Meet our team! Our tutors, music instructors, test prep instructors, specialists and writers come from diverse backgrounds, have a multitude of skills, and are experts in the areas they tutor or their instrument. All of our tutors are full-time professionals and many of them are current teachers and hold at least a Bachelor’s Degree. They are required to go through an intense screening process that involves a current background check.
Ryan P.C. Trimble
Sarah KochanFounder and Lead Tutor, iAchieve Learning. Working one-on-one with students has been a passion of mine for many years. I hold a Masters degree in Mathematics, was a high school Math teacher for 10 years, and began private tutoring 8 years ago. I started iAchieve Learning in 2014 and have worked very hard to create a business that offers many different services so that we are able to help as many students and families as possible. I am also a member of the National Association of Professional Women. Music has been a large part of my life and I've been playing the piano for 26 years. Seeing the progress and results that students are able to achieve in a single learning session is amazing and inspired me to start iAchieve Learning. My ultimate goal for iAchieve Learning is to provide educational services for multiple subjects and grade levels in both academics and in music. I am passionate about teaching, helping others, and making sure every student is provided with an exceptional learning experience.
Matthew WischoefferACT, GRE Test Prep Tutor, iAchieve Learning. I am a lifelong, avid learner and graduated from DePaul University’s honors program with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Economics. I am currently in the process of completing an MFA degree in Music Composition. This diverse background gives me a strong handle on both mathematics and the humanities. I know from having spent time as a student and an instructor that one-on-one instruction is the ultimate asset in reaching one’s full potential in any discipline. I enjoy examining the goals and guidelines that drive standardized exam design to better understand how to achieve success in test taking. In addition to tutoring, I work as a freelance audio professional and composer. In my free time, I enjoy building computers and audio systems from components, learning about emerging technologies, and constantly challenging my own assumptions and conclusions.
Juiette PayneEnglish, Reading/Writing and Math Tutor, iAchieve Learning. I am a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago. My degree is in architecture and design, yet I developed a passion for teaching post graduation. Since then I've worked at a number of jobs as an instructor with Chicago Public Schools, Maywood School District 89 and Starving Artists Studios, to name a few. I have worked in a large classroom setting, but I mostly enjoy working with a small group of students! I specialize in tutoring English, Reading, and Mathematics. I enjoy helping the students I tutor understand the material so that it is both enjoyable and applicable to their day to day lives. In my free time my interests include: taking walks and running, playing video games, watching anime, writing lyrics and composing music. I am looking forward to being a part of the iAchieve community!
Melissa SerioElementary School Tutor specializing in English, Reading, Writing, and Academic Coaching, iAchieve Learning. I graduated from Northeastern Illinois University Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education. I have a minor and endorsement in teaching English as a Second Language and a Middle School endorsement. Throughout my college career, I gravitated towards teaching reading and writing. This is mostly because I am passionate about these two subjects, and thoroughly enjoy reading and writing in my personal life. I am currently a Middle School English Teacher, and I love what I do! I go above and beyond for my students on a daily basis. I treat each student as an individual, unique learner. What I love about tutoring is the one-on-one individualized instruction. This allows me to cater specifically to each student's needs and work with their strengths. My ultimate goal as a tutor is to see my students grow and experience success in and out of the classroom. I achieve this by incorporating student interests into my lessons through real-world application. My interests include exercising, reading, watching my favorite shows, and spending time with family and friends!
