Hannah Bookbinder

Hannah Bookbinder is the proud owner of AcademicAlly, LLC, her private practice she founded in 1998. She recognizes that being a kid has its challenges, and being a kid who has learning disabilities, ADHD, NLD, ASD, or anxiety related to academic performance certainly adds an element of complexity to navigating one’s academic career. What Hannah loves most about being an academic coach is the opportunity it affords her to establish a unique relationship with her clients. She recognizes that every student brings something positive to the coaching relationship, and that no matter how much they may be struggling, each person she works with is capable of personal and academic growth.

Hannah revels in the privilege of standing squarely in her client’s corner, ready to advocate and empower each individual one step at a time, while coaching them to do the same for themselves. In this dynamic, there is no room for judgment or punitive measures. Instead, she and her clients embark on a journey that enables her students to gain insight into their motivation, strengths, and areas where they need support. Together, they work to create a plan of action, complete with personal goals, strategic interventions, and steps for personal accountability.

Hannah views every student as an individual and customizes her approach accordingly. In her work as an academic coach, Hannah prioritizes the importance of agency, making sure that each student has a voice in the collaborative process that brought them together. She values the importance of collaboration with the adults in the student’s life, ensuring that parents, teachers, and other professionals on the student’s care team are included as appropriate.

Hannah uses the same approach in her work as a college admissions consultant. She advises both mainstream high school students and those with learning differences and ADHD, successfully navigating them through the college admissions process. She firmly believes in the importance of gathering as much information about the students and the colleges they are considering to help them make the most informed decision possible.

Hannah’s work also includes working with individuals who are transitioning from high school to college. Making this shift can be exciting and overwhelming all at once! Assuming “real-world” responsibilities in the face of new academic and social endeavors can prove challenging for all students, especially those who have ADHD. Hannah artfully works with her clients to establish daily and weekly routines, allocating time for self-care, daily responsibilities, completion of homework, and socializing. Together, she and her clients identify areas of focus which include but are not limited to executive functioning skills, study skills, self-advocacy, and self-accountability to ensure academic achievement.

Hannah has presented to parents and educators about the following topics: life with ADHD, the college admissions process, parenting survival tips for parents of students who have ADHD, parenting tips for reducing stress and anxiety at home for all family members.

During her free time, Hannah enjoys spending time with her two sons and her husband, walking her dog, finding the humor in life, running, baking, and reading. She is currently completing a book about ADHD for kids and teens and hopes to publish it by early 2024.


Aaron Oberman

Aaron Oberman has taught biology for seven years.  During this time, he has led classes in General Biology, AP Biology, IB Biology, and anatomy and physiology.  There is not a topic of biology he has not taught! Aaron is currently the Roster Chair, Assistant Athletic Director, and IB Biology teacher at William W. Bodine High School.  During his teaching tenure in Philadelphia, he has successfully assisted students with different learning profiles to achieve academic success. Whether the student is diagnosed with ADHD or a learning disability, he always finds a way to make learning fun, accessible, and meaningful to the student.

Aaron is gifted when it comes to helping his students: not only does he establish strong rapport with his students, but he helps them create personal associations with the material, so the content makes more sense and the learning process is more interesting and engaging. He does not passively teach concepts and then expect students to memorize material. Instead, he always incorporates challenging and entertaining learning activities with his students so as to bring the course content to life.  When Aaron is not teaching, he enjoys hiking, skiing, reading, and spending time with his family.

Amani Gilliam

Amani Gilliam is in her first year of the Track-Up master's program at Thomas Jefferson University, where she studies Community and Trauma Counseling. She received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Thomas Jefferson University in December of 2023. Amani volunteers at a program in Camden County that provides literacy education and support to K-3rd graders, many of whom experience learning and behavioral challenges. During her undergraduate education, she focused her research on the effect of a diagnosis of ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) and ADHD on young, neurodivergent, African American men and its connection to the school-to-prison pipeline.

Amani applies this skillset to her own private clients. Her ability to connect with a wide range of learners across the lifespan facilitates the establishment of a strong coach-client rapport upon which they build a successful working relationship. Working collaboratively with her clients, Amani helps them develop self-awareness, empowering them to better understand their learning profiles. Together, they identify customized strategies to address their personal challenges related to executive functioning and ADHD so they can meet with personal and academic success.

