Our Tutors

At Intelligentsia, our primary interest is the same as yours – to find the best tutors possible. Intelligentsia educators serve not just as tutors, but also as role models, teachers and mentors to curious, engaging students who want to do their best at school and in their lives.

As a boutique company, we have the benefit of knowing our clientèle very well, and we know that smart, savvy students need sharp, effective tutors.

We start by looking for the brightest minds at the top universities and workplaces. We then conduct extensive interviews and evaluative teaching exercises to ensure that we have educators who live up to Intelligentsia’s exacting standards.

As a result, our tutors include PhD candidates, professional scientists, writers and educators, all of whom are experts in their respective fields and use the most effective tutoring methods. Intelligentsia tutors are bright, creative and, most importantly, engaging educators who have a wide range of interests and achievements in their lives and are dedicated to the idea that learning should be an enjoyable, rewarding experience.

Because each tutor is chosen to provide a customized educational experience, we are able to provide students with the exact guidance they need for all academic subjects as well as the best test preparation skills and techniques available.

Finally, we recognize that if our tutors are happy, so are our clients. Therefore, we offer our tutors generous compensation so they’ll continue providing the best service to our clients year after year.

 


243114_10150280888385775_7874695_o AlisonArt school portfolio preparation, Photography

Alison graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in Fine Arts and receiving a rigorous and well-rounded education in drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture,          photography, and bookmaking. In her sophomore year, she fell in love with the darkroom and graduated with a concentration in Photography. After her time at Cornell, Alison spent a few years teaching  classes on digital photography and working in a photography lab. In 2010, she continued her education by earning a Masters of Fine Arts at Parsons School for Design, where she concentrated in  photography and video. While at Parsons, she had the opportunity to work with freshman students in the darkrooms and computer labs, teaching the fundamental skills of photography and working with  young artists to begin to find their voices.

Alison is most excited at the opportunity to work with students to build strong portfolios. When applying to undergraduate university fine art programsshe knew how important submitting a strong portfolio was and sought out mentorship and guidance from a teacher she met in her pre-college classes at Parsons. She remembers how daunting the differences between art school applications and traditional applications are and believes strongly in the benefit of working closely with someone to help with that process. From portfolio development to taking better photographs for Instagram, Alison loves helping students discover and refine their individual styles.

We are absolutely delighted to have someone with Alison’s expertise on our team at Intelligentsia. It’s easy to focus on academic weaknesses and lose sight of the benefit students can find from working closely with a mentor to help inspire and refine their artistic pursuits as well. Too many schools lack adequate arts programs, and we believe that the best education is a well rounded one, in which students develop their creative minds alongside their intellectual pursuits.

In her own practice as an artist, Alison has garnered awards and residencies in France, Finland, and China. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally and has participated in the Beijing Design Festival, Pingyao International Photography Festival, and the Dail International Photo festival. She has also had the honor to study under the direction of Magnum photographer, Antoine D’Agata.

 


Stone, Amelia pic Amelia – Math, Physics

Amelia earned her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Minor in Economics from the University of Rochester. She continued her graduate studies at the University of Southern California where she earned her Masters in Mathematics. During her time at USC, Amelia has served as a Graduate Assistant teaching Calculus 1, 2 & 3. She also has several years experience as a tutor teaching students one-on-one and in small groups in all levels of math and preparing students for mathematical competitions. Amelia specializes in tutoring middle school through upper-level college mathematics, physics, logic, and microeconomics. Currently, Amelia is teaching two math courses at East Los Angeles College. She is in the process of applying to several applied mathematics and bioinformatics doctoral programs in order to continue her mathematical research. We are incredibly lucky to have Amelia on our team. It is rare to find a true mathematics expert who is not only thoroughly versed in complex, advanced concepts, but is also able to explain the most  rudimentary material to students of all ages and abilities with clarity. Amelia has a warm, inviting personality, which, coupled with her extensive knowledge of all levels of mathematics, encourages students  to set aside their fears and approach math with confidence.

In her spare time, Amelia enjoys playing flag football and the viola.

 


Bradford Holmes headshot

 Brad — Latin, Greek, Classics and English

Brad has been teaching and tutoring students of all ages since he graduated from Harvard in 2004. During that time, he has taught Latin and English at independent schools in New York and California and  done graduate work in the Classics at USC, where he also taught Latin and Greek to undergraduates.