John WoodruffMath and Physics Tutor, iAchieve Learning. I specialize in Mathematics ranging from Pre-Algebra through Calculus and Physics. As a mechanical engineer by practice and degree, I specialize in the practical application of math to explain how the world around us functions physically. Basic math up through calculus are utilized in representing the problems I work on. Additionally, I employ statistical methods, known as lean six sigma, to analyze mechanical systems and ensure mechanical designs will function as intended. I would like to use my real world examples and understanding of the usefulness of math and statistics to help advance students' understanding of these areas. I have obtained both a Bachelor’s of Science and a Master's of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University. Professionally, I have worked as a research assistant in the defense industry through my master's degree, spent five years in the automotive industry and am now working for a consumer goods manufacturer. I am a mechanical engineer, working a manufacturer of microphones. Prior to this role, I was in the automotive industry working for both Ford Motor Company and a supplier known as Gentex. I have learned that as I grow older, there is a transition from student to teacher that naturally takes place in life. As someone in their 30's, this transition has happened professionally in aiding other engineers develop their problem solving skills. The practice of teaching and advancing others' skills sets has been personally rewarding and is an area I would like to continue to be involved in. I am an active person and prefer to spend my time outside of work being outdoors whenever possible. I'm an avid Netflix and chill person on Sunday evenings, and other than that can be found with my friends around the city on the weekends. As a Michigan State graduate, I'm pulling for my Spartans, go green!
Dennis PavlikMath, Computer Programming, Electronics, and Anthropology Tutor, iAchieve Learning. I have obtained a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and a Master’s of Science in both Computer Science and Anthropology from Northern Illinois University. My love of teaching springs from my deep love, enjoyment and fulfillment in learning. Through learning an individual accumulates not only more knowledge of a particular subject matter but also develops more understanding and openness to other people and ideas. Through knowledge one becomes more productive. Through understanding one becomes more wise, content and mature as they fulfill their higher level needs. It is these aspects of learning that I want to impart in my students. The ultimate measure of my teaching ideas and methods is when my student have come back and said “I got a job in …”, “I have been doing some extra reading in …”, “I’m continuing going on to school in …”, and many other statements that indicate that I have assisted in their attainment in bettering themselves and valuing education. I enjoy sharing my wide range of interests, enthusiasm and knowledge with my students. I draw upon my work experience and accumulated knowledge base to enhance classroom presentations, tutoring sessions, substantiate theory and spark enthusiasm. During my off-hours, you can find me pursuing one of my wide range of personal interests in art, anthropology, electronics, music and trains, visiting a museum, or reading.
Rebecca HarroMath Tutor, iAchieve Learning. I love math. Math is the language of life, describing everything in the world around us from physics to French fries. Sadly, many math students find the subject a puzzling headache, fraught with unknowns and mysterious processes. Through years of tutoring, one of my greatest joys has been to help students uncover the problems and make sense of the world of mathematics!For the last four years, I have taught math in a private American school in Jerusalem, covering subjects from elementary math to Geometry, Algebra 2, and Precalculus. I've tutored while teaching, and even for a few years before, helping students move from frustration to satisfaction and even enjoyment of this complex subject. I've worked with students with a variety of learning challenges, from dyslexia to ADD. I'd love to help you learn to love math!I approach math in a way designed to make the subject applicable and fun while bringing a deeper understanding than formula memorization can achieve. I've helped students, especially in Algebra 2 and Trig, go from failing or poor grades to average and excellent marks, building confidence along the way. I bring a hands-on, visually and kinesthetically appealing perspective to Geometry, especially in the subject of proofs. For Precalculus, I have the analytical skills necessary to help a student understand where he/she is struggling in a problem that often draws on 3+ unique skill sets.
Oleg ChanyshevMath and Russian Tutor, iAchieve Learning. I specialize in mathematics, economics and statistics, including all high school math as well as some university mathematics, such as Linear Algebra or Analysis. Additionally, I offer tutoring in ACT/SAT preparation and I am equally comfortable working on all sections of those exams. I am also fluent in Russian (native speaker) and provide tutoring and translation services in this language. I have been involved in some form of tutoring since high school where I tutored fellow students in math. Later at the University of Chicago I became one of the Harper Tutors who were able to assist numerous students per day and offer help in several subjects, which in my case was mainly Calculus and Probability Theory. Over the years my love of teaching has grown and matured. I realized that I enjoy teaching not only because I love helping students and seeing them achieve their goals and excel in life, but also because it involves constant human interaction and problem solving, which makes the process always exciting and never mundane. I am a trader during the market hours, employed by one of the proprietary trading firms in downtown Chicago. Outside of the market hours, I am a tutor. I earned my BA in Economics with General Honors from the University of Chicago. I am also in the process of becoming a CFA (currently Level II Candidate). My interests include travel, mathematics, trading, music, skiing and water sports.
