display new found confidence towards [their] work… and becoming extremely enthusiastic about the material [allowing] them the opportunity to succeed at a level that perhaps before they never imagined.”
S4 Study Skills Teacher Elyssa H.
“You can’t inspire kids you don’t know. The focus needs to stay on getting to know each individual student. Kids don’t care how much you have to teach them until they know you care about them as more than students. And so you really have to start with that foundation.”
S4 Study Skills Teacher Nina H.
“What it takes to be an inspiring teacher is to love learning yourself and to let your genuine interest and passion come through to your students…and [when they know that you] authentically care about them…they are much open to learning…Our jobs as [S4] teachers is to make ourselves not needed..so they can apply the skills [on their own].”
S4 Study Skills Teacher Louie V.
“I have a deep passion for the subject of mathematics. The most important thing about being an inspiring teacher is caring about what you do. ..Students clearly respond to teachers that care about their progress.”
What Our Teachers Say
Why Families Should Use Successful Study Skills 4 Students
Why Are Study Skills So Important
S4 Study Skills & Online Teaching
How S4 Study Skills Improves Student Outcomes
Why Is S4 Study Skills Different From Other Tutoring Organizations
Educational Background: Tufts University, Bachelor of Arts in Biological Anthropology. Masters of Education in Instructional Practice from Lipscomb University.
Why I Teach: Growing up, I was lucky enough to be placed in the care of incredible teachers who stretched my thinking and encouraged my love for learning. They did this, not by telling me what to think or be, but by showing me how much they thought I could accomplish. It is the curiosity and confidence instilled in me by them that I hope to pass on to each of my students. I have seen how easy it was for teachers and students alike to get swept up in storms of grades and testing, often forgetting that the most important aspects of education are not those that can be measured quantitatively. I teach to make sure my students receive both the academic and social-emotional education they need to become happy, unique, successful individuals.
What I Like About the S4 Curriculum: S4 is the first program I’ve found that truly focuses not on what students are learning but on how they are learning it. This curriculum enables students to more efficiently use their time and more effectively achieve their goals. It focuses on creating long-term habits that students can continue to use in high school, college, and beyond. By focusing on skills such as time management, planning, organization, summarizing, and questioning, S4 helps students take ownership of their education and more confidently approach challenges they meet throughout their life. As students begin to implement this program, I see a clear shift from anxiety to motivation and engagement, showing me just how effective S4 can be.
Elyssa has been wonderful! We are very grateful to have found her and very much appreciate her help. We would definitely like to renew for another series. — Rachel Cohen, Westport, CT
Educational Background: Bachelor of Arts in English Adolescence Education (7-12) at SUNY Cortland. English literature MA program at Stony Brook University (Summer 2021- Present)
Why I Teach: As the daughter of immigrant parents, my education has always been a gift I embrace. My mother came to the states to build a better future for her children and to later gift me the possibilities of success and growth. Education gave me the courage to go away to college, the bravery to travel to Germany, and the life lessons to be a mindful educator.
This past year I realized that I teach because of where my teaching brings my students. Seeing my students become better communicators, readers, writers, and just creative individuals overall, has been so refreshing. One important thing I have learned as an educator is that I don’t need to be the teacher I needed growing up, instead, I need to be the teacher that my students need. Times are changing, education is transforming, and I want to be able to teach my students how to be well-educated and well-rounded individuals who are open-minded to change.
With a Masters of Arts in English degree, I am continuing to read great literature, learn about the world, and grow into a better educator. And so here I am today, proud of what education has given me and excited to see what it will continue to give me.
What I Like About S4: As I am currently still a grad student myself, I realize that study skills are far more than just passing classes, courses, or assessments. Study skills allow students to be better readers, note catchers, and problem solvers. Study skills invite conversation for time management and organizational skills, which are life skills that students can bring to any field in any profession. I started implementing mini-study lessons for my high school students because as they transition to a new stage of their life, they must learn how to juggle their education, personal life, and hobbies or sports. Implementing healthy habits now makes life less stressful and gives students a sense of accomplishment. These skills eventually help students manage their lives better so when they do go out into the real world, they walk away with goal-oriented minds.