 While Latin may not be the most popular subject to study, we are always excited when students choose to pursue the course and have the opportunity to work with Brad. He has made it a life’s mission to  instill the same enthusiasm in his students about the ancient world as he has and firmly believes that learning Latin is as valuable for one’s development as a student and a scholar as Math or English    Literature. He also understands that learning it, especially at the introductory levels, can be intimidating. As a result, he makes sure tutoring sessions are relaxed and fun, to lessen the intimidation factor of  this crazy dead language.

Brad currently teaches middle school Latin at a private school in Orange County. We are incredibly fortunate that he loves teaching so much that he is happy to work with Intelligentsia students in the Los Angeles area, as well. In his free time, he is an avid music collector and occasional musician (drummer). He also loves finding under-the-radar films to watch and new restaurants to try.

 


Tran, Brian pic

 Brian —K-12 Academic Subjects; ISEE, HSPT, SAT, ACT prep

A cum laude graduate of UCLA, Brian has worked in education in a variety of capacities. He taught high school math and English in the first years of a charter  school. He also worked as an advisor and  instructor at a film school, developing the curriculum of the career services department, and he has privately tutored students over the course of his career. He considers himself a life-long learner and  accordingly places an emphasis on making the material he’s teaching relevant to students’ lives. Even in his leisure, Brian finds a way to stay involved in education—during his annual getaway to the  beautiful and renowned Telluride Film Festival, he works in the Student Symposium, a distinguished program for high school and college students.

Upon meeting Brian, I was immediately certain that Intelligentsia students would love working with him. His devotion to learning spills over into his teaching style. His commitment to fully understanding  the material he’s teaching enables him to efficiently and clearly teach a wide range of subjects to students of all levels. His confidence is contagious and his expectations high. Brian has a knack for bringing out the best in students by keeping them engaged, focused and on track.

In addition to his passion for movies, he loves books and basketball. A native Angeleno, he is a diehard fan of the Lakers, which isn’t very fulfilling these days.


charleeCharlee Corra –Biology, General Science, Math, Spanish

Charlee grew up in Los Angeles and attended Campbell Hall in Studio City, where she discovered her love of learning and was encouraged by her teachers to value and develop her curiosity. She did this by traveling to Boston, where she received her BS in Biology and Environmental Studies from Tufts University. She pursued her curiosity for the marine world by enrolling in a Masters program for Marine Biology at Northeastern University, which whisked her around the world from Panama, to Australia, all the way to Hong Kong, studying climate change impacts on marine organism physiology.

For Charlee, tutoring began several years ago as an occasional favor to family and friends whenever she happened to be home from college, but she quickly grew to love working with students of all ages and always carried a passion for explaining complicated concepts. For the past few years, she has tutored students K-12 in biology, chemistry, algebra, geometry, and Spanish. In addition to focusing on general concepts within each subject, she infuses study skills, organizational skills, and stress management into her tutoring sessions with the students. As a tutor and mentor to her students, Charlee strives to build confidence and instill an attitude of positivity to help them overcome the challenges and pressure young people face in school from such an early age.
When she isn’t working, Charlee prefers to be outside rock climbing, hiking, camping, biking, teaching people how to scuba dive, and being as silly as she can!

Berbel, Daniela pic Daniela – Spanish, K-8 Academic Subjects; ISEE, HSPT prep

Daniela is a UCLA graduate with a major in International Development Studies and a minor in Gender Studies. She has worked as a tutor since 2010. She enjoys teaching and particularly loves working with  kids and young adults. She is a fun and knowledgeable tutor with several years of experience tutoring math, English, all levels of Spanish and ISEE/HSPT prep. In high school, Daniela completed Calculus BC  and has always been grateful that math comes easily to her. She is a native Spanish speaker and studied through AP Spanish in high school. Additionally, in 2013, she studied abroad in Santiago, Chile for six  months and attended La Catolica, the top university in Chile. Daniela took part in an immersion study abroad program in which she attended class with Chilean students. In addition to studying and traveling  while in Chile, Daniela completed an internship teaching English at an all boys public high school.

 As not just a native Spanish speaker, but also a student of the language, Daniela brings a broad understanding of all aspects of Spanish to her students, from grammar and reading comprehension to conversation. Daniela also a works incredibly well with students in K-8 with both academic subjects and standardized test prep. Students find her friendly, patient approach to teaching comforting. She has a knack for putting students at ease so that they can focus on the material with confidence and do their absolute best on test day.