Melissa OckermanReading, Writing, and English Tutor and Academic Coach, iAchieve Learning. “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”—Dr. Maya Angelou This bold and optimistic statement, enunciated by renowned poet and author, Dr. Angelou, is an ideal that can be found interwoven into all of my work (teaching, scholarship, and service) and has served as a guidepost on my personal and professional journey. I whole-heartedly believe in the power of education to transform lives and thus change the world for the better. Education, at its best, is the catalyst for new ways of thinking about ourselves and those around us. I can not think of anything better than helping students make new connections (except for perhaps warm chocolate chip cookies ;) and become their fullest selves. Currently I am an Associate Professor of School Counseling at DePaul University, College of Education. A proud Buckeye, I earned by Ph.D. in Counselor Education and M.A. in School Counseling from The Ohio State University. Prior to earning my degree, I was the Director of Counseling at two counseling and wellness centers in inner-city Columbus Public Schools. At iAchieve Learning, I hope to help students gain skills in executive functioning, reading, writing, editing, psychology, and social sciences. I practice yoga, enjoy traveling, and I love spending time with my family and friends. I also happen to think that my five nieces and nephews are the best people on earth (but I might be a little biased. ;)
Ben FisherEnglish, Writing, History, Verbal ACT/SAT, College Essays and Drama Tutor, iAchieve Learning. I taught English literature and creative writing for five years at the Crystal Springs Uplands School in Hillsborough, California. During this time, I also worked closely with the school's college counseling office to assist students with their undergraduate admissions essays. I still return to Crystal seasonally and during the summer to teach writing workshops. I recently completed my masters at UC San Diego, and have relocated to Chicago for a playwriting residency. I specialize in all areas of the humanities, college admissions essays, verbal ACT/SAT prep, and creative writing. I’m passionate about literature, the arts, and I enjoy sharing that passion with young people. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, walking the dog, going to the theater, and watching football.
Brandon FalkElementary School Tutor, ACT/SAT Test Prep Proctor, iAchieve Learning. My career working with children began as a summer camp counselor for the Mattoon YMCA. I continued to work at the Y in Mattoon while I received my Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from nearby Eastern Illinois University. I continued my service through a different Y in California for two years before realizing that teaching children was the career path I needed to pursue. I returned to Illinois and to school at Northeastern Illinois University to obtain my teaching certification in early childhood education. Most of my clinical teaching experiences during school were in the kindergarten classroom, and that is where I’ve been ever since. This is my fourth year teaching kindergarten in Chicago Public Schools, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else! What I love most about teaching kindergarten is watching how quickly my students learn and how excited they get when they first realize they can read! In his free time, he loves to explore Chicago and travel with his girlfriend Samantha.
Cathy SearsElementary School Tutor, Academic Coach and Young Learners Tutor, iAchieve Learning. My education is a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. Specialized tutoring subjects include Language Arts, Literacy, Reading/Writing, Social Studies, Elementary Math, General Science, History, World History, Government, Geography. As a teacher, everyone assumes that I do all the instructing and students do all the learning; however, education is the process of learning and teaching. I am a role model for my students to be life-long learners. One of the best perks about being an educator is learning from my students. I look forward to working with you and/or your child. I have been teaching for over 25 years. I have taught preschool through college level courses. For the past 16 years, I have been at the middle school teaching language arts and literacy (writing and reading) and social studies to seven and eighth graders, switching to grades sixth through eighth as a reading resource teacher just three years ago. I love to teach, no matter what the student’s age. When I am not teaching, I relish the time I spend with family and friends. Reading, especially fiction, is another way I spend my time, which I developed a passion for when I started reading to my first born…almost 30 years ago. I love to drive both short excursions or long ones. My youngest son has indulged my love for driving by moving to Tennessee, almost a ten-hour drive. He is such a wonderful young man. In addition, I enjoy hiking and kayaking.
