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Our Staff

Dr. Jamie Rodriguez – President

Jamie is the owner and founder of JBG Educational Group. She began working for one of the leading tutoring companies in New York City and has been tutoring within school systems throughout Massachusetts for the past thirteen years. In addition to running JBG Educational Group, she previously was on faculty at Lasell College and also consults with the Curry College PAL Program (specialty program for students with ADD/ADHD & language based learning disabilities), where she does diagnostic teaching and LD/educational assessments. She attended the honors program at University of Massachusetts Amherst for her undergraduate degree, Columbia University (degree in psychology with a focus on special education) for her Masters, and the College of William and Mary (degree in Counselor Education and Supervision with a focus on multicultural counseling) for her PhD. Jamie is responsible for all inner workings of the company. She handles all inquiries, initial assessments, and referrals of all students, and primarily does the majority of college & private school consulting. In her free time she enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband and 5 children.

Dustin Cohen- Manager of College Consulting

Dustin grew up in Sharon, Massachusetts and graduated from the Salisbury School in northwestern Connecticut. He matriculated to Dickinson College in 2003, where he majored in American History and was a four-year starter on the Varsity Baseball team. After spending three years in Philadelphia working in finance, he moved back to Boston in 2012 to pursue his interest in education. Dustin earned a Master of Science in Applied Educational Psychology and School Counseling from Northeastern University in 2014, and he soon began working as an 11 th and 12 th grade counselor at New Bedford High School. During his three years at NBHS, Dustin served as advisor to the senior class. Additionally, he was an integral member of the scholarship committee.

As a passionate, knowledgeable college counselor, Dustin is determined to help students maximize their post-secondary opportunities. He has visited more than 150 schools throughout the country and participated in over a dozen college admissions seminars throughout New England and the Mid-Atlantic region. His knowledge and unique professional experiences have allowed him to successfully assist students and families in all areas of the college identification and application process, encouraging positive student outcomes and achievement. During his free time, Dustin enjoys exercising, fishing, and spending time with his family.

Marcia Felix- Operations Manager

Marcia is a native Massachusetts resident from the south shore. She attended Montrose School before graduating from Northeastern University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Media Arts and Design. She worked for advertising and design agencies for over a decade, designing everything from corporate collateral pieces to advertising campaigns, while increasing their profits and brand awareness. After her first child was born, she took a sabbatical to raise and then homeschool her young children. At this time Marcia became very involved in her community and started a homeschool group, connecting students with various educational and cultural opportunities. She developed a passion for education and for creating educational opportunities where they otherwise wouldn’t exist. In her spare time, Marcia enjoys spending time with her family and friends, going to farmer’s markets and making natural skin care products.

Sarah Waters- Manager of Programming

Sarah grew up in Weston Massachusetts and now lives in Medfield with her husband and three children. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Sarah has held writing and marketing positions in publishing, recruiting, and career counseling firms.

Active on school committees, she recently served on a committee to examine the elementary school day. She was also part of a team who interviewed candidates and chose a new principal for one of Medfield’s elementary schools. She continues to sit on the Superintendent’s advisory board, where she has an opportunity to discuss topics relevant to students of all ages. In her free time, Sarah enjoys spending time with her family.

Dr. Kateri Chambers – Manager of Curriculum and Development

Kateri Chambers has been developing curriculum since her time at the Center for Social Organization of Schools during her undergraduate work at Johns Hopkins University. She most enjoys collaborating with students, parents, teachers, and administrators to integrate student learning and fulfill academic needs.

Dr. Chambers also holds degrees from Boston University, Peabody Conservatory, and Guildhall School in London. Concurrent to writing her dissertation on the development of musical orthography prior to 1700, Kateri established an outreach program taking music to patients and staff at BMC. Kateri has taught and tutored in a variety of settings since 2006. Her classroom teaching has ranged from classes dedicated to SAT preparation to college credit skill-based learning. She is most fulfilled when a student can improve upon what she demonstrates. When she is not teaching, Kateri works as a director and performer throughout New England.

Rachel Horwitz – Manager of Marketing and Scholastic Achievement

Rachel attended The University of Rhode Island where she obtained her BA in English Language and Literature. Whether it’s reading through a great new book or exploring the world, Rachel has always loved learning. One of her greatest discoveries was realizing there’s something new to learn every day! Rachel has put that passion for learning to work by helping students achieve their academic potential in many school courses and on the SAT and ACT. She also loves assisting students in developing their college essays and other writing-based assignments. Recently, Rachel has been promoted within JBG to also offer her creativity as our Manager of Marketing and Scholastic Achievement.

Andrew Dolman – Academic & Test Prep Tutor

Andrew is from Westport, Massachusetts and has spent most of his adult life in Boston. His received his B.A. in Neuroscience from Boston College and attended Boston University School of Medicine for his graduate degree in Biomedical Imaging. Andrew now works in clinical pain research for Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital’s Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging as a Clinical Project Coordinator. His research interests include how the mind creates emotion and how emotion modulates pain processing. Outside of science, Andrew is interested in catching local music shows, eating sandwiches, and finding the perfect pair of jeans.