Daniela is currently interning for LA County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich’s office. When she is not working at her internship and tutoring, Daniela loves to watch and play sports as well as spend time with her family and friends.  She is a huge LA Clippers fan, and she did not miss a game during the 2014 World Cup.


DavidBest

 David – Elementary Education, K-12 History, Math, English, French, ISEE prep

David is an exceptional tutor who has worked with students at all grade levels. He is incredibly smart and passionate about learning and has a contagious sense of humor that Intelligentsia students can’t get  enough of, which is a breath of fresh air when wading through pages of math problems. Having graduated from the same university, Tracy and David share a common appreciation for independent thinking  and instilling our shared values in Intelligentsia students.

 David graduated cum laude from Tufts University, where he majored in International Relations. When he’s not tutoring, he’s busy playing dodgeball or reading history books (seriously). He loves helping all  students not only excel, but also enjoy the learning process as much as he does.


green-ileasa-picIleasaBiology

Ileasa graduated from Bennington College with a degree in Liberal Arts and has been tutoring since 2008. Her approach to tutoring is to create an environment for students where learning is inspirational and empowering. Throughout her tutoring career, she has developed many techniques to create interactive lesson plans that make learning captivating and approachable. Her passion for education began after her undergraduate career when she had the opportunity to work with exceptional programs like Exploration Summer Programs at Yale University as well as The American Red Cross as a Nutrition Counselor. These experiences, along with tutoring privately, have given her the insight into simplifying material to make learning easier and fun!

Ileasa has taken her premedical science courses at both Boston University and Simmons College, and she is in the process of applying to medical school with a focus in global health. For Ileasa, teaching is an opportunity to help students build confidence when approaching challenges. She believes that using your own fears and weaknesses to overcome adversity in learning is an essential skill, not only for school, but also throughout life.

It was clear upon first meeting Ileasa that she is an ideal match for Intelligentsia families. She brings confidence, intelligence and an upbeat spirit to her teaching style that makes the learning process a truly enjoyable experience.


headshot Jenna — Chemistry, Math, SAT Subject Tests

We have been delighted to have Jenna tutoring with Intelligentsia since 2012. She is an accomplished chemist who brings a world of knowledge and expertise to her teaching that is hard to find in someone  as personable and devoted to teaching as Jenna is. She is a graduate of Maine School of Science and Mathematics, where she attended high school, Nazareth College of Rochester, where she majored in  chemistry and minored in mathematics, and USC, where she recently completed her Ph.D studies in chemistry. Outside of her dissertation work, Jenna works as a teaching assistant for undergraduate  organic chemistry at USC.

 In addition to a wealth of academic accomplishments, what stands out to me about Jenna is her confidence. I met Jenna at a coffee shop, where I was interviewing another potential tutor. As the other gal  and I wrapped up and parted ways, Jenna approached, introduced herself and said, matter-of-factly, “I couldn’t help but overhear that you’re interviewing for a chemistry tutor. I’m getting my Ph.D at SC. What can I do to apply?” I gave her a quiz on the spot, conducted the full interview, and have been thrilled ever since that fate brought us both to that coffee shop on that day. She continues to imbue that level of confidence in Intelligentsia’s students as she helps guide them through the often complex world of chemistry studies.


Girton, Joe picJoe — French, English

Joe earned his BA in Sustainable Development from Columbia University and has a variety of experience doing communications work for startups and nonprofits. During his time at Columbia, he worked for several student life groups planning events and orientation programming and serving as a mentor to incoming first-years. He’s studied French language and culture since kindergarten and is deeply in love with anything Francophone. After college, he spent a year living in Laos, where his language skills came in handy communicating with his elder landlady, who still remembered when the country was part of French Indochina.

Joe’s genuine passion for language and enthusiasm to share that love with students make him an ideal fit for Intelligentsia families. He brings a broad perspective to his teaching skills, having studied in a language immersion school and having lived and worked abroad. Language is as much about culture and tradition as it is about the words themselves, and Joe embraces these nuances as integral components of the learning process.

In his free time, Joe can be found riding his bicycle around the Westside, practicing yoga or reading up on human-centered design and social entrepreneurship.

