Our instructors share one common trait: a wealth of experience both inside and outside the classroom. They understand the importance of competitive test scores, a strong academic standing, and solid communication between student and teacher. Our students are well-rounded, ambitious, and inspiring. We're proud to say our instructors possess the same qualities.

Though a number of our instructors do teach at the high school and college level, we  do not consider this a requirement. And we've never felt this is a disadvantage. Day in and day out, we see the limitations of both the private and public school systems in New York City, and how established curriculums can prepare students for some, but not all, of the challenges students face. If we were licensed teachers, we would not know what we know. If schools provided the services we provide, we wouldn't have created this company, and you wouldn't be visiting this website.

As you will read below, no member of our staff specializes in only one area. We pair students with the most qualified instructors, all of whom:

  • are 99th percentile scores on the tests they teach
  • are capable of providing rigorous course content that mirrors in-class assignments and tests
  • have mastered instructional techniques for analytic writing, high-order reading comprehension, exam prep, note-taking, and executive function support.
  • are familiar with a broad range of learning disabilities and will reach out to other members of our staff when a student requires additional support.

The biographies of our instructors are below.

Mark Losinger- Founder
Prior to founding City Smarts in 2007, Mark studied English and Political Science at Hunter College and created courses for 3 major test prep organizations. As an instructor at Baruch College, he designed the Continuing and Professional Studies Department's GRE and GMAT courses. Since then, he has assisted students in a wide array of subjects, from mathematics and chemistry to writing, history, and literature. An accomplished test taker, he has worked with hundreds of students and has a vast knowledge of admissions opportunities for prospective high school, college, and graduate students. 

Danielle Florio- Founder
Danielle co-founded City Smarts in 2007. She has a background in designing test curriculum for students of all ages, and has provided high school admissions counseling, time management and organizational tutoring, and academic subject instruction to hundreds of students. Her subjects of expertise include middle and high school maths, persuasive and technical writing, and dozens of standardized tests including the SSAT, ISEE, SHSAT, ERB, and NY State Tests. A devoted instructor and business owner, she has developed classes for CUNY Baruch and many private schools in New York City. 


47875_424121648750_841524_n_02 Nikki Faux- Intermediate Instructor &
Director of Accounts & Client Relations

Nikki joined City Smarts in 2014, bringing classroom and private instruction experience as well as eight years of experience in strategic business management. She has provided mentoring and academic support to students from ages 7 to 12 at public schools throughout the city in subjects ranging from English language enrichment, mathematics, and organizational skills. Previously an account executive for Honora Pearls, Nikki developed and maintained client relations, brand reputation and business development for both national and international accounts. As Director of Accounts & Client Relations, she manages the City Smarts offices and provides a wealth of custom service-oriented expertise to our team. A graduate of Buffalo State College, she has lived in New York since college and is currently renovating a beautiful home in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

Brett Moses- Partner
Brett Moses has worked as a strategic college admissions consultant and essay coach since 2010 and heads the college admissions programs for City Smarts. He focuses on removing the pressure from the admissions process and helping students bring their stories to life. Utilizing a narrative-focused approach, Brett has helped students at all levels gain acceptance to their target schools. In recent years, his students have been accepted to schools such as Harvard University, Columbia, and Yale. His additional roles at City Smarts include teaching essay writing and all major standardized tests. An award-winning musical composer and performer, Brett is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of New York University and holds an individualized BA in The Sociology of Music. 


jordanhardy2 Jordan Hardy- Early Childhood Education Specialist
A distinguished graduate of Duke University holding an MAT in Early Childhood Education, Jordan Hardy has worked for four years as a kindergarten and first grade teacher in Brooklyn. She was recently recognized as a distinguished educator within her charter network for the dramatic improvements her classes regularly achieve in both reading and math. Her classroom experience, background in specialized curriculum design, and supportive personality make her an exceptional tutor and a valuable addition to the City Smarts team.

Manpreet Singh- Math, Science & Standardized Exam Instructor
Born in India and raised in New York City, Manpreet brings to City Smarts his singular passion for teaching math and science. He has been tutoring since high school, where he discovered his talent for explaining difficult academic concepts using precise, easy-to-understand language. While attending New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering, he developed his own SAT Physics crash course. The results speak for themselves: most of the class scored above the 75th percentile on the exam that November. These days, Manpreet can be found helping students master a wide range of subjects including the SAT, ACT, AB/BC Calculus, and AP Physics.   


rahul_01 Rahul Patel- Advanced Math, Science & Standardized Exam Instructor
Rahul joined City Smarts in 2014. A graduate of the University of Maryland with a degree in Biology, Rahul incorporates both classroom and research experience into his lessons. Though he specializes in Environment, Chemistry, and Biology, he is also a gifted test taker, and assists middle school- and high school-aged students on a variety of admissions tests. He is currently a 9th grade Living Environment teacher in the New York City public school system.