Carolyn HanusElementary School Tutor and Young Learners Tutor, iAchieve Learning. I am 29 years old and graduated DePaul University in 2008, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Studies. Then, I made the decision to further my education and I received a certificate in Early Childhood Education. Currently, I teach at an after-school program at the Jane Stenson School (District #68), located within Skokie, Illinois. I work with students kindergarten through eighth grade and assist them in reading, writing, math, social studies, and science. In addition, I am very artistic and implement creative activities into my program. I utilize visual, auditory, and kinesthetic strategies while helping students in a positive environment achieve their goals. My personal hobbies and interests include the following: art, reading, history, learning about child development, montessori methods and learning, running, biking, yoga, poetry, music, and film.
Nicole MuszynskyElementary School Tutor, iAchieve Learning. My area of speciality is Special Education and I am a special education teacher for the partial hospitalization program at a behavioral hospital. I have a B.S. in Education with a specialization in Special Education. I enjoy teaching because I love helping children learn what is difficult for them and making it easier. I love teaching children how to read! My hobbies include reading, spending time with my daughter, family and friends. I enjoy watching movies, too! I adore cuddling with my two cats.
Ryan P.C. TrimbleFrench/Spanish/English Tutor, iAchieve learning. The Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini is quoted as saying, “A different language is a different vision of life.” A new language opens up a student’s world to music, television, books, films, cultural ideas, and meetings they would never otherwise have the opportunity to find, and I love helping others discover them. Throughout my life, I've been able to apply that quote to my own life. I've always loved everything to do with languages. I read and wrote voraciously, in any language I knew (or thought I knew). I used to copy the "Evolution of the Alphabet" sections out of my grandparents' World Book Encyclopedias, teaching myself little bits of a lot of languages as I grew up. In high school, I properly learned to speak French and Spanish. At the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, I graduated with a double major in Film Studies & French Language, and as a member of Pi Delta Phi, the National French Honor Society. I also worked on the French television program "Le Grand Journal" in fall 2012, a show whose ratings tanked shortly after I left. Back in North Carolina, I kept my language skills sharp by tutoring at UNC-W's Learning Center as a Spanish, English, and French tutor. I also taught high school-level French at Huntington Learning Center. Besides teaching at iAchieve, I work as a social media manager for an international company, which keeps me connected to people around the world. I also perform improv and sketch comedy around Chicago (mostly in English, for now), and am working on my second novel (my first, "Fragments from 5th Ave," was published in summer 2014).
Colleen KaveReading/Writing Tutor, iAchieve Learning. During college, I tutored through a neighborhood after-school program, and through that experience, I learned that working one-on-one with students is enlightening and enriching for both parties. I have a genuine enthusiasm for literature, grammar, and writing, and I believe that well-developed communication skills are essential, not only for academic success, but in every aspect of our daily lives. I love to help students discover the keys to effective self-expression and build confidence in their ability to articulate their thoughts and ideas. I have a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Notre Dame, a JD from DePaul College of Law, and 18 years of professional experience as a writer and editor for a legal publishing company. In my free time, I enjoy attending my children’s sporting events, cooking, and singing at a cabaret and with an acoustic combo.
Anna SeidmanSpanish, Math, Science, and ACT Tutor, iAchieve Learning. I enjoy teaching because I love to explore and learn about many different subject areas, as well as to help students succeed and achieve their goals. One of my specialties is Spanish, because I majored in Spanish language and literature and have studied abroad in Mexico and Madrid. I also work a lot with math, reading, writing, and ACT prep. I'm a special education teaching assistant at Highland Park High School. I have a BA from Brandeis University, near Boston, and MA degrees in Spanish and special education. Outside of work, some of my interests are strategy games and writing, and I'm currently working on a novel.