 


Hannafin, Julia pic Julia —Chinese, English, Writing, ISEE prep

Julia is a Columbia University graduate with a double major in Creative Writing and Chinese. She began taking Chinese her sophomore year of high school after her school picked up the program, and stuck  with it throughout college, deciding to pursue a major for the in depth cultural study that came along with it. Having been a student of Mandarin for 7+ years, she knows what it’s like to work at Chinese,  and what it took to stick with it. She’s used her Chinese in many contexts, including working translation jobs put into her hands by her college Chinese teacher. She’s here to teach you anything from the  four tones of Mandarin to the proper etiquette behind toasting a Chinese boss or co-worker. Passionate about the language and the sudden influx of schools beginning to teach it, Julia believes that learning  Chinese is just one step towards conquering the world.

A writer through and through with dreams of becoming a screenwriter, Julia loves writing — and believes that just about any type of writing can be creative, and fun, when you put your mind to it. Julia attended a rigorous academic high school in the Bay Area, College Preparatory School, and picked up extensive essay writing and research paper skills that were put to the test in her collegiate environment. Out of her incoming freshman class in Columbia, Julia’s common app essay was selected as one of 15 essays to be read at a student orientation event that included all of Columbia’s community – essays that were chosen for their strength and for their window into the great diversity behind Columbia’s class of 2015. At Columbia, she honed the craft of the essay, as well as the research paper: in styles ranging from literary analysis to the historical research paper to the scientific paper. Since a Creative Writing major is just as much reading and editing other people’s work as it is writing your own, Julia is expert at editing with detail and constructive, kind communication.

We’re excited to have Julia’s unique expertise at Intelligentsia and grateful for her wide-ranging skill set. If you’ve ever thought about taking the plunge into the Chinese language, but feared the great unknown, Julia’s here to guide you. If you’re looking to hone your writing skills or master the ISEE with a fun, patient, expert leading the way, she’s your gal.

Outside of tutoring, Julia is a writer’s assistant to a pair of upcoming writer-directors in LA, as well as an avid reader, movie watcher, and outdoors seeker. She’s a huge hip hop fan, and will argue the genius of Kanye any day of the week.


Monica Tutoring Pic Monica – K-12 Academic Subjects; ISEE, HSPT, SAT, ACT prep

A Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of Southern California, Monica has been a tutor in the Greater Los Angeles area since 2008. We at Intelligentsia are extremely lucky to have her on our team,  given her wide range of skills. Elementary age students love her personable, fun approach to learning. High school students appreciate her ability to make difficult concepts easy to understand. It’s hard not  to notice the similarities between Monica’s and Tracy’s teaching styles, which is why she is such a great match for Intelligentsia clients.

 Monica is an avid reader and writer, and she loves curling up with a good book in her free time. A former dancer, she still takes ballet and modern classes and tries to catch every film that comes out.

 She holds education in the highest regard and wants students to understand that they can achieve the results they strive for. Most importantly, she encourages them to take their education into their own hands and gives them the skills and confidence to be life-long learner.


tatem-rachel-picRachelMath, Science, Standardized Test Prep

Rachel graduated from MIT with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. She spent the last seven years working as a quality engineer at Edwards Lifesciences developing transcatheter heart valve replacement and repair devices. Her experience in this role allowed her to use her expertise in engineering, along with skills in technical writing, to create life saving technology. Rachel has a great deal of experience working with teams of engineers and manufacturers, and understands how to communicate her ideas and knowledge to a wide range of people to produce the best results.

In addition to her engineering background, Rachel has both a creative and athletic outlet in performing and teaching circus arts. She has several years of experience coaching gymnastics, acrobatics, and aerial arts to both children and adults. Rachel helps her students find success by paying close attention to each person’s strengths, weaknesses, and individual needs, and by creating a safe, relaxing, and enjoyable environment for learning. She is very invested in the progress of her students and understands that regardless of subject matter, whether physical or intellectual, there are many different approaches to learning that will help each individual student reach his or her highest potential.

Rachel loves to share her knowledge and passion for learning with others. She is excited to draw upon her experiences as a tutor, in addition to her time in the workforce, as a member of the Intelligentsia team. We’re thrilled to have someone with her wide range of intellectual, creative and interpersonal expertise onboard and know that Intelligentsia families will be in the best of hands with her at the helm.

As a Jersey Shore native and a California resident, Rachel loves to spend her spare time near the ocean with her family and friends. She is also a huge animal lover and recently adopted two cats of her own from a local rescue.