Educational Background: Bachelor of Arts in History and Secondary Education from the University of Illinois. Professional Educator License received from state Board of Education in 2019, with endorsements in History and Political Science.
Why I Teach: I teach because I love to help adolescents learn about the world around them and provide the knowledge, skills, and tools to navigate their lives in high school, college, and beyond! Since my earliest student teaching experiences, I have been amazed at how education can create a positive change in not only a student’s life, but in the world. As a licensed high school teacher in the suburbs of Chicago, and more recently, as a Fulbright Scholar in Spain, I have worked tirelessly to implement lessons and strategies to help students not only prepare for their next test, but for a life of learning. I always bring an empathetic and exciting disposition to my interactions with students, and I know that I can help students excel in their academic and social-emotional lives.
What I Like About S4: The S4 Curriculum provides a phenomenal set of strategies, tools, and skills to navigate the ever-complex workloads that students are given. Time management is one of the top indicators of academic and professional success at the post-secondary level and beyond, and the S4 Curriculum directly addresses ways to improve time-management, organization, confidence, and more! The S4 team actively improves how a given individual learns by implementing strategies that give students the structure to succeed, the tools to pivot and adjust, and the perspective to evaluate and assess how they can improve their own learning in the future.
Educational Background: Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Connecticut. Masters of Arts in Secondary English Education from New York University.
Why I Teach: Teaching has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I first decided I was going to be a teacher when I was in kindergarten. From that moment on, I worked towards my goal, starting by playing “school” with my siblings in front of a chalkboard that I had gotten for Christmas. In high school and college, I worked at my school’s writing centers and tutored my peers. Eventually, I got my own classroom and started teaching English Language Arts to middle schoolers.
I love teaching for so many reasons but primarily for the connections, it helps build. I remember, very vividly, the ups and downs of being a student. So often, I felt uncertainty and a lack of confidence. My goal is to make my students feel heard, respected, and confidence, and to turn them into active participants in their education. I have witnessed the difference it makes when teachers work as their students’ cheerleaders, when they believe in their students and push them to be their best.
What I Like About S4: After teaching during the pandemic, it has become increasingly clear to me that out-of-school study skills are an essential part of a student’s educational journey. During remote learning, students were forced to live in a world with drastically increased independence, but with little or no support on how to navigate it. The content knowledge they were receiving was incomplete without the ability to learn it well. Teaching students how to learn is just as important as teaching content. Additionally, the skills taught through S4’s curriculum take students well beyond the classroom. Creating good habits around time management and organization sets each student up for success in college and further career.
Educational Background: Graduated summa cum laude from Georgetown University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Sociology. Earned Masters of Arts in English Education from Columbia University, Teachers College.
Why I Teach: Teaching is an ongoing process of construction and transformation where the infinite power of knowledge allows for perpetual future growth. As a life-long learner, I sincerely enjoy the journey of working with today’s youth and tomorrow’s leaders. This personal passion of mine truly emerged when I majored in English at Georgetown University. While working towards my Bachelor of Arts degree, I was afforded a wonderful opportunity to teach in several underprivileged Washington, D.C. classrooms with quite moving leaders and keen students. With an innate yearning to help further their learning and mission, I instantly knew education was my personal calling. Following my undergraduate experience, I started teaching around the clock in New York City as I completed my Masters degree at Columbia University, Teachers College. Since then, I have taught reading, writing, literature, executive functioning, and much more to a wide range of students in a multitude of different contexts over the last fifteen years.
Above all – I teach to inspire; I teach to instill the vast value of development into my students’ lives and make their educational experiences both moving and meaningful. And as a passionate and dedicated teacher, I continually explore the dual power of practice and pedagogy to grow as an enlightened educator as time evolves.