Anita Danker – Academic Tutor

Anita has enjoyed a long career in education as a teacher of history and social studies at the secondary level, a system-wide curriculum coordinator, and an associate professor of education. She holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education and a master’s degree in American civilization. She earned her doctorate in curriculum and teaching social studies at Boston University. She currently serves on the advisory board of the Boston Women’s Heritage Trail and as an English language tutor for Literacy Unlimited. She lives in Framingham, Massachusetts, where she writes about local history topics, including heritage trails, reformers, and notable individuals from diverse backgrounds. Her book, Multicultural Social Studies: Using Local History in the Classroom, was published by Teachers College Press in 2005. In her spare time, Anita enjoys reading, gardening, cooking, and adventures with her grandson.

Audrey Borus – Academic Tutor

Audrey is a librarian and has tutored adults and children in the US and abroad. She is the winner of the American Library Association’s Award for Exemplary Humanities Programming and author of several non-fiction books for high school students. She volunteers in the Boston Public Schools and at the Perkins School for the Blind.

Britney Lambert – Academic & Test Prep Tutor

Britney was born and raised in the Venice of America, Fort Lauderdale Florida. She received her B.S. in Biology from Spelman College in Atlanta. Britney recently graduated from Boston University School of Medicine and is currently working in Newton as a Project Manager on substance abuse research. Outside of medicine, Britney has worked as a Teaching Assistant at Boston University and an AP Biology tutor at John D O’Bryant High School. In her free time she enjoys yoga, cooking, and vacationing to as many new beaches as possible.

Cheryl Baressi – School Psychologist & Academic Coach

Cheryl Baressi, M.A., C.A.G.S. is a Licensed Educational Psychologist who administers neuropsychological evaluations for students, directs the Center for Self-Regulation and Resiliency, consults regularly with teachers and parents, and facilitates the special education team process. Her work with students is focused on building executive functioning skills including self-regulation, flexibility, planning and organizational skills, and study skills. Cheryl has spoken at conferences sponsored by Harvard’s School of Education Research Institute for Learning and Development about the executive function initiative which she has spearheaded at school. She has worked with Sarah Ward and was responsible for integrating The Zones of Regulation Program into the school culture. Cheryl has created webinars for parents on the subjects of raising a resilient child and implementation of the Zones of Regulation Program in the home setting. She has presented professional development to school staff, including An Anxiety Informed School based on Jessica Minahan’s work, author of The Behavior Code. Cheryl has an M.A. in Psychology and M.B.A. from Boston University and a C.A.G.S. in School Psychology from the University of Massachusetts.

Curt Shonkwiler – Academic & Test Prep Tutor

Curt Shonkwiler is an experienced tutor specializing in SAT and ACT test prep, English, writing, college essays, history and foreign languages. He has more than six years’ experience tutoring students of all ages and abilities, and has experience working with students with learning disabilities. He loves teaching, especially one-on-one. He recently received his Ph.D. in comparative literature from Harvard University, with a dissertation on comedic techniques in the 20th century novel. As his first professor in grad school helpfully defined an interest as something you’ve published a book on, Curt currently has no interests, though he hopes to change that soon. He does, however, love to write, study literature, backpack, do mountain sports and perform comedy.

Dimitar Semerdzhiev – Academic Tutor

Dimitar is a Masters student of Biology at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. He obtained his undergraduate degrees of B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, where he conducted neuro-cognitive and embryology research for three years. He has also interned at a Biomedical research lab at Brown Medical School as well as at a Neurosurgical Clinic in Providence. He is currently working on his microbiology thesis where he is attempting to alter bacterial communication in the hope of creating a novel pharmaceutical. In his free time he enjoys playing sports, spending time outdoors and watching all Boston sports teams.

Don Allison – Academic & Test Prep Tutor

Don Allison holds a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from Mount Ida College, as well as a bachelor’s in finance and accounting from Villanova University. He has spent a lifetime in education and learning, and has a taught and tutored a wide array of subjects, including his current position as a Biology teacher at Notre Dame High School in Boston.
In addition, Don was an Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathology instructor at the Cortiva Institute in Boston for several years. He has also taught accounting, finance, computer science, sports marketing, and writing, among other subjects. He also volunteers as an ESL tutor and business mentor for low income families in Boston. His two dogs, Bowie and Nova, keep him busy during his off hours.