Christina DuFlothArt Teacher, iAchieve Learning. I’ve always had a passion for Art and Creativity that goes back as far as I can remember. When I get the opportunity to brag about winning every coloring contest I entered as a kid, I do! I studied Interior Design at Harper College as well as created my own design business, Kidney Bean Inc. back in 2008. I specialize in painting, reupholstery, space planning, and color planning. I took a break from design and dedicated 7 years to my other passion, caring for and teaching children. I nannied for some wonderful families over the years with children of all ages. Being an art teacher gives me the perfect balance of both passions. I now care for our beautiful daughter Piper, who is 18 months old. She is the light that shines the brightest in my life and inspired me to open another business in 2016, Little Lady Impressions. Making Custom Headbands and Newborn Photography with my muse at my side has been such a blessing. There is never a moment around our house that we are not in some way being creative, whether it be a project, craft, or home design. Giving children tools, techniques, and guidance to achieve their utmost potential and watching a young mind, no matter the age, engage in the creative process is such a sight to see. Seeing the wheels turn and the bright smile of achievement appearing afterwards, is more than enough of a reason to love what I do. Let us put down those electronics and challenge our children to get in touch with their creative side…..you never know how they might surprise you!
Juiette PaynePiano, Guitar, Drums and Voice Instructor, iAchieve Learning. I have over 10 years of musical experience. With humble beginnings in the youth choir at my church at the age of 12, I am currently an independent recording artist and producer. I have a few music projects on iTunes and YouTube and am continuously working on fresh material. I desire to see other creatives such as myself to achieve their dreams and develop their gifts. I live to sharpen creative minds in order for their skills to be developed to the fullest. I am looking forward to working with my students with the iAchieve community.
Yvette ZalewskiPiano Instructor, iAchieve Learning. I am a student at Maine West High School and have been playing piano for 12 years now. Over the course of these 12 years I have participated in over 24 concerts and 15 competitions. For the past 4 years straight I've won 1st place in my competitions. These competitions are olympic competitions where I go against university students that major in piano. At school I'm also in the choir and I help the choirs out by accompanying them. I also play the piano for different ceremonies in school. Recently, I've been inducted into Tri-M which is a national music honor society. I love playing piano, and I know that in the future I will definitely be in some sort of piano profession. I want to make others love piano the way I do. Teaching students piano completes me as a person and I love watching people progress in piano and enjoy playing and practicing. My favorite composer is Schubert, and my favorite classical piece would be Schubert's Impromptu Op. 90 No. 3. Aside from classical music I really enjoy the oldies. My favorite singers are Elvis Presley, Jerry lee Lewis, and Dion. In all, my objective is to become a better pianist while teaching the piano to others.
David OnderdonkGuitar Instructor, iAchieve Learning. Born in Evanston, Illinois, David Onderdonk studied Classical guitar at the University ofIllinois in Urbana, IL. While there he took master classes from Manuel Barrueco,Eduardo Fernandez, and Eliot Fisk. In addition to his classical studies, he also played in the U of I Jazz Big Band under John Garvey. Since then, he has toured in Europe, Central and South America, and throughout the United States as a Classical guitarist. He has toured and/or recorded with Fred Simon, Marlene Rosenberg, Fareed Hague, Kurt Elling (three Grammy nominated albums), Terry Callier, and Grazyna Auguscik. He has also appeared on recordings with Pharoah Sanders, Mavis Staples, Casandra Wilson, Mike Stern, Howard Levy, Paul Wertico, and Paul McCandless among others. He recently served as Interim Instructor of Guitar at Interlochen Arts Academy.
