The Best Staff

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.
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 speak with families and students to identify the individual needs of your students and help you identify the best course of action to prepare your student for success. I know from experience how important the tutor match is for your student and I ensure that you and your student are in good hands from the time you first call 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.
Tutor Coordinator

Rachel Epstein

As the Tutor Coordinator here at Inspirica, I manage all the tutors in all 3 of our locations. From initial hiring to payroll, I make sure I am the go-to person for anything the tutors need. I enjoy working with our tutor core because they are a dedicated group of individuals who care about having their students learn and succeed both academically, and in life. In the past 35 years the tutoring world has changed, but the quality of tutoring and tutors we have at Inspirica have stayed the best in the business. I love working for Inspirica 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 practice test results. Mock testing is one of the most important components of test prep, as they allow parents, students, and tutors to see what’s working in a program and what needs to be refined in order to craft a plan of action based on those conclusions. As TAE, I help translate students’ results for parents while also providing a second set of eyes to ensure that tutors draw the most important conclusions from the data. When I’m not analyzing and interpreting, I help with curriculum evaluation and 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 is using the best possible tools to do so.

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!

Information Systems Specialist

Jonah Fishel

Program Coordinator

Amy Paladino

Our Values

Integrity

Integrity

We believe that how you get a result is as important as the result itself, so our work centers on building the confidence and habits each student needs to meet any challenge head-on.

Warmth

Warmth

We approach every program with the goal of bringing positivity to what can often be a difficult process, and we strive to leave a personal and lasting impact on every family with which we have the privilege to work.

Flexibility

Flexibility

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.



What We Believe

  • Every student is unique – This simple fact should inform every aspect of the test-preparation process, from test selection to tutor match to program timeline
  • You get out of tutoring what you put in – Great scores are earned, and a tutor’s job is to channel the student’s hard work in the most productive and efficient direction possible.
  • You practice how you play – Every aspect of the test-taking process can and should be practiced, which is why learning test strategy and taking practice tests are just as central to our programs as studying content.
  • It takes a village – Standardized tests are hard, and preparation should be a team effort. When you work with us, you get more than a great tutor: you get a team of people committed to helping your child succeed.
  • Transparency matters – Test prep is intimidating enough as is; it shouldn’t also be an opaque and mysterious process. Our tutors and staff prioritize open lines of communication, regular student progress updates, and clear explanations for any recommendations that we offer.
  • It’s a poor craftsman who blames his tools, but it’s a negligent craftsman who ignores them – We continually strive to use the best possible materials for all our programs, combining official test content with our own in-house curriculum and supplementing that with the highest-quality third-party materials available.