Our Instructors


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Jadila Majid - Standardized Tests, 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. 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.

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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.

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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.



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.



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. 



Sandesh is a Junior Chemical Engineering student at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering. He believes in fostering curiosity and reasoning in students, and endeavors to build problem solving skills that are useful far beyond the classroom. Sandesh tutors all standardized tests and a variety of STEM focused academic disciplines. 



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.



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.

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.

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.