Ian MeyerGuitar Instructor, iAchieve Learning. My specialties are guitar, bass and ukulele. I love all styles of music. You will not find a musical genre I don’t, or won’t, appreciate- from the simple to the avante garde- classical, country, blues, rock, metal and more. If you want to go down a musical path, I will not hesitate to help guide you. Although I have done quite well in school and college, the majority of my musical knowledge comes from a lively musical upbringing and many years of intensive personal study, practice and real-life experience. My musical knowledge is vast because it has been my passion since childhood and my whole adult life has been dedicated to furthering my abilities- whether it has been by creating/performing with bands, interning at recording studios or trading knowledge with other artists and students. In short, as a musician, I am mainly self-taught. There is nothing quite as rewarding to me as helping the world become more knowledgeable and creative. I feel that art and music are the best tools to express and communicate emotions that cannot be simply put into words. I also feel as though teaching helps me learn- so it is mutually beneficial between myself and my students. When I see my students learning and progressing, it makes me happy to know I am helping them achieve their goals. I have taught professionally throughout the Chicagoland area in schools, music stores and homes since 2000. In that time I have taught literally hundreds of students. I also created and ran a music venue/recording studio that was open from 2006-2015. Currently, other than teaching full-time, I run a booking and sound company for bands and venues in Chicago. Other than music and art, some of my other interests include cooking, reading, philosophy and learning German (I hope to travel there one day).
Giustino CarranoVocal Instructor, Baritone and Piano Instructor, iAchieve Learning. I am an avid performer, vocal coach, and conductor and have enjoyed a musical career on multiple continents. I received my Masters of Music in Performance, with secondary studies in Orchestral Conducting from Ball State University, under the tutelage of Dr. Kathleen Maurer. I began my teaching career during my studies in Pensacola, FL, where I was brought on as Instructor of Music at Olive Baptist School of Performing Arts. I have also been on the staff at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp since 2011, where I spent two summers as the vocal coach for the International Choir Ensemble of the Blue Lake International Exchange Program. Teaching has become a great passion of mine, and I believe music is something natural to us as humans; I believe that we all have the ability to be great musicians, and just need the proper nurturing to bring it to fruition. As a Vocalist, my recent engagements include La Boheme with Projekt Opera, Concert engagements with Indianapolis Opera, a European tour with the Blue Lake International Choir and Orchestra, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp staff, A Little Night Music with the Chickasaw Civic Theatre, Rigoletto with the Pensacola Opera, Gianni Schicchi, The Old Maid and the Thief, and Werther with BSU Opera Theatre. This Season I will be joining the Cast of Opera Florentine for the World Premiere of Sister Carrie, and making my debut at Opera Western Reserve in the role of El Dancairo in Carmen. I am also a founding member of the Thundercats Trio, which recently made their debut performance with the White Lake Chamber Music Festival, as well as being regular performers at the Blue Lake Summer Festival.
Jordan TynerFrench Horn Instructor, iAchieve Learning. I am a French Horn player from Chicago, IL. I have such a passion for music and enjoy teaching because I want to help someone find that same passion. I specialize in classical music, but love to go outside of the box! I am also well versed in Music Theory and Aural Skills. I work as a leasing agent during the day and teach lessons on my days off. I also play gigs whenever possible. I especially love playing in the pits of musicals. I have been playing French Horn since 2004, and played trumpet before that. I recieved my degree in French Horn performance from North Park University in 2014. Outside of music I also enjoy creative writing and art.
Jeff SchweitzerTrumpet Instructor, iAchieve Learning. I come from a musical family, all four of my siblings started on piano (as did I). I switched to trumpet when I started high school and never looked back! The instrument's ability to command attention as well as its contrasting delicate-yet-full sound at low dynamics are what make me love it. As a trumpeter, I've been called on to play in a variety of settings, from liturgical and ceremonial services to jazz, rock, blues, salsa/merengue, and commercial music. My undergraduate degree in music is from UIC, while my master's is in Composition and Jazz Studies from DePaul University. I also enjoy composing, arranging, and music engraving. Music has no limit to the amount of personal growth one can achieve, and part of the reason I enjoy teaching it is seeing students find that same satisfaction with their own playing. In addition to performing on trumpet, I also sing, and teach choir, piano, and brass methods at the high school level.