Amani’s strong desire to help members of marginalized communities is reflected in her work as a project coordinator for a racial equity and DEI consultant. She has gained experience creating courses and learning activities for healthcare providers, university administration, and health insurance companies to educate and promote action steps that help dismantle the systemic inequalities within these fields.

In her free time, she likes to play the electric guitar, go thrift shopping, read romance and gothic horror novels, and hike in nature with her dog and wife.

Angela Nanayakkara

Angela Nanayakkara is earning her master’s degree at Thomas Jefferson University for clinical mental health in the Community and Trauma Counseling program. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Thomas Jefferson University in 2023.

Angela believes in a person-centered approach, where she supports students in their unique journeys to work towards success through identifying and accomplishing goals, building self-confidence, and fostering a positive mindset.

In addition to her graduate studies, Angela is an after-school teacher with Young Achievers Learning Center, where she works with students of different backgrounds across the lifespan. Utilizing her experience in working with students with a variety of learning profiles, she works collaboratively to assist her students with homework initiation and completion, incorporating executive functioning skills into each session. Angela helps students with their organizational skills, time management, self-advocacy, test-taking, and study skills. She recognizes that student mental health and learning challenges frequently go hand in hand, and her ability to meet her students where they are, validating their feelings and experiences serves as the foundation for a strong coach-student rapport. She furthers these skills as an intern at Einstein Teen Clinic, where she provides mental health counseling to adolescents to help with challenges such as anxiety and depression.

In her free time, Angela enjoys reading poetry, making tea, and spending time with friends and family.

Beth Goldstein-Huxen

Beth Goldstein Huxen has been teaching for 30 years.  After teaching Philosophy for 5 years at the NYU and Binghamton University, she switched to math and has been teaching K-12 for 25 years.  During that time, Beth has worked both one on one and in small groups tutoring everything from Pre-Algebra through Calculus, from Reading Comprehension and Composition through test prep for the SAT and ACT.

A former question writer for ETS, Beth teaches both high-performing and struggling students and has had a great deal of success in helping students to not only raise their scores (especially on standardized tests), but also in helping students really understand the subject matter at hand.  Briefly put, Beth helps students understand why we ask them to do the things we ask them to do.

Beth holds degrees from Binghamton University and City University of NY. She is ABD in Philosophy and hopes to someday return and finish her doctorate


Brandee El-Attar

Brandee El-Attar has a B.S degree from the University of Pittsburgh and an M.S. degree in psychology from Shippensburg University. She is a creative, forward-thinking, and dynamic leader with 25+ years of experience teaching and mentoring individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADHD, and learning disorders (from early intervention through adulthood) as well as shaping programming and behavioral supports in school districts and the broader human service industry. She is a master collaborator and is particularly adept at helping individuals and their family’s level-up their skills during major life transitions. Her eclectic approach focuses on success for the whole person and the whole family. Integrating her knowledge of behavioral principles with effective sensory regulation, communication, social thinking skills & self-advocacy is her sweet spot. With an eye for applying strength-based interventions, she is a staunch proponent of person-centered futures planning and is well-versed in partnering with educators and administrators to ensure the effective implementation of support plans across settings. Interfacing and co-creating success with her students and their families is a passion fueled by purpose! To that end, Brandee also leads a supportive online community for mothers with extraordinary children and has created various educational programs and provided strategic leadership to hundreds of families to help them create greater connectedness and achieve overarching family success.

Brandee is also a seasoned speaker and expert facilitator. She’s presented at various local and national conferences, has been a guest on several podcasts, and has delivered keynote addresses and hosted workshops and leadership retreats for various human service organizations in the tri-state area. She also lectures regularly as an adjunct psychology professor at Goldey Beacom College where she strives to support her students to become critical thinkers, exceptional communicators, introspective individuals, connection seekers, proficient writers, engaging speakers, efficient resource utilizers, courageous collaborators; but mostly, valiant leaders of their very own lives. She subscribes to this guiding philosophy in every aspect of her work.

Aside from being an ADHD-er herself, Brandee has also navigated parenthood (and college admissions) alongside her extraordinary and high-spirited child with ADHD. Thus, she brings her hard-fought wisdom to the table from both her personal and professional lived experience. Likewise, Brandee has a magnetic personality, positive nature and she is a tireless encourager who has a knack for meeting students and families right where they are, helping them gain skills for sustainable, long-term success. She’s insightful, strategic, and generous with her time and expertise. She has a passion for imparting knowledge to others in an authentic and relatable manner which results in practical shifts that compound over time to goals achieved. Specific areas of expertise include broad-based behavioral principles for success, executive functioning skills, organizational/ study skills, habit-hacks, motivation, and the integration of “best practices” into real practices. Overall, Brandee is a compassionate, enthusiastic, and detail-oriented professional committed to producing high-quality outcomes and giving back in meaningful ways to ensure a lasting impact for her students and families.