Stephen Cedermark- French Instructor
Stephen has been serving New York City youth in both the private and public domain since beginning his studies at the Steinhardt School of Education, Culture and Human Development at New York University in 2001, where he privately tutored students grades 5-12 in subjects such as English, French, and Math. He has worked as an adult-education ESL instructor with Americorps in 2005, as well as with ESL students in private schools.  In the spring of 2008, Stephen received his MA from Teachers College, Columbia University. He currently works within a French dual-language curriculum for the NYC Department of Education.


120723_fang_006_2_02 Vickie Fang- Advanced Sciences Instructor
Vickie joined the City Smarts team in 2015.  She studied biology at Amherst College, and graduated magna cum laude with distinction before becoming an M.D./Ph.D. student at NYU School of Medicine in 2011.  She is currently completing her Ph.D. research in immunology, studying how the medical field can harness the power of the immune system to treat various diseases.  She has had much experience as a tutor for middle school, high school, college, and graduate level students in physics, chemistry and biology, and is passionate about helping students understand difficult concepts.

David Greenslade- Standardized Test Instructor
David hails from the great state of North Carolina, where the tea is sweet, and the people are sweeter. David’s interest in education began while tutoring test taking and time management skills to diverse groups of people during his time at the University of North Carolina, where he fell in love with teaching and realized the transformative impact that caring and knowledgeable guidance can have for those who want to achieve. After receiving a degree in biology, David was awarded a fellowship through Princeton in Asia to teach English and study Mandarin at the Dalian University of Technology in Dong Bei, China. When David is not translating signs in Chinatown for his own amusement, he is involved with improv comedy and acting for the stage, which has taken him all over the country as a performer and a teacher.

reed_lerner_headshot4 Reed Lerner- Tests, Applied Math and Sciences
Reed started tutoring in high school. His educational background includes stints teaching overseas in English, math and standardized test prep. HIs specialities include advanced maths, physics, and an array of standardized tests, including the ISEE, SSAT, SAT, and GMAT. Born in Los Angeles, California, he attended the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with degrees in mechanical engineering and marketing. He is the author of Math Made Easy (2015), a guide to mental math strategies.

Michael Rothbaum- Tests, Spanish, Hebrew & Biology Instructor
Michael Rothbaum joined the City Smarts team in the summer of 2015 after graduating from Cornell University with a degree in Comparative Literature and Spanish. An after-school Hebrew instructor during high school, and a peer tutor in biology and Spanish during college, Michael has been engaged in private and group instruction for his entire adult life. As an undergraduate, he also completed an education-based internship in Ghana with the NGO Voices of African Mothers, working with students preparing for the SAT. Michael currently resides in Williamsburg and is conducting clinical research in the Department of Neurological Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College with the hope of pursuing a career as a pediatric neurosurgeon.


kevin2 Kevin McKeown- K-12 Enrichment Instructor

Kevin is a graduate of Wesleyan University, where he majored in classical studies, and received his MA in Ecclesiastical History from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He has worked in education for 10 years, supervising an after-school enrichment program in Lower Manhattan and tutoring Ancient Greek at the undergraduate level. Kevin enjoys instructing a wide range of academic subjects with students of all skill levels. In his free time, you can likely find him writing scripts to fulfill his ambition of working in television, drawing one-panel comics, or spending quality time with his cat, Peach.

Abdul Muhammad- Reading and Writing Coach
Abdul Samee Muhammad’s experience reflects a singular passion for working with underserved and at-risk youths. After graduating from Georgia State University with a B.S. in Psychology in 2013, Abdul spent a year in Los Angeles with City Year, the esteemed non-profit service organization, mentoring, tutoring, and coaching inner-city students at William J. Clinton Middle School. Since moving to New York to pursue acting, he has continued to give back to the community through ongoing work in performing arts education, youth development and college readiness. He believes in the wise words by Gautama Buddha, “The mind is everything. What you think you become.”


heidi2 Heidi Bedrossian- Math, English and Standardize Exam Instructor
Heidi has 16 years of experience working with children in schools, learning centers, and afterschool programs, including seven years as a teacher and tutor.  Heidi teaches SHSAT, ISEE, SSAT, and SAT, as well as supplementary Math and English lessons.   She writes her own materials and takes great pride in tailoring lessons to individual students to best meet their educational needs and goals.  Heidi enjoys working with students with mild to moderate learning challenges and strives to make academic success a reality for every student. 