Freiler, Scott pic Scott –K-12 Academic Subjects, Special Education; ISEE, HSPT, SAT, ACT prep

After earning a B.A. in English from the Ohio State University, Scott went on to teach Freshman Composition at Auburn University. Despite enjoying teaching at the university level, he decided to pursue a career  teaching at the secondary level. While working in a public school in the Special Education department helping students with various learning and social challenges, he earned his teaching certificate and an M.A. in  Secondary Education from Lehigh University. Since moving to Los Angeles in 2012, he has been tutoring students in all grades. He has helped elementary and secondary students with their math, reading and  writing skills, prepared them for the independent school and college entrance exams, and assisted college students in writing literary analysis essays.

 We are thrilled to have Scott on our team. It was clear immediately that he would be a perfect fit for Intelligentsia families. Scott exudes a magnetic love of learning and knows how to make it personally meaningful  and interesting for students of all ages. He is also a human sponge of knowledge. When I first met Scott, he said he only needs to see material once to retain it. Obviously, I had to put this to the test, and sure enough, he proved this uncanny ability to pick up and hold onto new concepts with remarkable ease. What’s even more significant is Scott’s ability to instill that same confidence and enthusiasm in his students.

In his spare time, Scott can be found reading literature or history; watching documentaries or movies; writing poetry or fiction, especially his historical fiction series; working out at the gym; playing video games with his wife (who is also a teacher); or playing with their two adorable cats (Hasenpfeffer and Augustus).


Thompson, Stuart pic1Stuart – Spanish, Math; ISEE, HSPT, SAT, ACT prep

Originally from San Francisco, Stuart has been a private tutor since 2008. He began as a senior at Piedmont High School in the Bay Area, working with younger students and continued as a tutor while attending the University of California Berkeley. He went on to graduate early in the fall of 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics. Since moving to Los Angeles, Stuart has continued to work with children and young adults in math and Spanish.

Stuart is exactly the type of tutor we value at Intelligentsia. His passion for education is infectious. He truly enjoys guiding students down the road to academic discovery, and his ability to relate the importance of the subject matter, combined with his relaxed, charming demeanor, provide a comforting learning environment for his students.

When Stuart isn’t tutoring, he spends his time writing comedy, playing soccer, and cycling all over Los Angeles.

 


Kane, Shawn pic Shawn—History, English; ISEE, HSPT, SAT, ACT prep

Shawn began her tutoring career in high school, where she tutored her fellow students in subjects including English, writing, history and biology. She began teaching SAT classes as an undergraduate at  NYU/Tisch School of the Arts in what felt like a natural extension of her tutoring experience and a great way to indulge her love of gathering esoteric knowledge.  After graduating and embarking on a career  in the arts, Shawn continued teaching SAT classes in both Math and Verbal subjects. In recent years, she’s continued to expand her specialties to include additional standardized tests and general academic  subjects for grades K-12.

  Shawn’s younger students love her positive, nurturing approach and her ability to make learning both fun and interesting. Older students love Shawn’s grounded, relatable teaching style. For students of all  ages, Shawn connects with them through their individual learning process, recognizing that each student needs to be guided according to his or her strengths.

We’re incredibly fortunate to have Shawn on our team. Her passion for learning and genuine interest in constantly expanding her breadth of knowledge make her just the kind of lifelong learner we love to match with Intelligentsia students.

For fun, Shawn is an avid reader, particularly of historical novels that send her down a Wikipedia rabbit hole. She also writes fiction and films, edits writing and films, and became a certified yoga teacher. Shawn counts education one of our society’s most valuable resources and considers the term “grammar nerd” a huge compliment.

 


Gravestijn, Wouter pic

Wouter— Physics, Chemistry, General Science, Math

Wouter decided to follow his passion for teaching and change careers to become a physics teacher after working corporate jobs for many years.

After several years of teaching and private tutoring in The Netherlands, he moved his family to Southern California. He is currently putting himself through the U.S. college and university system to  experience what his students will be facing and to gain a better understanding of the teaching landscape here. His passion for physics, and science in general, shows in his teaching and tutoring. His  thorough grasp of the material enables him to explain difficult concepts and help his students excel.

Wouter is exactly the kind of tutor we seek at Intelligentsia. He is not only intelligent and passionate about the material he tutors, but also devoted to instilling those qualities in his students.

Having worked in the corporate world, as well as at the opposite end of the spectrum, as a SCUBA dive master in the Caribbean, Wouter brings a wide range of life experiences to his teaching style that students find both interesting and inspiring.

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