On a personal note, Brandee strives to live a life that is brimming with love, light, and meaningful experiences, and she is dedicated to personal growth, continual improvement, and positive change. She routinely bucks the status quo and believes deeply in purposeful parenting. She is an avid lover of books, coffee, chocolate, inspirational quotes, gardening, exploring the great outdoors with her family, and cheering for her kiddos at their various sporting events. She is also a passionate writer about “all things parenting.” Brandee lives in Landenberg PA with her husband Karee, her three children (Caleb, Owen & Sophee) and golden retrievers (Honey & Copper).

Diane Weintraub

Diane Weintraub has been teaching high school chemistry and biology at every level for close to two decades.  She has taught both subjects from the conceptual level to Advanced Placement.  After graduating summa cum laude with a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, where she was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, she studied immunology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in immunology. Her teaching career began  at the high school and community college level in Baltimore, and she earned a Masters of Science in Teaching, Learning and Curriculum from Drexel University in the spring of 2015. Mrs. Weintraub holds Pennsylvania state certification in both secondary chemistry and biology education and was recognized by the state as highly qualified in both subjects.


Diane Werder

Originally from New York, Diane Werder currently teaches at Lower Merion High School in the LM NOW program. She teaches Communications, a regular education support class which helps students in grades 9-12 with study skills, organization, time management, motivational issues, and self-advocacy. She has 34 years of experience working with high school students in both regular and special education, and 21 years at LMHS.

Emily Karras

Emily Karras is earning her masters in Community & Trauma Counseling from Thomas Jefferson University and will graduate in May of 2023. She received her bachelor's degree from Thomas Jefferson University in 2022 in psychology. Emily has worked with adults who have intellectual disabilities with Personal Touch Professional Services, and now works as an Emotional Support intern at The Crefeld School. Emily has worked with students who have executive functioning challenges, intellectual disabilities, and mental health challenges. Emily believes in a student-centered approach and works as a guide to help students achieve their goals. She works closely with families and students to assure that the students' needs are being met.

In her free time, Emily is an avid reader and loves to stay active.

Evan Bookbinder

Evan Bookbinder is a senior at Purdue University where he is both an FAA Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) and a double major in Professional Flight Technology, and Aviation Management, with a minor in Psychology. Evan graduated from Harriton High School in 2020, where he was both a leader and participant in learning communities for AP Physics 1, AP Environmental Science, and AP U.S. Government.

At Purdue, Evan has tutored physics courses derived from algebra, similar to AP Physics 1, in addition to his flight students. Evan believes that students can succeed in challenging physics courses - and maybe come to love them – with some hard work and determination. Using his own personal experience with physics and aviation, Evan has learned to love the subject and enjoys helping others meet with personal success with a customized approach to mastering course material.

Evan is a Philadelphia native and a passionate sports fan. In his free time, he loves spending time flying and coaching high school football in Lafayette. For flight-related inquiries, please contact Evan here.

Jake Rosen

Jake Rosen has more than a decade of experience as a classroom teacher, academic and college advisor, and teenage life-coach. He holds a M.A. in Religious Studies from NYU and graduated magna cum laude from Boston University with a B.S. in Social Studies Education. After graduating from BU and traveling the world, including a stint teaching English in Vietnam, Jake spent nine years as a Global Studies, U.S. History, and History of Music teacher at NYC’s renowned Beacon School. In addition to his duties in the classroom, Jake worked with students who struggled with the academic, social, and emotional demands of high school and college. He has also guided nearly 60 students (and their parents) through the college process including ESL students, first generation immigrants, and students with learning and behavioral issues. In each of these capacities, Jake is able to meet students on their own terms and to build relationships centered on compassion, trust, and the whole-person needs of each individual.

Jessica Berry

Jessica Berry is currently an Emotional Support Teacher in the Lower Merion School District. She works with an array of students with different needs, including ADHD, Autism, Executive Functioning deficits, Anxiety, Depression, OCD, and students with academic needs. She graduated from Penn State with a Master’s in Curriculum Instruction, with a Reading Specialist focus, and a Bachelor’s in Special Education.