What I Like About the S4 Curriculum: A successful final product is the result of a steady, efficient, and productive process. The S4 curriculum effectively prepares students for achievement because it focuses on the entire system rather than just the end goal. When studying for an exam or preparing for a project, S4 students utilize key organizational strategies and structures to map out their plan down to the most integral details. The S4 system values time management and helps students navigate their workload around extra-curricular activities, sports, jobs, and more. Further, S4 offers students multiple tactics and techniques to aid in personal note taking, summarization, and even memorization. S4 recognizes each student as a unique learner and supports individualized learning through appropriate differentiation and one-on-one tutoring. Students are continually given the tools to succeed and offered an incredible support system to sustain personal growth and development.
“Jessica was absolutely fabulous. She worked so well with our son. Thank you so much for matching us up with such an amazing teacher. We could not be happier.” — Deborah Sallaberry, Ridgefield, CT
Director of Curriculum
Educational Background: Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy from Boston College. Master’s Degree in Secondary English Education from Fairfield University.
Why I Teach: My interest in teaching started as a child because my father is a music professor. During my undergraduate years at Boston College, I developed a love for writing essays and discussing literature. Several professors suggested that I consider teaching, so after I graduated, I decided to substitute teach in Ridgefield, CT, to figure out whether teaching was for me. I loved it. I applied to be an Americorps teaching fellow in New Haven, CT, teaching English at Saint Martin de Porres Academy (SMPA). After volunteering for two years, I continued teaching at SMPA for three years while I earned my master’s degree at Fairfield University. My experiences at SMPA and Fairfield confirmed my passion for education and motivated me to become a lifelong teaching professional.
What I Like About the S4 Curriculum: I discovered S4 when the president of Saint Martin de Porres Academy (SMPA) brought the organization to my attention. I like the S4 curriculum’s emphasis on developing better habits. Studying is not an isolated action that happens before a test, but a system of good habits that students should practice routinely. S4 supports students in a systematic, user-friendly way, teaching students how to take notes while reading and during class, how to use a planner and pace long-term assignments, and how to engage in the learning process by asking questions, using visuals, and summarizing. If students practice these habits consistently, studying becomes a steady process of learning every day rather than an urgent task of memorizing the night before an exam. I love that students leave the S4 workshops feeling more confident and less stressed about school.
“Kam has had a very positive impact on our son’s approach to his school work as well as his writing. One of the strongest benefits has been how Kam has taught our son how to apply himself to multiple projects, and how to break tasks down. He really respects Kam and doesn’t like to disappoint him, which results in his working hard independently in between their tutoring sessions. Further, Kam has impacted our son as a life mentor, more than I think Kam realizes. Their general chit chats have encouraged our son to think more broadly about topics, and be more thoughtful about his own opinions and critical thought. Our son is not well read, but Kam is, so their current events/cultural discussions have really been educational beyond the academic work. Kam’s involvement has also allowed my wife and I to maintain a positive and cheerful dynamic with our son, since we no longer check to see if homework has been completed. Kam is a pleasure to see every week, is very polite, flexible and responds to our texts promptly.” — David B., Darien, CT
Educational Background: Bachelor of Arts in English and minor in Spanish from Fairfield University, Masters in Secondary English Education from Fairfield University, Sixth Year Certificate in TESOL at Fairfield University. Lauren is certified to teach grades 7-12 and has experience teaching the ACT/SAT.
Why I Teach: I love how wonderfully unique each classroom environment is. I’ve had the privilege of working in different school districts with students of all grade levels and English Language proficiencies. I truly enjoy getting to know my students. I believe the student/teacher relationship should be based on trust and respect because it is difficult to learn something new. I try to make my students feel valued and I enjoy facilitating experiences to give my students a voice to express themselves. I am grateful for their belief in themselves and me. I enjoy learning from them just as much as teaching them. It’s a team effort!
