Why Choose Melissa for Academic Coaching?

I coach academic success from a place of academic success

After taking the California Achievement Test in 5th grade, I was placed in honors and advanced classes for the rest of my school career. In 7th grade, my SAT scores qualified me to take gifted classes at John Hopkins University through the Center for the Advancement of Academically Talented Youth (CTY).

Junior English Prize-Click to Enlarge

In high school I took AP English (earning the highest score of 5 on the test), AP French and AP European history (earning a score of 4 on both tests). I won the French Prize and English Prize my junior year, and the Three-Dimensional Art Prize and English Prize my senior year. Here’s what my high school teachers wrote about me.

I graduated from Northwestern University with Honors in English Literature, having fulfilled the requirements for a double English major in both literature and writing, with a 3.9 GPA in my major and a 3.7 GPA overall. I scored in the 90th percentile on the GRE Literature in English exam, and in the 99th percentile of the verbal section of the GRE.

I know what it takes to succeed academically. I coach my students to connect to their school work by drawing on my own inner experience of middle school, high school and college. I do not pretend I never struggled—I struggled with procrastination, I struggled heartily in math, and I struggled to balance academic accomplishment with personal emotional development. Overall, I succeeded—and I find it meaningful and inspiring to coach students to achieve the same sense of success that I’ve enjoyed.

I’m familiar with the schools in the area, and their subject matter

From Lab to Parker to New Trier, North Shore Country Day to Loyola Academy, St. Ignatius to Joseph Sears to Roycemore, Montessori in Evanston to Waldorf in Chicago—I’m familiar with the values and overall community climate of many Chicago and North Shore area schools, so it’s easier for me to immediately understand the context of my students’ academic struggles and challenges. From the “wine dark seas” of the Odyssey at New Trier, to the commonalities in the AP English curriculum, I’m also familiar with a lot of my students’ academic material—after 26 years of tutoring, on top of my own high school experience, you could say I’ve gone to high school 5+ times!

I understand the academic material

I have outstanding academic skills which enable me to discuss the details of the inner academic problems of my students without stumbling over the actual subject matter itself.