After graduating college, Jessica moved to Virginia where she taught at a public separate day school for students with Emotional Disturbance in a self-contained classroom, containing students grades 3-5. She moved back to Pennsylvania in 2019 and taught Emotional Support & Learning Support for Upper Perkiomen School District, grades K-5, prior to moving to LMSD.

Jessica has always loved teaching special education because it is tailored to each student’s needs. She strives to see students from a whole-person perspective, including their social-emotional well-being and every other aspect of their lives that may affect their academic performance. She has a passion for working with students with emotional needs because it allows her to teach life skills. Jessica has greatly enjoyed teaching executive function skills and helping students develop positive executive functioning strategies.

In addition, she enjoys educating in general. She greatly enjoys teaching and supporting core content areas, especially math and reading. Some of Jessica’s strongest attributes are her ability to build a strong rapport with each student, utilizing “outside-the-box” thinking when it comes to supporting student learning and growth.

In her downtime, Jessica enjoys exercising, hiking, going to the beach, and cooking. She enjoys living in Philadelphia and having the opportunity to explore the city, including its restaurant scene. She and her husband love Philadelphia sports and enjoy going to see the Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, and Sixers play. In addition, she and her husband love to travel and have recently enjoyed visiting Alaska, Barbados, Italy, France, and Austria.

Jessica Vigoda

Jessica Vigoda, a Pennsylvania state certified teacher, is an academic tutor, coach, and classroom teacher with over fifteen years of experience working with students from elementary through adult education, including students with learning differences. After graduating Magna Cum Laude from The George Washington University with a Bachelor’s Degree in English, Jess went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from The University of Pennsylvania. While teaching at Haverford High School, Jessica continued to further her own education, receiving a second Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from St. Joseph’s University, where she graduated with top honors and was granted membership in several prominent national academic honor societies.

Jess' interest in tutoring blossomed at The George Washington University, where she was a highly sought after peer tutor in the University’s writing center; her passion for teaching has continued to grow.

Jess is committed to meeting students where they are, and helping them thrive, reaching academic potential they may have previously thought unattainable. Currently, Jess is a learning support teacher at Kohelet Yeshiva High School. Her areas of expertise include writing, organization and time management, study skills, reading comprehension and standardized test preparation. One of Jess' strongest attributes is her ability to connect with, and meet the needs of, students of all ages.

Juli MacGregor

Juli Macgregor is completing her master’s program at Thomas Jefferson University, where she is studying Community and Trauma Counseling with a concentration in Child Trauma and Play Therapy. She received a bachelor of science in Psychology and obtained minors in biology and chemistry from Thomas Jefferson University. As an intern, Juli provides weekly, school-based mental health counseling, academic support, and college/career planning at Abraham Lincoln High School. Juli works with students across the lifespan from elementary through middle school. Areas of focus include study habits, test taking skills, time management, self-advocacy, and homework protocols. High school students collaborate with Juli to ensure curriculum completion and qualification for graduation. Juli has worked with students to navigate potential areas of interest for post-secondary education plans including vocational technical school and college admissions consultation.

Juli also works at Aldersgate as a student assistant program liaison/counselor where she works in Montgomery County schools to provide short term mental health counseling, facilitate groups, provide prevention-based presentations, and collaborate with parents and school teams.

Juli has always loved working with children in multiple settings. Juli has been a nanny and babysitter for more than ten years. Some of the children in her care struggle with certain responsibilities due to their ADHD or executive functioning challenges. Juli establishes customized strategies to help them develop life skills that will promote autonomy and self-efficacy. She believes that routine is extremely useful when finding skills to work with ADHD and executive functioning. Juli utilizes redirection, guidance, and one-on-one support when available. This combination of strategies has proven to be particularly resourceful. Juli is extremely passionate about advocating for the children she is working with and helps them any way she is able.

When not working or completing schoolwork, Juli enjoys spending time with her friends and family, going to the beach, going on walks, and volunteering as a Special Olympics Gymnastics coach.

Laurie Dameshek

Laurie Dameshek holds a Master of Arts in Educational Psychology from Prescott College and a BS in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, with concentrations in Management and Decision Sciences. During Laurie’s 30+ year corporate career in healthcare information systems, she has worked with co-workers and students, in paid and volunteer positions, to focus on career and academic goals. She has mentored teens to help them establish and maintain their social and academic skills and has coached college students and working professionals to assist them in the development and maintenance of organizational, professional development, communication and leadership skills. Laurie’s professional experience has focused on person-centered analysis, which enables her to identify each client’s strengths while simultaneously working with each individual to identify their goals as well as a successful strategic plan to accomplish them. In addition to her academic consulting experience, Laurie has conducted small group training in the college admissions process.