What I like about the S4 Curriculum: I believe the S4 curriculum’s emphasis on breaking down planning and study skills into manageable chunks is essential for success in school and life beyond. At first, studying for a test and getting organized may seem overwhelming, but with practice, you can use these skills to manage your workload in any subject area. I also think being able to apply these skills on a regular basis will enable you to become a more independent and responsible student. It’s a great feeling to be accountable for your work, and have the results as well!
”My rising 4th grader was a terrible reader, and hated it. Your tutoring has built up his reading stamina and comprehension. He is now excited to read and looks forward to his tutoring session, and he is even reading to his younger sisters!” — Susan Spencer, Miami, Florida
Educational Background: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Studies from Davidson College. Master of Science in Secondary Education from Johns Hopkins University.
Why I Teach: I joined Teach for America out of college and was inspired by my students’ determination to learn and grow. I admired their work ethic and commitment and worked each day for the benefit of my students. In the 2019-2020 school year, I received a Fulbright Fellowship to Madrid, Spain, where I learned to apply my teaching knowledge in a different cultural context. My goal is to help students build their curiosity, resourcefulness, and initiative so they can be agents and advocates of their own learning. I have worked with students with a wide range of intellectual and emotional needs and work to sharpen their academic skills and therefore their confidence as well.
What I Like About the S4 Curriculum: I like the S4 curriculum because it emphasizes the skills necessary to be a lifelong learner. The S4 curriculum provides students the tools and resources to become active participants in their own learning through opportunities to explicitly learn and practice the skills needed to be successful in the immediate and long-term future.
Educational Background: Background: University of Delaware, Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and European Studies. Pace University, Masters of Science in Teaching for Adolescent Education in Social Studies. NY State Certification, grades 7-12.
Why I teach: To me, teaching is more than just delivering the information needed to pass a test. It is a cultivation of a whole person through growth in knowledge, skills, and the development of an individual. While there are fundamentals to learn in any subject, what a student learns in school only matters if there is a meaning behind it. I believe that it is my role as a teacher to connect with students and allow them to discover these deeper meanings in their coursework. Each student is unique; this applies to the way they learn, their interests, and their strengths. It is up to a teacher to identify these qualities and create differentiated paths to allow each student to become advocates for their own achievement. I am here to help guide and facilitate this important process.
What I like about the S4 curriculum: The S4 curriculum enables students to develop skills that will not only help them in their present academic career but also become lifelong learners, critical thinkers, and participants in society. S4 provides resources that act as a vehicle for students to utilize and apply regardless of subject and level throughout their lives to engage in a deep understanding and maximize the opportunity to achieve. I think these skills are not only important in the present but will serve as invaluable tools for the future.
Educational Background: Iona College, Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education and Social Studies, Western Connecticut State University, Masters of Education with a concentration in Special Education, Fairfield University, Masters of Arts in Special Education, and Sacred Heart University, 6th Year Certificate in Educational Leadership
Why I Teach: I remember from a young age I always wanted to be a teacher when I would play school with my siblings and cousins. In 7th grade, I had an amazing math teacher who inspired confidence and a belief I could overcome any struggle. She is the reason I am a teacher today, still in contact with her, and why I love going to work every day. I am currently a Special Education teacher in Stamford, and prior to that, I taught in the Diocese of Bridgeport as a middle school social studies teacher. My teaching philosophy is built on relationships and building trusting relationships with my students. Nothing makes me happier as a teacher than to see my students achieve and surpass their academic and social-emotional potential. I love teaching and helping students learn!
Why I Teach Study Skills: As a special education teacher I see firsthand the struggles students have with executive functioning and my passion to help them develop executive functioning skills. By developing executive functioning skills students experience the benefits these skills have on their academic success. Teaching students how to manage an agenda book, create an outline of a paper, break down a long-term project into manageable chunks, organize and prioritize their work, study for tests, and create a calendar of tasks to complete, are all skills that help students see academic success.
Educational Background: Bachelor of Arts Degree, cum laude, Williams College. Master of Fine Arts, School of Visual Arts. Master’s of Science in Teaching, Secondary English and Special Education, Pace University (projected December 2020).
