At Inspirica, we’ve established ourselves as industry leaders for in-home 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 from staff to tutors, our 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 work together to provide each family with the information and support they need throughout the entire tutoring and test-prep process. For the latter, we have a team made up of an outstanding Tutor Coordinator and Head Mentor who work together to ensure that each tutor has everything they need to make each program a success. And in between and supporting both, we have a team of curriculum, test, and technology experts whose job it is to create the optimal curriculum for each type of program by combining exceptional proprietary tools with carefully curated third-party materials. 

Founder and CEO

Lisa Jacobson

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 more than 50 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.

Head of Learning and Innovation

Alex Whalen

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)

Master Tutor

Donald Viscardi

As the Master Tutor, in addition to managing my own select group of students, I am also responsible for overseeing the progress of our other programs. By virtue of my 30+ years of experience, I make it a point to connect with parents at the beginning of the tutoring process and then subsequently check in as the program unfolds, attempting to anticipate any issues or concerns that may arise. I also monitor tutor feedback and other session notes to make sure the programs are running smoothly and efficiently, engaging directly with tutors in an open, constructive dialogue. My greatest joy, however, comes from serving as a tutor myself, having worked with thousands of students over the years, helping them navigate their journeys in the college or grad school admissions process!

Program Coordinator

Jennifer Fink

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.

Head of School Programs

Nina Abrams

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.

Manager of Tutor Operations

Rachel Epstein

As the Manager of Tutor Operations here at Inspirica, I oversee the tutors in each of our three locations. 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.

Test Analytics Expert

Ryan Furiness

My primary duties as Test Analytics Expert center on the analysis and interpretation of diagnostic test results. I oversee the Agnostic Diagnostic project in order to ensure that every one of our ACT/SAT students is preparing for the test that most closely matches his or her strengths, and I also handle curriculum evaluation to guarantee that all students are using the best possible tools during the prep process. When I’m not analyzing, interpreting, or evaluating, I can typically be found writing copy for the website, training new tutors, or creating content for one of our online courses.

Why I Tutor:I've tutored in some capacity since high school, and I never get tired of the feeling of watching a student master a concept.

Academic History:University of UNC at Chapel Hill; BA in History, BA in Political Science (2012)

Head Mentor

Yuliya Aleksandrov

As the Head Mentor, it’s my goal to help all Inspirica tutors be the best at what they do. Starting from our in-depth training process and continuing throughout their career with us, I meet with tutors on a consistent basis to develop their tutoring knowledge and skill set. The support I provide our tutor core, in turn, helps our tutor’s students achieve their goals. Because of our mentorship program, I can guarantee that all Inspirica tutors are always learning, growing, and striving to hone their craft and raise their students’ scores!

Why I Tutor:I love teaching students the problem-solving skills they'll need to succeed on standardized tests and well beyond the application process.

Academic History:Emerson College, BS in Marketing Communication (2014)

Information Systems Specialist

Jonah Fishel

As Inspirica’s Information Systems Specialist, I work behind the scenes to ensure that all our digital systems are running correctly, that the website loads properly, and that our online courses are up and running. I also help handle logistics for a variety of Inspirica initiatives, including our school programs and our marketing. I do everything I can to deliver excellent instructors and curricula to our students and families, hassle-free and as quickly as possible.

Why I Tutor:My favorite thing in the world is watching someone light up when they understand a difficult concept for the first time.

Academic History:College of William and Mary, BAs in Storytelling and Religious Studies

Program Coordinator

Amy Paladino

As a Program Coordinator, I serve as the liaison between our families and our tutors to create tailored tutoring programs that best fit our students’ needs and goals from the initial consultation through the completion of their programs. Prior to joining Inspirica, I spent 25+ years in the public relations sector working in-house for both public and private companies as well as on the agency side. I decided to make a career transformation by joining Inspirica because I wanted a more rewarding experience by helping families succeed and thrive in standardized testing. It has been the most fulfilling career I’ve had thus far!