psst! hover over each portrait for a peek at our hobbies!
Danielle Bartholomew - sat, advanced math and science
Danielle graduated summa cum laude from the New York Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering She became the first ever Science, Mathematics And Research for Transformation (SMART) scholar at her university in 2016. She has over 6 years of tutoring experience in math and science. Her experience also includes tutoring students in SAT, SSAT, ISEE, AP Physics, AP Math, and AP Chemistry.
Sandesh BHattarai - MATH, SCIENCE & STANDARDIZED EXAMS
A distinguished graduate of NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering, Sandesh 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.
Ruth Castillo - elementary specialist
Ruth holds a B.A. in Bilingual Education from Texas A&M and a M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey California. A specialist in early childhood education, Ruth makes the social/emotional development and wellbeing of her students a top priority. In her free time, Ruth likes to rock climb, dance, sing, write, photograph and spend time in the sun.
JERIE CHOI - SAT/ACT, SHSAT, MATH & SPANISH
After graduating magna cum laude from USC with a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing, Jerie moved to New York City, where she established herself as a musician, poet, community educator and herbalist. A scholar at heart, she has tutored a broad range of subjects for several years. She enjoys explaining concepts in ways that adapt to each individual's particular learning style, interests, and strengths, encouraging participation and independent thinking as much as possible.
Julia Derk- Math & Science, SAT/ACT
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 8 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.
PENELOPE farris – math & science tutor
Penelope graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.S. in Biomolecular Science and Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience. In her final semesters she worked for the university as a tutor, mentor, and writing fellow, helping students with their science courses and scientific writing. She prioritizes the needs of her students, and aims to keep the them engaged and present. Penelope enjoys coming up with new tactics to help students gain confidence to not only further understand the material at hand, but also build problem solving skills to take on new challenges. She currently works in product development at a cognitive science consultancy, and enjoys baking and running in her spare time.
ASHLEY FORTE - ACT & SAT Tutor
Ashley recently moved to New York after graduating cum laude from Princeton University with a degree in Sociology. As a life-long lover of school and experienced tutor, she enjoys working with students to help them reach their full potential on standardized admissions tests, including the SAT and ACT, and works to foster a love of learning in the process.
Jon freEman - isee, shsat, and middle level tutor
Jon is a humanities lover with a B.A. in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis. He loves creative writing, myths, and all forms of storytelling. Jon has a scientific approach to test-taking, but he also maintains a warm and easygoing atmosphere so that students can have fun in the learning process. He is currently in his third year as a tutor in New York. You can find him singing and playing guitar in music venues across the city!
matthew gasda - writing & humanities tutor
Matt is novelist, playwright, and director, as well as an experienced teacher and tutor. He has taught English at the university, high school, and middle school levels; as a tutor, his specialties include creative writing, grammar, reading comprehension, history, and verbal test prep. He has a B.A. in philosophy from Syracuse, and an M.A. in English literature from Lehigh University. His secret talent is dodgeball.
Alexander gheesling - ISEE, SHSAT, and ACADEMIC TUTOR
Alexander graduated Magna Cum Laude from Virginia Tech University with a degree in Political Theory & Sociology. He enjoys guiding students through the challenges of test prep, and coming out the other side with confidence and clarity.
An avid writer, Alexander’s work has been published in the Silhouette Literary and Art Magazine and the Southern Sociological Society Journal. He is the co-founder of Para Noir Pictures, an independent film production company based in Brooklyn.
DAVID GREENSLADE - ACT, SAT, ISEE, SHSAT, & SPANISH
David hails from the great state of North Carolina, where the tea is sweet, and the people are sweeter. After receiving his degree in biology, David was awarded a fellowship through Princeton to teach English and study Mandarin at the Dalian University of Technology in Dong Bei, China. David has 10 years of experience tutoring the SAT/ACT, SHSAT, and other standardized tests. An accomplished actor and improv comic, David has a reputation for making tutoring fun.
MARISA KENT - SHSAT, ISEE, SAT, ACT, TOEFFL, math
Marisa graduated from Boston University in 2014, and has been working as a tutor, teacher, and writer ever since. A lover of the English language in all its maddening idiosyncrasies, she enjoys imparting an enthusiasm for learning–especially when tackling a subject that a student has always dreaded. Flexibility, personalization, and confidence-building comprise the core of her approach, and she strives to make even the most intimidating standardized test seem manageable.
Jadila Majid - Standardized Tests, Math, Science & Essay Writing
Jadila graduated Rutgers Unviersity with a degree in English and minors in biology and psychology. She is currently pursuing a masters in Clinical Psychology at Columbia University. By integrating wellness methodologies into her tutoring, Jadila strives to make tutoring an empowering experience. Parents rave about her “positive energy” and “amazing” approach. Jadila has six years of experience honed as a university writing coach and SAT classroom instructor. A scholar to the core, Jadila has demonstrated mastery in a broad range of academic domains. In addition to subject tutoring, she currently teaches the ACT, SAT, SHSAT, ISEE, SSAT, ERB and NYState exams.