Why I teach: My very first job was teaching as a camp counselor the summer before college. I discovered then the satisfaction that comes from sharing a passion with others. One of the most compelling aspects of teaching for me is helping students acquire new skills and understanding. Fortunately, as a teacher, I remain a perpetual student continually learning as I develop new lessons and refine instruction. I appreciate bringing my personal style to class and rely on humor, curiosity, creativity, and empathy to guide my work.
What I like about the S4 curriculum: As a visual learner myself, I realize the importance of prioritizing and presenting information in a memorable and eye-catching format. S4 provides direct instruction on the visual display of ideas to foster deeper understanding and more thorough acquisition of concepts. Since organizing materials and structuring time is critical to student success, S4 supplies the necessary tools and skills instruction for maximizing academic potential. I am drawn to the practical nature of the S4 program as well as its accessibility to all students who learn how to adjust their habits and practices to meaningful effect. S4’s systematic approach empowers students to manage assignments and activities through strategies that are valuable both now and in the future.
Educational Background: Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Economics (minor) from Tufts University
Why I teach: The root of why I enjoy teaching I think comes from my parents. They met as teachers at a private school in NYC. In high school, I began by teaching tennis over the summers and worked my up to Camp Director. I also taught guitar lessons as well. After graduating college, I found a profound passion for writing where several years later, I lucked out and sold a TV show to FOX. Still, my passion for teaching persisted. Even while making a living as a writer, I work part-time as a teacher at Yonkers Partners in Education (YPIE), a non-profit for underprivileged kids in the Yonkers school district. Here, I teach both Earth Science and Biology, as well as writing. I’ve been working there for 3 years now. I think in any profession, you often chase a certain “high.” In finance, it might be that big bonus. In comedy, it might be a laugh. In teaching, it’s that moment where something clicks for a student – that AHA moment. I can’t get enough of that.
What I like about the S4 Curriculum: The content of what you teach is certainly important. However, what I believe is just as important (if not more so) is HOW kids learn. To me, this is the most under-appreciated aspect of education. If the content is there, but the techniques to absorb that content is lacking, then the whole thing is a wash. I have a unique understanding of this, having had some learning issues when I was very young. My parents, however (both having been teachers) recognized this early, and I was lucky enough to get the extra help I needed. A lot of that help involved learning how to learn, as opposed to just what to learn. Later, with this new knowledge, I was able to thrive in high school and eventually go to a great school. This is exactly what the S4 Curriculum strives for, and the techniques and methods used are some of the exact strategies that helped me. I feel very fortunate, and am excited to pass this on to the next generation.
“At first, Ben was very resistant to tutoring, but as he got to know Will, he came to look forward to his online sessions, and actually asked for more. Will kept my son accountable and on-track, teaching and helping him to be responsible for his work. What was especially gratifying was to see my son gradually become more of an independent student.” .” — Sonia Brown, Summit, New Jersey
Catherine M. (Mathematics)
Educational Background: SUNY Oneonta, Bachelor of Science in Adolescent Education and Mathematics. Manhattanville College, Master of Professional Studies in Special Education 7-12. NYS Certification in Mathematics and Special Education, grades 7-12.
Why I Teach Mathematics: Why I teach: Believe it or not, I was never a strong math student! It did not come naturally to me, and I struggled all throughout elementary and middle school. It wasn’t until I met my 7th-grade math teacher that everything changed for the better. She worked one on one with me daily, provided me with much-needed encouragement, and pushed me to take on challenges that I never thought were possible. Most importantly, this teacher never gave up on me. I will never forget how she made me feel and how she motivated me to do better. The reason I teach is that I want to provide this same opportunity to my students. I want to push students to grow not only academically, but socially and emotionally as well. I want to build students’ confidence in math, just like my 7th-grade teacher did with me. Overall, I truly believe that every student deserves an opportunity to excel in math, and I want to be a part of their journey to success.
