The Inspirica Test Prep Team
At Inspirica, we’ve established ourselves over nearly four decades as industry leaders for tutoring and test-preparation services. Our approach is founded on the principles of professionalism, adaptability, and positivity. We have worked with every type of student in every academic circumstance and on every type of test, so our entire team’s approach is grounded in the simple fact that each child and family is unique.
Our staff exists to support our families and our tutors. For the former, we have a team of Program Coordinators who provide each family with the information and support they need throughout process. For the latter, we have a team made up of an outstanding Tutor Coordinator and Head Mentor who ensure that each tutor has everything they need to make every program a success. And in between the two, we have a team of curriculum, test, and technology experts whose create the optimal curriculum for each type of program by combining exceptional proprietary tools with carefully curated third-party materials.
Our tutors are dynamic, engaging individuals who recognize that no two students are the same and who work to customize their approach accordingly. They understand that standardized testing can often be a difficult experience for students, so they ground their approach in encouragement and positivity. They are, without a doubt, the best team in the business, and we’re excited to share them with you.
Lisa began tutoring math to her fellow students in the fifth grade. Her teacher noticed that she had a natural ability for making complicated concepts seem simple, so when the teacher went on maternity leave, she suggested that Lisa become an 11-year-old teaching assistant to the substitute. Thus began a lifelong career in education.
By the time she enrolled as a freshman at Stanford, Lisa had a thriving tutoring business. In those days, if you had problems with a school subject , you would ask your teacher for help. As word of Lisa’s skill as a tutor spread back, Lisa soon had a following among celebrities, politicians, designers, and athletes and was flown all over the world as the “tutor to the stars.” Inspirica was born.
Fast-forward 35 years later: Lisa’s own children have applied to colleges and taken the same tests your children are now preparing for. Experiencing the process as a parent has deepened her appreciation for the role of parents in the application process and of the opportunities and challenges that come with a child getting ready to leave the nest.
Inspirica now has dozens of world-class tutors. They are brilliant and caring, and they have the training and expertise to help their students reach their personal best on test day. Lisa still is actively involved in the company and with all of its employees. The reputation, expertise, and longevity of Inspirica are incomparable.
As the Head of Learning and Innovation, I am responsible for making sure that our teams of education professionals are equipped with the very best technologies and curriculum available. The essence of tutoring hasn’t changed over the many decades we’ve been working with families, but the tools available to both tutors and students undoubtedly have, and it is my mission to make certain that everyone who works for and with us is given everything they need to succeed. Having worked as a tutor here at Inspirica for nearly fifteen years before taking on my current role, I know first-hand just how important the work we do is to our families, and I promise to do everything I can to ensure that when your student sits down with one of our tutors, they will both have everything they need to make the most of their time together.
Dissertation:"Information, Communication, and Infrastructure: How Citizen Activists Use Information Technology to Transform American Party Politics"
Academic History:Boston University, PhD in Political Science (2009); Boston University, MA in Political Science (2009); University of Virginia, BA in Government (1993)
As the Program Coordinator, I will help you create a customized tutoring plan that works best for your child and your family. Whether it’s your first child going through this process or your fourth, I know how to get the information we need and translate it into the best possible plan for each individual student. I know from experience the importance of the tutor match, and I will ensure that you and your child are in good hands from the time you first talk to me until the program is complete.
As the Head of School Programs, I work with school counselors and administrators to develop programs for their students, from ACT/ SAT diagnostic testing to SSAT prep classes. As a former classroom teacher and tutor, I understand the needs of students, parents, and school staff. This allows me to create programs that are a great fit for everyone involved! I also personally review each set of test results and our recommendations with families, answer questions, and help guide them through the test-taking process. I have a deep love of learning and am passionate about education, so I handle my role in assisting with the academic journey with the utmost care.
As the Manager of Tutor Operations here at Inspirica, I oversee the tutors in locations around the world. From initial hiring to payroll, I make sure I am the go-to person for anything they need. I enjoy working with our tutor corps because they are a dedicated group of individuals who care about having their students learn and succeed academically and in life. In the past 35 years the tutoring world has changed dramatically, but the quality of tutoring and tutors we have at Inspirica has stayed the best in the business. I love working here because our team truly values every family that comes through our doors and strives to help every student succeed.