Leisa Buss

Leisa Buss is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with over 20 years of teaching experience. She is currently a first-grade teacher in the Philadelphia area and has worked with early elementary-aged students of all ability levels throughout her career. She is an enthusiastic educator devoted to student learning and enhancing
individual potential. Leisa strives to work with students to find out how they learn best and implements learning strategies and activities that
address and enrich their diverse interests and needs.

When she is not working, Leisa enjoys spending time with her family, going to amusement parks, cooking and baking.

LJ O’Donnell

LJ O’Donnell has tutored professionally for nearly twenty years. He started with test preparation for the SAT, and quickly expanded to the ACT, GRE, MCAT, LSAT, DAT/OAT. He soon branched out further into being a general tutor to help middle school, high school, and college students in a broad range of subjects including math, science, history, and language arts.

His favorite part of tutoring is seeing the students’ “Ah ha” moment when they learn a new skill or gain understanding of a concept they once found difficult. His teaching approach is student-centered, and he is able to tailor activities and lessons for diverse groups of learners. LJ has experience coaching students with a range of needs, including autism and ADHD. He understands that not all students learn the same way, and does his best to help each student find their own unique path to success. LJ is excited to help students discover a love of learning and their own potential.

LJ’s hobbies are reading, playing video games, and watching movies with his wife, usually with a cat on his lap and a warm cup of tea next to him.

Marcel Werder

Marcel Werder  holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he graduated on the Dean’s List and as an Honors Scholar. Marcel was raised in Narberth and is a proud Harriton alum.

Marcel has experience in both tutoring and college counseling, with a few most recent clients attaining admission to Ivy League and other top-tier universities. He believes that greatness comes when one’s core passions are nurtured, and is committed to empowering each student to define and lead their own journey.

Marcel is prepared to meet every student (and family) where they are and go from there, together. Marcel's strong  organization skills, compassionate teaching style, and facility for cultivating strong client-coach communication lead to his clients' growth and success.

Marsha Messinger

Marsha Messinger, is a highly experienced and lauded teacher with over 35 years of experience, who holds both a Bachelors and Master's degree in Education from Temple University. Over her years amassed as an educator, Marsha has worked with grade levels ranging from 1st through 8th grades in a classroom setting and students at all grade levels as a tutor/coach. Her primary focus with students is to enhance their reading and writing skills in order to reach a variety of audiences while conveying their message and voice appropriately and intelligently. She prides herself in helping students specifically in the skillset realms of time management, task-initiation, organization, and self-advocacy. Marsha believes that all students can reach their potential by being cognizant of their work load, prioritizing tasks, and breaking down large assignments into manageable sections.

In addition to her full-time position as a senior educator at Barrack Hebrew Academy, Marsha also holds a recurring position as a facilitator for the Penn Literacy Network, a division of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania and is an active member of the Association for Middle Level Education, the International Reading Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the National Council for the Social Studies.

Mary-Alice Michaels

Mary-Alice Michaels holds a Master’s degree in Counseling from Temple University and a BA from Villanova University. As a life-long resident of the area she is a graduate of The Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr. Her prior employment includes working as a group therapist and life coach in a transitional living program for adolescents and adults, as well as supervising and running an adolescent unit in a residential treatment facility in Philadelphia. She has also worked as a therapist in the foster care system and spent a number of years working in the healthcare industry as a benefit consultant.

Mary-Alice specializes in working with adolescents, particularly those with the added challenges of ADHD and executive functioning deficits. She believes relationships are crucial to the process of learning and healing and works collaboratively with the student and his or her parent(s) and teachers. She believes that intrinsic motivation is the key to lasting change and enjoys helping others recognize and achieve their potential.

She is a member of the American Counseling Association and a member of the Learning and The Brain Society out of Boston, MA, a group committed to continued research and training in the developing mind and the application of best practices for learning and education. She is involved in various volunteer activities in her community through the Junior League of Philadelphia and is an avid artist who enjoys a variety of different mediums.

