2 Greenwich Park, Suite 300 Greenwich, CT 06831

Our Tutors


Meet Our Tutors

Our Tutors specialize in providing Tutoring & Coaching designed for Teens and Young Adults with anxiety and related conditions. They are trained through The Anxiety Institute of Greenwich in the best approaches to helping these individuals find their way academically and personally.

Alexander Merrill
Founder / Tutor
Alexander has taught English, coached, and dorm-parented for nearly 20 years at Dartmouth College, The King School, Kingswood-Oxford, Philips Andover and The Taft School. He is an expert at the college application process, including college essay writing, standardized test preparation, and the recommendation process. He has tutored hundreds of adolescent teens and young adults from middle school through college level on all spectrums, behaviorally and academically. He attended Philips Exeter Academy and received an undergrad degree from Kenyon College and a Masters Degree from Dartmouth College.  He lives in Middlebury, CT with his three rug rats and wife, Alexa.


Favorite Quote: “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” -WB Yeats





Parker Washburn
Parker has taught physics and math at boarding schools in Massachusetts and Connecticut for five years.  He has worked at Phillips Academy, Choate Rosemary Hall and at Taft School, where he currently teaches an introductory physics course to 9th and 10th graders.  Parker attended Phillips Academy, studied physics and astrophysics at Harvard University and is pursuing a master’s of science degree in applied physics from Johns Hopkins University.  Parker was a member of the rowing team at Harvard and pursued rowing after graduation for a couple of years. What Parker enjoys most about teaching physics is helping students connect with the physical world and develop problem solving skills that can be applied beyond the classroom. Using a structured and student-focused approach, Parker connects with young, motivated students on many different fronts and allows students to tap into their potential through hard work and persistence. 

Favorite Quote: “Education is the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks.”

-Albert Einstein

Courses available with Parker:
  • Physics (Accelerated or Regular Levels)
  • AP Physics 1 and 2

Test Prep Available with Parker:
  • AP Physics
  • ACT Science
  • SAT Math
    Geoffrey Wildanger
    Geoffrey has taught courses in German language and literature, comparative literature, English literature and composition, world literature, journalism, history, philosophy, and art history at Brown University, the Université de Lyon II, and the University of California, Davis. He holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from Brown and a Masters in Art History from UC Davis. He has been awarded the Fulbright, two DAAD grants (German Academic Exchange Service), and was a Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Dia Art Foundation in Beacon, NY.

    Courses available with Geoffrey: 
    • German All Levels
    • English All Levels
    • Composition and Essay Writing
    • Grant Applications and Personal Statements
    • US and European History
    • Civics and American Politics
    • Art History

    Test Prep Available with Geoffrey: 
    • SAT Reading, Writing, Language, and Essay
    • ACT English, Reading, and Writing
    • AP German Language and Culture
    • AP English Literature and Language
    • AP Art History

    Favorite Quote: “A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.” -Mark Twain

      Suin Jeong
      Suin attended St. Paul’s School and received her undergrad B.S.E. degree from Princeton University, where she majored in Computer Science and minored in Engineering Biology. She recently completed her M.S. in Physiology at Georgetown University. She has been a private tutor since 2013 and has worked for several professional tutoring companies teaching Mathematics, Science, Computer Science, and English, particularly specializing in SAT/ACT/AP test prep. Through her academic tutoring and college counseling, she aims to bring out the best in each student and strives to be a mentor that her students can rely on for guidance and support.