Justin S. (Mathematics)
Educational Background: Bachelors of Science in Mathematics with a Minor in Computer Science from the University of Bridgeport
Why I Teach Mathematics: Mathematics is not about solving equations. Nor is it about memorizing a series of steps to solve problems. Anyone who graduates high school after 12 years of math and walks away thinking that to be the case has been failed by their math teachers because mathematics is much more than that it is the single most powerful tool ever developed by humanity and it is the pinnacle of human achievement. I think mathematics is beautiful; it is about logic and problem-solving skills. I make it my goal to show students this side of mathematics -a highly elegant and rigorous system of logic in which problems can be proposed and solved. I believe if more students were taught math from this perspective rather than being told to memorize a series of steps there would be far fewer people who are math-phobic and in fact much more people with a deep appreciation for the subject. I love teaching math and I find few greater pleasures in life than helping people learn and understand the subject.
What I Like About the S4 Curriculum: The S4 Curriculum provides students with an essential service for their success in school. Private tutoring can do so much more than a classroom. A classroom needs to simultaneously cater to everyone in the room but individuals can then miss pieces of instruction – and in cumulative subjects like mathematics missing one topic could lead to being lost for the entire rest of the course it is vitally important that students have ways to identify and close these gaps as they appear. Beyond closing gaps creating private individualized sessions without distractions of a classroom will often lead to a student having a much richer and deeper understanding of the material than would otherwise be possible in the classroom.
Louie V. (Mathematics)
Educational Background: Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from University of Bridgeport, Master’s Degree in Secondary Mathematics Education from University of Bridgeport
Why I Teach Mathematics: To start with, I find working on math to be very fun. Math problems are like puzzles, and when you look at them as such it becomes very cathartic. A big goal of mine is to show others how fun working on math can be. Math has an awful stigma in the United States as being boring and scary and that is simply not true. Math is highly elegant. And I want to share and spread enthusiasm for the subject. Not only do I find the subject to be so fun, but I also take a lot of pride in what I do. I believe students each require their own differentiated instruction, and I believe I excel in that. When students do not understand something it is important to provide a variety of methods or ways of teaching material. I think I am really good at what I do and I am fortunate enough to do what I love.
What I Like About the S4 Curriculum: What I like most about the S4 curriculum is how it provides students with an exclusive service in helping them succeed in school. Individualized tutoring sessions are proven to improve a student’s academic performance, as well as confidence in the subject area. Students are much more likely to miss out on material in large classrooms. By giving students additional time in a one-on-one setting, all the distractions a classroom can bring a stripped away. This gives students a highly focused, individualized lesson, in which much can be accomplished.
Kelsie J. (Spanish)
Educational Background: Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Secondary Education with a minor in English from Fort Hays State University. Master of Arts in Spanish from Kansas State University.
Stephanie S. (French, ELL)
Educational Background: Bachelor’s of Science in French; Masters Degree in Education for the Advanced Studies of Teaching and Learning of World Languages
Why I teach: I fell into teaching when I came home from 18 months abroad studying at the Alliance Français and then the Sorbonne. I was a long-term substitute in a rural school district that needed a French Teacher. Establishing positive rapport with the students, I was excited to share with them the often fascinating and diverse cultures of the world outside their farms. Teaching for me has been a way to give back to young people the joy and wonder that I have found in my learning.
Why I teach French: “If you speak to a man in a language, that goes to his head. If you speak to a man in his language, it goes to his heart.” (Author Unknown). I understand the global impact of being multilingual on both career and life opportunities. Learning other languages for me is like solving a linguistic and cultural puzzle. I’ve lived and studied in two francophone countries, done homestays in Costa Rica and Germany, visited numerous other countries, and studied over six languages. I enjoy finding ways to unlock the linguistic codes, and breaking down the vocabulary and grammar. I want to make language learning fun, the grammar concepts easy to understand, and raise students’ confidence in their ability to learn another language. I’m passionate about being a globally-minded citizen and it’s my passion to instill this same love in my students.