Jessica TobacmanVoice, Piano, Guitar, Viola & Violin Instructor, iAchieve Learning. I love helping students to build on their natural musical abilities. Everyone has a story worth telling, and music offers a beautiful, meaningful way to share it with the world. I’m an educator first, a musician and service-leader second, and a writer third. As a music educator, I offer private lessons at Naperville’s Tobacman Music studios and founded and direct the Congregation Beth Shalom Youth Chorus in Naperville. As a professional musician and cantorial soloist, I lead Jewish High Holiday services each year on the North Shore, have performed vocal solos with groups like the Elmhurst Choral Union and the Michael Teolis Singers, and have presented the viola parts for two world premieres by student composers at Elmhurst College in 2016. I’ve played piano and viola for 25 years, and accompanied my voice on guitar for five years. I hold a music degree from Elmhurst College (’16), an M.A. in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago (’07), and B.A.’s in European Culture and Comparative Literature from Brandeis University (’02). I studied the Jewish cantorial field with Cantor Deborah Bard, formerly of KAMI Isaiah Israel, the oldest Jewish congregation west of Ohio.
Dr. Kati Guada
Dr. Kati GuadaMy name is Kati Guada, and I am a doctor of clinical psychology. I realized early in my collegiate studies at Indiana University that practicing psychology was my calling. After graduating in 2006, I knew that I would eventually enroll in graduate school, but I wanted to see more of the world first and accepted a job in Beijing, China. Not long after signing a contract, I found myself living in a Chinese district without the comfort of ex-patriots from the Western world. During this point in my life, I was forced to learn how to get around and live in a place where the language and customs were completely different from my own. After completing my contract in Beijing, I moved back to Chicago and felt a sense of responsibility towards the multicultural difficulties faced by the Latino community in the US. I decided to learn Spanish and began to immerse myself in Latino culture. I also also traveled across Mexico for one month in an effort towards total language immersion. When I returned home from Mexico in 2009, I knew it was time to start applying the skills I learned in China, Chicago, and Mexico to the practice of psychology, and I started graduate school at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. While in school, I trained in both psychotherapy and psychological testing, including diagnosing learning difficulties. As I have always had strong passion for the power of education, I knew that I would want to incorporate educational testing into my future work. In July of 2015, after 6 long years, I graduated with my doctoral degree and in November of 2016, I opened my own business. I am excited for this huge step in my career and to be able to serve the local community as owner of Guada Psychological Services PC and partner with iAchieve Learning. Learn more about what we do at www.guadapsych.com.
Christina LippCollege and Career Counselor, iAchieve Learning. I have been working as a High School Guidance Counselor for 6 years. It is something I truly enjoy. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Concordia University Chicago and my Masters in Counseling from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. As a High School Guidance Counselor one of my specialties, and my favorite part of the job, is College and Career Guidance. From the initial college search to receiving acceptance letters to choosing which school to attend, it is an exciting process and an exciting time in a student’s life. I encourage my students to pursue what is right for them, to think outside of the box, to be thorough and genuine in the application process and to understand all of the aspects of the college decision before making it final. I truly enjoy watching my students grow in this experience and sharing it with them.
Phil LaneWriter/Blogger, iAchieve Learning. I have been working as an English/Writing tutor since 2006. I am also a full-time instructor for most standardized tests and English school subject work. I hold a Bachelor's Degree in English with a concentration in Writing, and have also done post-grad work in Secondary Education and Adolescent Psychology. When I'm not teaching, l am an avid reader, writer of fiction and poetry, and Bob Dylan and Boston Terrier enthusiast.
Julia TraversWriter/Blogger for iAchieve Learning. I am a teacher, creative writer, and journalist who loves to write about education and to support families. I'm a licensed PreK-12 art teacher with additional experience in literacy training, early education, curriculum development, classroom management, community collaboration, and tutoring. I have over ten years of experience in education in public and private schools, museums, and non-profits. I currently work full-time as a news, lifestyle, and creative writer. I'm also a practicing artist and you can check out more of my writing and creative work at jtravers.journoportfolio.com.