EMILY MANKOFF - 1st through 6th grade math & verbal
Emily has been teaching lower elementary for the past seven years. She received her BA in Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and stayed a fifth year to complete her Master’s in Elementary Education. Throughout her teaching career, Emily has worked with students of varying abilities in both general education and inclusion classrooms. She has experience working with children with special needs both in classroom and small group settings. When she’s not in the classroom, Emily enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with friends and family!
Kevin McKeown- K-12 Enrichment, ISEE & SHSAT
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 works with students of all skill levels including those with dyslexia, executive functioning, and ADD. He tutors a wide range of academic subjects as well as the ERB, SHSAT, and ISEE. 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.
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.
Rita PEARSON – SAT, ACT, SHSAT, and SUBJECT TUTOR
Rita firmly believes that an excellent instructor teaches students not just what to learn, but how to learn. She encourages students to understand their mistakes and discover solutions, and she supports her students through periods of struggle and growth.
Rita has also taught an online literature course on Dante's Divine Comedy. The course was run by Georgetown University, her alma mater, and had thousands of participants from all over the world. Rita specializes in standardized tests. She tutors the SAT, ACT, SHSAT, and the SAT subject tests in Math, Spanish, and Literature.
DANIELLE PERL – ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE LEVEL SPECIALIST
After graduating from Lehigh University with Honors in 2016, Danielle moved to NYC to pursue her Master’s in School Counseling. She specializes in a wide variety of subjects - working with students at all skill levels, and has extensive experience working with students with IEPs. Danielle’s instructional approach is informed by her experience as a school counselor; she prioritizes the development of life-long skills.
MANDY RANERO – Math, Science, Standardized Tests
Mandy studied Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the University of Colorado – Boulder. She believes in creating an atmosphere where students feel comfortable to ask questions and push themselves. Mandy strives to instill concrete understandings of concepts so that students can grow independently. Mandy also loves to write her own homework and study plans so that they are customized to the student’s needs. She is also a comedian in NYC, so you can catch her trying to make her students laugh!
MANPREET SINGH- MATH, SCIENCE, SHSAT, SAT, & ACT
Born in India and raised in New York City, Manpreet brings to City Smarts a singular passion for teaching math and science. 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 tests such as the SAT, ACT, and SHSAT, and advanced subjects such as AB/BC Calculus and AP Physics.
Ahmad Shahid - SHSAT, Math & Science
Ahmad is a senior Math & Economics student at Fordham University. A native to Brooklyn, Ahmad has tutored and mentored students for several years, specializing in the SHSAT and the NY State Exams. While interning at an investment bank, Ahmad developed his own finance course, guest lecturing at two private NYC high schools and providing students with college guidance. If spotted, Ahmad can be found reading, learning the piano or practicing his martial arts skills.
Andrew s. – SCIENCE, MATH, STANDARDIZED TESTS
Wielding a B.A. in Chemistry from UC-Irvine and an M.A. in Real Estate Development from NYU, Andrew brings a deep well of institutional knowledge to the learning table. His lifelong passion is for the natural sciences, but he is also a serial vanquisher of standardized tests--regardless of subject. He also “geeks out pretty hard” about medieval European history. Andrew forges strong relationships with his students, a function of his belief that students learn best when they are inspired.
Rehan tariq – math, science, & Test prep
A POSSE Scholar and graduate of University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.S. in Microbiology, Rehan is a committed advocate of individualized instruction. He encourages students to verbalize their thought process and engage critically with their own learning process.
In addition to high level math & science support, Rehan teaches the following exams: SHSAT, SSAT, ISEE, and the SAT. In his free time, you can find him shooting hoops.
CHANDO YUN - SAT, ACT, SHSAT, HUNTER, ISEE, SSAT, REGENTS MATH
Chando was born and raised in South Korea. Despite his late arrival in the States at the age of 13, he quickly overcame his cultural and linguistic barriers to thrive academically at one of California’s premier college-prep boarding schools. With a near perfect GPA and SAT score, he gained admission to Williams College, where he majored in music. It was during his time at Williams that he began to dive into the world of academic tutoring. Chando is equally at home providing guidance for specialized secondary school exams and college entrance exams. He recently earned his graduate degree in music composition from New York University and continues to work as a freelance composer/producer when he is not tutoring.
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 prides herself on helping her students foster calm and confident mindsets towards standardized testing.
Kendra Zhong - test prep tutor
Kendra is a sophomore Biochemistry student at Columbia University. She’s an experienced ACT and AP Bio tutor. She believes in the wonder of knowledge and hopes to share joy with her students through the process of studying: learning should be fun! In her free time, Kendra writes for The Eye, Columbia's weekly undergraduate magazine, on Columbia's relationship with West Harlem, as well as research the link between Type-2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease at the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center.