Jadila Majid- Standardized Test, Math, Science & Essay Writing Instructor
Jadila graduated Rutgers University with a degree in English, and minors in Biology and Psychology. She is currently a graduate student at Columbia University studying Clinical Psychology, hoping to continue on to medical school to pursue a career in holistic psychiatry. Jadila's focus is finding an individualized approach that works with the student's personality and academic goals. Her desire to encourage passion for learning led her to pursue teaching in various settings, from tutoring organizations to her university writing center, giving her almost six years of experience in various subjects. Her specialty is mastering the SAT, in which she scored in the 99th percentile- but other strengths include standardized testing, writing skills, reading comprehension, biology, as well as elementary and middle school math and sciences.


cantor_2012 David Cantor- Advanced Sciences Instructor
David graduated with degrees in Molecular Biology and Philosophy from Penn State before starting his MD/PhD training at NYU School of Medicine in 2011.  He is currently pursing his PhD in cancer biology, trying to find unique ways to sensitize cancer cells to therapy. David himself is curious about the sciences and strives to instill a similar curiosity in his students. He has experience tutoring chemistry, biology, and physics to middle school, high school, college, and graduate students.


Haleigh Zillges- Math, Science & Standardized Exam Instructor
Haleigh attended the University of Pennsylvania, graduating magna cum laude with a BA in Biological Anthropology (minor in Hispanic Studies), and, most recently, with an MA in Global Studies. Before coming to NYC, she spent three years working at a genetics lab at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. She has extensive ACT/SAT/ISEE/SSAT/SHSAT experience, and she prides herself on helping her students foster calm and confident mindsets towards standardized testing. She is currently studying for the LSAT, and has an interest in studying human rights and social justice issues in the future.


headshot_julia_derk Julia Derk- Math & Science Instructor
Julia joined City Smarts in 2016. A graduate of Brandeis University, she earned a B.S. in Neuroscience and Psychology with High Honors in 2012 and is currently a PhD student at New York University studying Alzheimer’s disease. Julia is a seasoned test taker, receiving all 4’s and 5’s on 11 AP tests and achieving exemplary scores on the SAT, ACT, and GRE. She has worked as a tutor and mentor for 6 years and co-founded Clear Direction Mentoring - a Science Technology Engineering and Math Outreach Program. She’s utterly passionate about helping others explore the world through Math and Science.

Tim Diep- Standardized Test Prep & Advanced Math Peer Tutor
Tim is a sophomore in the Macaulay Honors program at Baruch College, where he is currently majoring in finance with a double minor in mathematics and communications. Prior to attending Baruch College, he played baseball and wrote for the school newspaper at Stuyvesant High School. It was there where he also gained tutoring experience through the program led by the ARISTA Honor Society. Tim was able to work with his fellow students on various topics in mathematics and help them understand the concepts through a different lens. He loves to explore different ideas in more than one way, and aims to instill this passion in his students as well. Outside of the classroom, you can find him working on his golf swing, learning how to cook, or crushing his fantasy leagues.
Tim Diep- Standardized Test Prep & Advanced Math Peer Tutor
Tim is a sophomore in the Macaulay Honors program at Baruch College, where he is currently majoring in finance with a double minor in mathematics and communications. Prior to attending Baruch College, he played baseball and wrote for the school newspaper at Stuyvesant High School. It was there where he also gained tutoring experience through the program led by the ARISTA Honor Society. Tim was able to work with his fellow students on various topics in mathematics and help them understand the concepts through a different lens. He loves to explore different ideas in more than one way, and aims to instill this passion in his students as well. Outside of the classroom, you can find him working on his golf swing, learning how to cook, or crushing his fantasy leagues.

ellie2_05 Eliana Beigel- City Smarts Intern
Eliana has a long-standing relationship with City Smarts dating back to 2009. Originally a student, and later a peer tutor, Eliana now works with City Smarts as an administrative assistant. Her responsibilities include social media development and outreach, marketing, and office administration. In addition to her work at City Smarts, Eliana is a junior at the Theatre School at DePaul University.

William Losinger
William is a consultant in composition, essay writing, and lesson planning. He has taught in the SUNY system for almost 30 years as a Professor of English. He has participated in Fulbright Exchanges and workshops on writing, and has published extensively. Along with teaching literature and writing, he heads SUNY committees that develop state college standards in English composition. His expertise on college-level writing requirements is a valuable tool for our college admissions consultants.

January 21, 2017
March 11, 2017
May 6, 2017
June 3, 2017

February 11, 2017
April 8, 2017
June 10, 2017

October 2017

January 7, 2017
February 11, 2017
March 4, 2017
April 22, 2017
June 10, 2017

January 21, 2017

March-May 2017