2 Greenwich Park, Suite 300 Greenwich, CT 06831

Our Tutors


Meet Our Tutors

Alliance Offers a variety of services to help students who are in transition, either going back to school, on to college, or into their professional lives.

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

Neal Allar

Neal has taught English and French at Cornell University, Amherst College, Tsinghua University, the University of Burgundy in France, Tsinghua University in Beijing, and most recently at The Taft School. He has coached sports at the NCAA, secondary, and youth levels, has served as a live-in advisor to university and high school students, and has counseled students from various backgrounds on their college, graduate school, and career goals. He received his B.A. from Amherst College, where he was also a captain of the baseball team, and he received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Romance Studies and Comparative Literature from Cornell University.

Courses Available with Neal: 
  • French 8th-12th grade, AP, post-AP
  • English 8th-12th grade
  • World Literature
  • Comparative Literature

Test Prep Available with Neal:
  • SAT Reading, Writing, Language, and Essay
  • ACT English, Reading, and Writing
  • AP French Language and Culture
  • AP English Language and Composition
  • AP English Literature and Composition
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 Southern Connecticut State University. He has helped a number of students in standardized tests (SAT, ACT, and AP) 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 Physics
  • College Level Physics, Stat, Calc and Linear Algebra

Test Prep Available with Archer:
  • SAT
  • SSAT
  • ACT
  • GRE
  • Accounting
Sierra Berkel

Sierra is a Penn Fellow at the Taft School, where she teaches English, coaches, and lives in the dorm as she works toward her Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. Before landing at Taft, Sierra was a 2018 graduate of Haverford College, where with a degree in English and minors in Education and Psychology. At Haverford, she served as a teaching fellow at Titagya Schools in Dalun, Ghana, and as a four-year member and captain of the varsity women’s basketball team. She also served with the school’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee as a liaison to the Office of Academic Resources, during which she brainstormed methods to improve students’ academic performance from teaching time management to reducing stress and anxiety. Her previous experience includes student-editor for publications such as The New York Literary Magazine as well as contributions to platforms such as the Newtown Literary Journal. Sierra currently volunteers as an editor at an online literary journal, the Awesome Sports Project, where she works with girls in the internship program to voice their own stories about identity and sports experiences.

Courses Available with Sierra:
  • English 8th – 12th Grade
  • Intro to Psychology
  • Literary Journalism
  • Sports Journalism
  • Post Civil Rights African American Literature

Test Prep Available with Sierra:
  • SAT: Reading, Writing and Language, and Essay Portions
  • ACT: English, Reading, and Writing Sections
  • AP Literature and AP Language.
Amanda Benedict
Amanda has taught, coached, and dorm-parented for eight years at the Taft School. She is an experienced AP Biology teacher as she has taught AP Biology for nine years, served as a Reader for the AP Biology exam, and taught AP Biology summer institutes for teachers for many summers. She also has taught two levels of Chemistry for eight years at Taft. She has mentored many students in independent science projects over the years, as well. Prior to Taft, Amanda earned her undergraduate degree in Chemistry with a Biochemistry concentration, Dance Performance double major and Biology minor from Skidmore College and her Masters and Doctorate degrees from University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. During her doctoral work, Amanda worked at the University of Rochester Life Science Learning Center helping students understand connections of science to every day life. Amanda’s teaching style aims to inspire understanding and mastery of science and establish strong critical thinking skills in her students. She has ample experience supporting students with test anxiety, and she often uses her yoga teacher training to guide students to greater test confidence.

Courses available with Amanda: 
  • Biology (all levels)
  • AP Biology
  • Chemistry (all levels)
  • Biochemistry

Test Prep Available with Amanda: 
  • ACT Science
  • AP Biology
  • AP Chemistry
  • SAT II Biology E/M
  • SAT II Chemistry
Alison Frye

Alison has taught, coached, and advised for seven years at Connecticut boarding schools and is currently teaching Accelerated Biology and AP Environmental Science at The Taft School. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Bates College and a Master of Science in Marine Biology from Northeastern University. Alison’s teaching style is one that combines energy and patience with clear, comprehensible instruction. A structured and detail-oriented professional herself, Alison is well suited to help those students with anxiety by building organizational skills and academic confidence.

Courses available with Alison:
  • Biology (Accelerated or Regular Levels)
  • AP Biology
  • AP Environmental Science
  • Marine Science

Test Prep Available with Alison:
  • AP Biology
  • AP Environmental Science
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
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.

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.  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. He can tutor students in AP physics 1 and 2, SAT II physics, SAT math and ACT science and math.  In addition, Parker was a member of the rowing team at Harvard and pursued rowing after graduation for a couple of years. 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
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. She has also coached many students in the college application process and college essay writing. 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, Biology
  • Korean
  • AP Biology
  • AP Calculus
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP Computer Science
  • AP Physics
  • AP Statistics
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
  • SAT2 US History and World History
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 [HPRSS] Department for the last seven years, and previously worked at The Masters School (NY). At Choate, Courtney is the section head of World History, responsible for developing curriculum and pedagogy across the Honors and introductory levels. She currently teaches World History Honors, World History, and American Studies but 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; her students move beyond rote memorization and become independent thinkers. 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:
  • AP World History
  • Honors World History
  • Introductory World History
  • AP United States History
  • Honors United States History
  • Introductory United States History
  • American Studies
  • AP European History
  • AP Human Geography

Test Prep Available with Courtney:
  • AP World History
  • AP United States History
  • AP European History
  • AP Human Geography
  • SAT Subject Test — World History
  • SAT Subject Test — US History
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