      Courses available with Suin: 
      • Algebra I & II
      • Geometry
      • Precalculus,
      • Calculus AB/BC
      • Multivariable Calculus
      • Linear Algebra
      • Physics (Mechanics, E&M)
      • Chemistry
      • Biology
      • English 8th-12th grade
      • Computer Science (Java, Python, web/mobile app programming)

      Test Prep Available with Suin: 
      • SSAT
      • SAT
      • ACT
      • MCAT
      • SAT II Math, Chemistry, Physics, or Biology
      • AP Korean
      • AP Biology
      • AP Calculus
      • AP Chemistry
      • AP Computer Science
      • AP Physics
      • AP Statistics
        Archer has attended Johns Hopkins University, where he received his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and Molecular/Cellular Biology in three years and where he also completed his M.S.E. in Biomedical Engineering. He is currently a senior PhD candidate in Biomedical Engineering at Yale University. For the past seven years, Archer has taught a number of STEM classes including introductory and upper level math courses, college level Physics, and introductory and graduate level courses in Biology and Biomedical Engineering and is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Mathematics at SCSU. He has helped countless students in standardized tests excel in test preparation and has been involved with a number of high school and undergraduate teaching/tutoring programs offered at Yale University (Freshman Scholars at Yale, Yale Pathways to Science, and ONEXSYS).


        Courses Available with Archer:
        • AP Stat
        • AP AB and BC Calc
        • AP Ecology
        • AP Physics
        • AP Chem
        • AP Bio
        • AP Econ
        • AP Comp Sci
        • College Level Biology, Physics, Stat, Calc and Linear Algebra

        Test Prep Available with Archer:
        • SAT
        • SSAT
        • ACT
        • GRE
        • Accounting
          Stirling Ince

          Prior to joining the Cushing faculty in the fall of 2000, Stirling spent four years working as a counselor to high school students at an educational not-for-profit in New York City, and three years teaching English as a Second Language in Ecuador. He received his B.A. in psychology from Wesleyan University and his MsEd in Second Language Education (TESOL Concentration) from the State University of New York at New Paltz. Mr. Ince is also a graduate of Dulwich College (London, England) and St. Mary’s College (Port-of-Spain, Trinidad). In addition to his teaching duties, he is the head coach for both varsity boys’ cross-country team and varsity track and field team. He is the dorm head of Johnson House.

          Courses available with Stirling:
          • Spanish- All Levels
          • Beginning Intermediate Listening & Speaking,
          • Reading 1 & 2
          • Advanced-Intermediate Writing & Grammar
          • Grammar & Composition
          • ESL Support for World Literature
          • ESL Support for American Literature

          Test Prep Available with Stirling:
          • TOEFL Prep
            Kevin Danaher

            Kevin has taught Mathematics for the past eight years in a public high school, private day school and for the last three years at The Taft School, a private boarding school. He has taught all levels of math through Calculus. In addition to math, Kevin also teaches AP Macroeconomics, AP Microeconomics and courses in Personal Finance. He believes in a student-centered approach to teaching and uses inquiry methods to help students explore and comprehend complex concepts. Kevin attended Roger Williams University where he received a degree in Mathematics and Secondary Education, and has a Masters Degree from the University of New Haven. He has experience tutoring students in many math courses as well for the SAT and ACT.

            Courses available with Kevin: 

            • Algebra I
            • Geometry
            • Algebra II
            • Precalculus
            • Calculus
            • AP Macroeconomics
            • AP Microeconomics
            • Personal Finance

            Test Prep available with Kevin: 

            • SAT
            • ACT
            • SAT II Math
            • AP AB Calculus
            • AP Macroeconomics
            • AP Microeconomics
              Jillian Danaher
              Jillian has taught, coached, dorm parented and advised for eight years at Connecticut public and boarding schools and is currently teaching Spanish at The Taft School. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Salve Regina University and a Master of Arts in Spanish from Middlebury College. Throughout her Spanish studies she has spent time living in Seville, Spain and Buenos Aires, Argentina. In Spanish class, Jillian focuses on comprehensible input and communication based instruction and learning. As Class Dean, she has experience working with students outside of the classroom to oversee their school experience and academic performance. This role makes her well qualified to support students with anxiety and other learning challenges as they navigate the challenges of developing both their academic habits and performance.