Matt Gormley

Matthew Gormley is an experienced mathematics teacher and private math coach. Matthew holds bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics and Mathematics Education from The Pennsylvania State University. Over his educational career Matthew has gained experience teaching a vast number of middle and high school courses. Matt’s goal as an educator is to inspire an enjoyment for problem solving. He is a firm believer that regardless of prior knowledge math courses should give an opportunity for students to become independent problem solvers. Matt’s strengths as an educator center around his ability to explain content in multiple ways and relate education to real world experiences. Matt is always looking forward to the opportunities of working with new students, he mentions that just as his students learn from him, he learns from them.


Melanie Miers

Melanie Miers is an accomplished Spanish teacher of 22 years. The theater and Spanish were among her first true loves, and it was Spanish that led her to Millersville University, from where she would graduate magna cum laude in 2002 with a BSE in Spanish. While attending Millersville, through a partnership with Towson University, Melanie studied abroad in Cuernavaca, Mexico. It was there that she truly grew in her bilingualism and appreciation for Mexican history, culture, and art.

Avon Grove High School has been her home base for the last 22 years, earning numerous nominations for the Citadel Heart of Learning Award along the way, and taking more than 45 graduate credits of additional courses and training. Helping others achieve proficiency in another language is what many consider her greatest strength inside the classroom. Melanie would say, however, that Spanish is merely the vehicle in which to teach students how to become better global citizens; that it is through language that we come to appreciate and celebrate different cultures. Executive functioning, school anxiety, and ADHD are some of the many challenges that Melanie has seen throughout her career. She has fashioned a number of tools and strategies to help partner with students and their guardians to bring about positive change.

While Melanie strives to serve her students by helping them implement a variety of study tools and organizational tactics, the true mission to goal setting starts with relationships. Melanie has a way of meeting her students where they are. Listening with the intention to understand, validation, and honest dialog which she has seen lead to tremendous breakthroughs both within the classroom and outside of it. Having an innate ability to start at the end goal and work backwards by carefully crafting pathways to meet the student where they are is where Melanie shines. Former students of Melanie would say that she is motivated to help young people learn how to self advocate, communicate their needs, and problem-solve using their own unique skills and talents.

Para las familias y los estudiantes buscando apoyo y ayuda, me pueden comunicar. Será un placer conocerlos y ayudar en cualquier asunto que necesiten.

Michael Paci

Michael Paci is an academic tutor, coach, and classroom teacher with certifications in Secondary Mathematics, General Science, Biology, and Chemistry. He graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania with Bachelor’s and Master's Degrees in Environmental Studies and a minor in Economics. Mike later went back to school to earn his Certificate in Secondary Education from Drexel University. During this time, Mike took part in the Philadelphia Teacher Residency program which focused on STEM education in high-needs schools around the City of Philadelphia. He earned a Robert Noyce Scholarship and participated in its nationally-recognized science education program for teachers. Mike is currently teaching at Marple Newtown High School where he teaches Integrated Science, Biology, and Human Body Systems. Additionally, Mike has classroom experience working with students with disabilities including ADHD, Specific Learning Disabilities, and Autism.

Neil Chaturvedi

Neil Chaturvedi is an aspiring clinical psychologist who recently graduated from Temple University, with a degree in Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience. He graduated Summa Cum Laude in his class, and while at Temple was part of the Honors College as well as the Honors Psychology Research Program (a specialized two-year course taught by Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek for the top 30 psychology students). He is a Dean's Scholarship recipient and has won the Pathways to Professions Award twice through Temple University. As he graduated, he was also awarded the College of Liberal Arts Psychology Service Award to highlight his devotion to and involvement with philanthropy.

Neil's approach to coaching and counseling is that one shoe does not fit all. He believes that education must be catered to every individual's needs, and should encompass their strengths, weaknesses, and ability to grow and learn. Furthermore, he believes that when students are given the right tools and motivation to overcome adversity, and challenges,  their potential for success increases immensely. Neil loves to engage with students to encourage academic, behavioral, and lifestyle progress.

Outside of academia, Neil has spent the past six years working with a variety of clinics, hospitals, laboratories, non-profit organizations, and private practices, to build a strong fundamental understanding for the application of his education. Some of his professional experience includes working with The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for the past two years, conducting research for the Department of Behavioral Health in Urban Schools and the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, where he has learned and implemented behavioral interventions and prevention programs. He also has years of tutoring experience through various university clubs and non-profit organizations, as well as by teaching psychology courses to athletes through Temple University's Resnick Academic Support Center.