Donald has been a part of Inspirica since its inception. As a struggling actor fresh out of college, where he graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, he sought fulfilling ways to earn money while maintaining a flexible schedule. Rather fortuitously, his friend Lisa Jacobson, an SAT tutor in the then fledgling test prep industry, invited Donald to work with some of her students as she was in the early stages of building an exciting new tutoring company. Within a few years, this side job turned into a bustling career. Lisa Jacobson went on to become the CEO of Inspirica, and Donald has been proud to serve with her, watching Inspirica continue to grow. He discovered the truly fulfilling nature of the one-on-one tutoring process and has been working with students of all ages for the last 34 years, establishing himself as the Master Tutor at Inspirica. He also serves to oversee the company’s other programs and offers advice and expertise when needed.
Donald has enjoyed working with students of all ages–from 3rd and 4th graders, through high school, college, and graduate school applicants, and even the occasional 40-year-old doctor seeking to attain an MBA. His expertise is derived from working with thousands of students with varying learning styles over the course of three decades. Donald takes great pride in his ability to immediately focus in on a student’s most pressing needs, finding the most efficient and fulfilling course of action and ultimately following through to a successful test day. In addition to tutoring several academic subjects, Donald has specialized in the usual alphabet soup of entrance exams: SSAT, ISEE, ACT, SAT, GRE, GMAT, LSAT, and several others. He also especially enjoys helping students with their college and grad school application essays.
Donald highly values so many accomplishments during his career, helping countless students realize their dreams of acceptance into a top school or attaining that seemingly unattainable score. But since he often establishes strong and successful relationships with children and their families, he takes great pride in watching many of his students return for their next milestone. For so many families, he has become the go-to tutor, mentoring a group of siblings from the early SSAT days through the SAT and college entrance process, and then later to grad school. Recently, his proudest achievement has been to tutor several students who are the children of his former tutees!
Donald is a native of Brooklyn, NY, and he lives there currently with his wife of 25 years and his two teenage boys. For the last 15 years he has devoted much of his spare time to coaching baseball and flag football at a local community sports league. Donald is also an avid walker/hiker, and you can catch him daily on the loop in nearby Prospect Park. He loves photography and enjoys making videos and slide shows for his extended family, chronicling events, major and minor. He may also be spotted on many a late night watching classic horror movies!
Tests:ACT, SAT, SSAT, ISEE, GRE, GMAT, LSAT
Subjects:Pre-Algebra, Algebra, College Application Essays, Academic Essay Writing,
Ryan got his start tutoring through his high school’s National Honor Society way back when MySpace was a thing; he continued to sharpen his skills during college, working with students primarily on math homework and essay-writing. After graduating with a double major in Political Science and Ancient History, Ryan decided to turn his passion for one-on-one instruction into his profession, and he’s been with Inspirica ever since.
Since joining the company, Ryan has worked with students on everything from 5th grade math to graduate school entrance exams. All told, he has almost 15 years of experience teaching students of a wide range of ages and learning styles, from self-directed young professionals looking for guidance as they prep independently to 10-year-olds who need to take regular cartwheel breaks.
Ryan tutors a variety of academic subjects, with math and writing being his favorites, as well as most of the least popular acronyms: SSAT, ISEE, ACT, SAT, LSAT, GMAT, and GRE. The thing he enjoys most about the job is making connections and building rapport with students of all ages, and though he doesn’t have a ‘favorite’ test to tutor, he can occasionally be found doing LSAT logic games in his spare time. If Ryan had to pick a proudest tutoring moment, it would be when he helped a student improve her score from a 21 to a 30 on the ACT; watching her grow in confidence over the course of the program and then apply to colleges that she initially wasn’t even considering was the perfect microcosm of what he loves about tutoring.