              Courses Available with Jill:
              • Spanish 8-12th grade, Levels 1-4

              Test Prep Available with Jill:
              • AP Spanish Language and Culture
              • SAT II Spanish
                Bryan DeSousa

                Bryan attended Fairfield University, where he received his B.A. in English. He completed his M.A in English from William Paterson University in 2006. In 2018, he earned a PhD in English from St. John’s University. For the past fifteen years, Bryan has taught number of English classes at the high school level including World Literature, British Literature, and American Literature, as well as providing SAT prep, college application help, and essay writing instruction for his students. He has also taught composition and literature at a number of colleges, including Michigan State University, Rutgers University and Pace University. As a graduate student he tutored students at the St. John’s University Institute for Writing Studies. In his last job, he remotely tutored students at Purdue University Global for writing in all subjects for approximately 1500 hours.

                Courses available with Bryan:
                • AP Literature
                • AP Language
                • American Literature
                • British Literature
                • Composition
                • Creative Writing

                Test Prep Available with Bryan:
                • AP Literature
                • AP Language
                • SAT All Sections
                • ACT All Sections
                • SAT Subject Test — English
                  Courtney Barker-DeStefano
                  Courtney is a career educator with nearly a decade of experience teaching, coaching, and dorm-parenting in boarding schools in the northeast. A current faculty member of Choate Rosemary Hall, Courtney has taught in the History Philosophy Religion and Social Sciences Department for the last seven years, and previously worked at The Masters School. At Choate, Courtney is the section head of World History, and has experience teaching history at all levels: introductory, Honors, and Advanced Placement. Courtney specializes in building skills in historical research, analytical writing, public speaking, and critical discussion. Courtney has also served as a Program Dean and can support students as they navigate the social and emotional aspects of adolescent development. She attended Moses Brown School in Providence, RI. Courtney received her B.A. in History and American Studies from Skidmore College – where she was a member of the women’s lacrosse team – and her M.A. in History from Boston College.

                  Courses available with Courtney:
                  • World History
                  • United States History
                  • American Studies
                  • European History
                  • Human Geography

                  Test Prep Available with Courtney:
                  • AP World History
                  • AP US History
                  • AP European History
                  • AP Human Geography
                  • SAT II – World History
                  • SAT II – US History


                    Melissa Sarmiento

                    Melissa graduated from Cornell University, where she majored in History with minors in German and Latin American studies. Melissa started her teaching and tutoring career in college, where she helped students strengthen their writing across the disciplines, logging over 1000 hours. After graduation, she moved to Tokyo, Japan, where she taught English as a second language to middle school students. Presently, Melissa is pursuing her master’s degree in social studies education at Brown University. Melissa is also a private tutor, helping students of all ages excel in history, writing, English and Spanish, as well as the college admissions process. As a tutor and mentor, she strives to build meaningful connections with her students, empower them, and help them realize their full potential inside and outside the classroom.

                    Courses available with Melissa:
                    • Social Studies
                    • Writing & Composition
                    • AP Literature
                    • AP Language
                    • AP Spanish

                    Test Prep Available with Melissa:
                    • AP Literature
                    • AP Language
                    • SAT Writing
                    • ACT English portions
                    • SAT Subject Test — English
                    • SAT Subject Test — Spanish
                      Eric Otremba
                      Eric is a former professor at Macalester College and UCLA, and has fifteen years teaching experience in both high school and higher education settings. He has been a professional tutor and college counselor for the past five years and his specialties include history, English, essay writing, and ACT/SAT prep.  Eric earned a PhD in history from the University of Minnesota in 2012 and has published multiple articles in professional historical journals. He has also been an official AP History grader for nine years and has extensive knowledge of all AP history curriculums. Eric’s has also taught several nonfiction writing classes and can help people with all stages of essay writing, from brainstorming to final edits. He also has five years of ACT/SAT experience and helped develop the ACT/SAT curriculums at two separate education centers in Southern California. After spending many years in many educational roles, Eric has found that his favorite kind of teaching is working with engaged students one-on-one. He takes pride in his ability to connect with people, and to take complex ideas and explain them in ways students can understand.