During his free time, Neil loves to work on cars, play basketball with his friends, and listen to podcasts and music. It's also very unlikely you'll see Neil indoors unless he's working! He enjoys exploring new places, riding bikes, hiking, and camping.

Randi Rentz

Randi Rentz is a special educator who has worked in the public school setting in Pennsylvania since 1993. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.S. and received her Master's degree in Special Education from the Johns Hopkins University with an emphasis in the area of Autism.

She has experience with High-Functioning Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Non-Other Specified (PDD-NOS), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Learning Support in the areas of Reading, Writing and Math, Emotional Support, Dyslexia, Nonverbal Language Disorders and Intellectual Challenges, just to name a few. She understands how to create success with individuals with High-Functioning Autism and truly understands the importance of accepting people with differences. She is a wonderful collaborator with parents, professionals, paraprofessionals, doctors, psychologists, support groups and people diagnosed on the Autism spectrum. Randi is very experienced at developing, implementing and evaluating IEP’S with related service providers, administrators, advocates, lawyers and parents.

As a High-Functioning Autistic Support Teacher, she has designed a researched–based social skills curriculum and all program components including communication, language and sensory strategies. Randi developed a newscast for children with Asperger’s Syndrome which modulates behavior, develops social and communication skills, and turns many of their differences into assets. The heart of her work is illuminating the often elusive and intangible world of Social Thinking, and developing practical strategies that can be easily used by parents, educators and service providers, across different environments, to teach the Social Thinking required for the development of real social skills. She has also implemented, designed, and facilitated behavior management programs, documentation/recording of objectives, academic interventions (all individualized), and has been trained in research-based reading and intervention programs which give her the ability to coach according to her clients’ capabilities. Randi is able to break down the research and abstract concepts and create concrete ways for success in all children.

She has received accolades for her educational, energetic and enthusiastic workshop presentations. She has been invited to train psychologists, counselors, parents, educators and government policy makers in the area of special education. She has coordinated and presented workshops nationally and locally in conjunction with the Delaware County Intermediate Unit on Asperger's/Autism, behavior management, sensory integration, specially designed instruction, executive functioning, and education.

Randi has also presented at The National Autism Conference at Penn State University in August 2007. She has been published in The Autism File, Summer 2008 covering Autism, Aspergers, ADHD, ADD and other related disorders. Randi was profiled in the “Educator Spotlight” section in the Philadelphia Inquirer. She was also featured in Main Line Today Magazine, “Doing Good”. In addition, Randi has appeared on several news segments within the Philadelphia area with her students as well as a children’s news magazine show called, Fast Forward with ABC News Anchor, Rick Williams. In 2014, Randi was named as a “Woman of Note” by The Wall Street Journal for her work in Autism.

Based in suburban Philadelphia, Randi has two cats, Henna and Harlow, who remind her daily that Social Thinking crosses species.

Susan Baren-Pearson

Susan Baren-Pearson is a dedicated and resourceful ADHD coach providing services to individuals and families. She specializes in working with individuals with ADHD, including teens and young adults, who struggle with executive function deficits and emotional regulation. She uses a strengths-based approach, helping clients understand what is getting in the way of meeting their goals and collaborating with them to identify tools and strategies they need to succeed in school, at home, at work, and socially.

Susan completed her professional coach training through The ADD Coach Academy (ADDCA), the largest and most comprehensive ADHD coach training program in the world. She came to coaching through family and personal experiences with ADHD. A late-stage ADHD diagnosis fueled her interest in helping others understand their unique brain wiring and achieve the life they always wished to lead. She is also a member of the ADD Coaches Organization (ACO) and Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), an organization that empowers people affected by ADHD.

Susan has been a resident of the Main Line community for more than 25 years, where she has volunteered and provided consulting to various community non-profits, including her children’s Home and School Association, Adath Israel of the Main Line (Board Member), and Our Closet in Your Neighborhood (Board Member), a program of Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Greater Philadelphia, among others.

Prior to ADHD coaching, Susan worked in diverse private sector, non-profit, higher ed, and corporate environments, where she achieved positive results across multiple disciplines, including leadership, marketing communications, fundraising, and business development. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Syracuse University.

Susan loves to travel, ski, play tennis, and spend time with her family and pets.

Membership Information

A group of students working on a laptop in a library.

SOS: Specialists of Schools
NASW: National Association of Social Workers