When he’s not working, Ryan is usually doing crossword puzzles, gaming (either video games or board games – he’s not picky), or going on walks with his dog Clover, who represents the other half of the Durham, NC branch of Inspirica. Clover is often asleep in her bed next to Ryan’s desk while he works, and if you listen closely, you may even be able to hear the occasional puppy snore during a session…
Tests:ACT, SAT, SSAT, ISEE, GRE, GMAT, LSAT
Subjects:Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, College Application Essays, History and English Essays, US History
Yuliya has 10 years of experience coaching rhythmic gymnastics at all levels (from preschool to Junior Olympic, ages 3-18), and it’s this love of connecting with students that made her pursue tutoring. She’s been with Inspirica for over four years; when she’s not tutoring, she’s training new hires and helping out with anything and everything else (from curriculum planning to admin work) in her role as Head Mentor. Outside of Inspirica, she has taught kindergarten math at an after-school program. Having the chance to work with such young kids and help them develop their love of math from an early age was a blast. Yuliya holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing Communication and minor in writing and resides in Brighton, MA.
Yuliya tutors everyone’s favorite standardized tests – the SAT, ACT, SSAT, ISEE, TOEFL, and the Math 1, Math 2, and Literature SAT Subject Tests – as well as academic math and writing from elementary to high school levels. She has worked with a wide range of students (in terms of age, starting score, learning differences, and more) and enjoys adapting her teaching style to fit the needs of each one. Her favorite thing to teach is problem-solving, which she believes is the basis for math fluency and the key for every standardized test.
Though Yuliya has had many students score in the 99th percentile on the SSAT and ISEE or go from 30s to 35s on the ACT, her proudest tutoring achievement was having a student raise her ACT score from a 23 to a 28 in only 10.5 hours of tutoring. This student came in with an open mind and fully committed herself to the task at hand despite only having the chance to take the official test one time her senior year. Another proud moment was receiving the following note from the parent of an SSAT student (who achieved top scores her first time testing though originally planning to test again): “The most important thing you did for her was to point out that she should not apologize and that self-confidence is a good thing.”
When she’s not working, Yuliya is likely solving number or logic puzzles (kakuro and nonogram are her current favorites), playing board games, cross-stitching, taking personality or Harry Potter Buzzfeed quizzes, binging her favorite shows, reading, and longingly looking through pictures of cats that she’s not allowed to adopt. She also loves to travel, and even did a study abroad program in college where she lived in a 14th century medieval castle in the Netherlands.
Tests:ACT, SAT, SSAT, ISEE
Subjects:Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry, History and English Essay Writing
Jonah actually liked Latin class in high school, so tutoring his peers for $10/hr after school was a logical choice for him in 10th grade. He branched out into science and math in his senior year, and then added SAT/ACT tutoring to his offerings while he was pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Storytelling (and a minor in Religious Studies and Computer Science). After moving to Philadelphia in 2016, and having been tutoring on the side for eight years, Jonah decided to go pro with a full-time tutoring job. He’s been with Inspirica ever since.
Jonah now works full-time as Inspirica’s jack-of-all-trades, using his experience learning about and tutoring a wide variety of subjects to provide niche prep programs for unusual subjects. In his three years at Inspirica, Jonah has tutored every science subject, three different levels of calculus, an intro to business course, and literally every Latin program that has come through the door. Of course, Jonah also has eight years of experience tutoring the SAT and the ACT, and prep for those tests form the majority of his tutoring experience.
Jonah has experience working with many different types of learners with diverse needs, and prides himself on individualizing a student’s test prep program by tailoring his approach to their learning style, or by incorporating information from the student’s IEP. While Jonah’s favorite subject to tutor varies depending on what he’s tutoring at the moment you ask him, he consistently enjoys tutoring students in higher-level sciences. His proudest moment as a tutor was bringing a disinterested student’s ACT Science section score from a 13 to a 34—an outlier, sure, but a perfect example of what Jonah loves most about tutoring: teaching a student to get invested and care about what they are learning, not just the score on the test.
When he’s not tutoring, Jonah works as the IT and tech support branch of Inspirica, single-handedly reminding every tutor, staff member, student, and parent of what their passwords are and how to get into class. When he isn’t on the other end of the Inspirica.com chat support bot, Jonah is studying for his Master’s of Education graduate program, practicing his guitar skills, or sleeping on the couch with one or both of his dogs.
Tests:ACT, SAT, SSAT, ISEE, GRE, GMAT, LSAT
Subjects:Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Essay Writing, English Academic Essays, History Academic Essays, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Latin, US History, World History, Economics