                      Courses available with Eric: 
                      • History 9th-12th grade
                      • English 9th-12th grade
                      • AP European History
                      • AP World History
                      • AP US History
                      • College Level History and History of Science
                      • Introductory College Writing

                      Test Prep Available with Eric: 
                      • SAT Reading and Writing
                      • ACT English and Reading
                      • SAT II US History and World History
                        Jonathan Fermo

                        Jon Fermo earned his B.E. in Mechanical Engineering from Vanderbilt University, where he won the prestigious Arnold Prize in Design, and an MA in Education from the City College of New York.  He has taught middle school and high school math courses for over 10 years in private and public schools, including The Masters School and Horace Greeley, earning teaching certifications in both Connecticut and New York.  Jon believes learning is most effective in an engaging and encouraging environment, inseparable from the academic experience.  He enjoys playing tennis, following the stock market, and watching Jeopardy.

                        Courses available with Jon:
                        • Algebra
                        • Pre-Algebra
                        • Geometry
                        • Trigonometry
                        • Precalculus

                        Test Prep Available with Jon:
                        • SAT All Sections
                        • SAT II Math
                        • ACT All Sections


                          Stephen Szczepanek

                          Stephen attended the University of Oxford, where he received his B.A. in Philosophy & French, followed by his MSt in Ancient Philosophy. For the past five years, Stephen has taught and mentored students from middle school through college in positions all over the world, from the UK to South Korea. He focuses on language and humanities instruction, coupled with intensive writing skills and college application coaching. His language studies saw him teach English for a year in southern France, as well as holding a technical translation position in Spanish in Barcelona. He has received formal training in mental health support, and has substantial experience working with students with anxiety and depression. Stephen is a warm and dynamic individual, who focuses on creating an open and engaging learning environment, where his students develop a genuine passion for their subject and the independent learning skills to flourish in their lives beyond. He is currently based in the UK, where he enjoys reading, taking long walks, and playing the guitar and piano.

                          Courses available with Stephen:
                          • French
                          • Spanish
                          • English — Literature & Language
                          • Philosophy
                          • Italian
                          • Latin
                          • Ancient Greek
                          • World History
                          • Math
                          • Writing & Composition

                          Test Prep Available with Stephen:
                          • AP French
                          • AP Spanish
                          • AP Literature
                          • AP Language
                          • SAT Writing
                          • SAT II Math

                          Favorite Quote: “True education is a kind of never-ending story — a matter of continual beginnings, of habitual fresh starts, of persistent newness.”  – J.R.R. Tolkien.

                            Daniel Per Villiers
                            Mental Health Consultant

                            One of the nation’s leading interventionists, Dr. Dan Villiers has education, motivated, and inspired more than 700 families to pursue treatment for their children with acute anxiety, OCD and Trauma.  In the spirit of entrepreneurism Dan has founded four anxiety treatment programs for school-aged children; most notably The Anxiety Institute in 2016, an intensive day program in Greenwich, CT, and Mountain Valley Treatment Center in 2010, the first non-hospital residential anxiety program in the United States.  He has published articles, appeared on radio and TV, and given over 100 presentations in the US and in Europe on the nature, experience, and impact of Anxiety; and ways to address the epidemic individually and systematically.

                              Middle School & Elementary School

                              Alliance Offers tutors specifically with experience working with younger children, in home or online.

                              Eve Pensak

                              Eve earned her undergraduate degree from the University of California Berkeley and her MBA from Columbia.  She’s been tutoring professionally for ten years, primarily in middle and elementary school, though she is also experienced in tutoring at the high school level.  She tutors in all subjects up through the middle school level, including experience in special education and special needs students.  She is also an exceptional test prep instructor, offering ISEE, SSAT, SAT, and ACT tutoring, as well as college essay and resume writing for older students.  She is a passionate teacher while also remaining grounded, and in high demand during these uncertain times!

                                Lester Steinberg
                                Lester has taught Mathematics for the past eight years in both public high schools and public middle schools.  He currently teaches Accelerated Math at Ponus Ridge Middle School. He has taught or tutored all levels of math from Elementary through Calculus. Lester attended Carnegie-Mellon University where he received a degree in Mechanical Engineering and has a Masters in Business Administration from Duke University.  In addition to teaching math, Lester tutors elementary, middle school, and high school math as well as many of the  standardized tests including the SAT, ACT, SSAT, and the ISEE.  Additionally, Lester has created enrichment programs for elementary and middle school students.  He believes in building relationships and empowering students with give and take instruction and discourse with the end goal of building self-reliance and confidence.
                                  Kristen Ginley
                                  Kristen has taught elementary and middle school in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey and most recently has worked in the Fairfield and Westport Public Schools as a Long-term substitute and Building substitute. Kristen has experience teaching all grades, K-6, and is a certified teacher in the state of Connecticut. Kristen holds an Undergraduate Degree from Mount Holyoke College and a Master’s Degree from the University of Hartford. Kristen’s approach to teaching is to be flexible, patient and caring. Her teaching style combines energy and passion with flexibility and clear, concise instruction. She is exceptionally good with working with a variety of learning styles, including those students who suffer from anxiety and other challenges. Kristen has a current working knowledge of the State of Connecticut’s Core Curriculum and is able to adapt the curriculum and formulate lessons tailored to individual students to facilitate learning. Kristen has coached ski club, Junior Varsity Field Hockey, worked with Girl’s on the Run and created and ran after school clubs for elementary, middle and high school students. She is an avid reader and hopes to instill a love of reading in all of her students.


                                    Beth Peckham
                                    Beth has a stellar performance record teaching diverse learning needs in the New Canaan school district. Her nurturing and positive approach is the foundation for providing a positive, safe environment that enables children to take academic risks that promote self-confidence and significant learning growth. Beth is deeply committed to student success, and has spent over a decade helping children improve math understanding and problem solving, both one-on one and in small groups.  Beth has 15 years of teaching experience, the most recent 4 years as a second-grade teacher at New Canaan South School. Other posts have included long-term math specialist substitute (K-4), substitute teacher in grades K-6 and home tutor for students with serious, long-term health issues. A world traveler, parent and former swimming coach, Beth holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from Manhattanville, and an undergraduate degree in Communications and Journalism from Rutgers University. She also holds state certifications from Connecticut and Florida (K-6), training in E-Learning and has completed the Summer Reading Institute at Teacher’s College at Columbia University.
                                      Rene Steffan
                                      Rene has been tutoring History and English curriculums in Fairfield County for over ten years, particularly focusing on composition and research.  Rene holds a Masters of Education from National University in La Jolla California, and a Connecticut certification in secondary Social Studies.  She enjoys helping her students achieve independence, through executive functions skill building. She believes that executive functions skills are the cornerstone of student success. Rene has been a member of the Learning Services Department at the Southfield Center for Development for the past 11 years, where she was an executive functions skills and academic coach. She teaches students how to apply organization, time management, planning, initiation, and study skills to their academics. For learners with ADD/ADHD these skills greatly improved comprehension, confidence and study strategies.
                                        Deborah Johnson-ghasia
                                        Deborah received her undergraduate degree from New York University, in marketing and sociology before matriculating to Yale University, where she earned two Master’s Degrees in Sociology and taught as an assistant.  She went on to pursue a successful career in academic and corporate research, both in the US and abroad; she has traveled to over 35 countries. In her transition to elementary education, Deborah has more than a decade of professional and personal experience working with children grades kindergarten to five in the Spackenkill school district. Deborah provided special education services to elementary and middle school students in the Wappingers Central school district during the same time period.  Deborah knows how to advocate for students so they can receive the support they need in order to be successful.  In addition to loving children, Deborah loves exercise, especially tennis and yoga, along with art and current events.