Effie Sapuridis – Academic Tutor

Effie is originally from Montreal, Quebec and is fluently trilingual​in English, French and Greek! Back home, she received a B.A. in English Literature, with a minor in Political Science and a minor in Liberal Arts Studies. Post-graduation, she took a trip to Boston and fell in love with the city. She graduated with her M.A. in English Literature from the University of Massachusetts Boston in December of 2016​. While there, she taught several literature classes and tutored privately for middle and high school level students in all core subjects. Beyond her teaching experience, she has a long background in writing, proofreading, research​ and editing having worked for various literary magazines and publishing houses. In July 2017, she launched her own online YA literary journal called “Fterota Logia” and hopes to expand it into the book publishing industry in the future.​ ​She’s currently working as a Research Assistant at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Gregg Chambers – Academic Tutor

Gregg is from Needham, MA and is a native of the area, having grown up in Canton, MA. He graduated from Boston College with a B.S. in Finance and was awarded his M.B.A. from Babson College. Gregg spent twenty-three years as a fundraiser for independent schools and nonprofit organizations before changing careers into teaching. He is currently studying in the Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Licensure Program at Framingham State University, with a specialization in mathematics. Gregg has obtained his teaching license for middle school math and looks forward to a long and fruitful career in secondary education.

Harli Weber – Academic Tutor

Harli received her dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology and Neuroscience from the Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Harli has a passion for science and medicine and currently works in clinical ALS research at Massachusetts General Hospital. While at the University of Massachusetts, she helped lead the Excellence in Student Enhanced Learning (ExSEL) program. This program focused on tutoring students through peer lead team learning and critical thinking. In addition to science, Harli enjoys traveling, listening to live music, and watching football. Despite growing up in New York, she is a big New England Patriots fan.

Jason Bisson – Academic Tutor

Jason Bisson is an undergraduate student in Psychology and Linguistics at Northeastern University, and hopes to go on to achieve his doctorate in clinical psychology. He has done freelance editing and nonprofit work since 2013, and recently published an article in a medical journal, but is most passionate about his work with children and service dog owners.
Jason works as a behavior therapist with children with autism and developmental diagnoses, and is part of a team developing a program to train rescue dogs as task-performing Emotional Support Animals. Jason lives in Norwood, MA and in his free time enjoys playing the piano, reading, and going on adventures with his girlfriend and their dog.

John Koch – Academic & Test Prep Tutor

Born in Cohasset, MA, John has lived in Massachusetts, Illinois, California, New York and Oregon. He now resides in North Attleboro, MA. John studied creative writing at California’s University of Redlands, earned his B.A. in English from Vassar College and his M.A.T. in English from Oregon’s Lewis & Clark College. He brings over twenty years of experience as a tutor and teacher of high school English. His students have been accepted to such acclaimed schools as Harvard University and Oberlin College, but he is particularly proud of the number of former students who have become or are in the process of becoming teachers themselves.

John has always embraced the following words from William Butler Yeats: “Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of the fire.” Igniting those fires and fanning the flames is paramount to John’s approach to teaching. He has an affinity for reaching students of all kinds, knowing that each student has his or her own individual learning style and believes that every student can achieve academic success. John specializes in grades 9-12, with a particular focus on all elements of English studies and S.A.T. preparation.

In his free time, John enjoys wrestling with the physical challenges of golf and the mental challenges of Walt Whitman. He is also a devotee of J.R.R. Tolkien and John Green, loves his Boston Red Sox, and avidly follows the music of U2.

Julie LeVeen – Academic Tutor

Julie grew up in Westhampton, NY and earned a BA in Art History Cum Laude from Dartmouth College. At Dartmouth, Julie studied Education, participated in an international program in Florence, Italy, and held an educational media internship at Sesame Street in NYC. Next, Julie became an Assistant Editor of children’s books at Scholastic. She went on to earn her MA with Distinction in Higher Education Administration and Student Development from Boston College. Through BC internships, she taught academic and study skills and advised students; as a Graduate Assistant in Elementary Education, she edited Science instructional materials and ran the Massachusetts Science Poetry Contest. Julie’s decade+ of work in Higher Education included program development to enhance the students’ experience at BU Law and Admissions Committee oversight at Harvard Medical School. She went on to hold an academic affairs role in International Programs at Babson College where she managed the Honors International Summer Study/Internship Program in London, preparing and advising students. Julie has also taught Part-time in the Fiske Elementary School’s extended day program. In 2010, Julie and her husband travelled to China to adopt their son. She enjoys writing, volunteering in her son’s classroom and school library, and playing with the family’s pets: a lab-mix rescue dog and a tabby cat.

Kate Brown – Academic Tutor

With a degree in Anthropology from Bates College and a Master’s in Innovative Media & Journalism from Northeastern University it is clear Kate likes to learn, research and understand people and their perspectives on all subjects. She has vivid memories of her own college application experience and can tell you a fun fact about nearly any college in the country. She currently works in Experience Design and Product Development for clients in Boston. When she isn’t geeking out about UX or prepping for a session with students she can be found training for her second marathon, reading a fiction novel, or exploring Boston by foot.

Dr. Mark J. Polking – Academic Tutor

A native of central Iowa, Dr. Mark J. Polking received his B.S. degree in materials science (summa cum laude) from Cornell University in 2005. He then completed his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, also in materials science, at the University of California, Berkeley, where his research focused on the synthesis and fundamental physics of nanocrystals. After working as a postdoctoral fellow in chemistry at Harvard University, Mark began working at Physical Sciences, Inc., a small research and development company in Andover, MA at which he is a Principal Scientist. He has served as a tutor for a wide range of math, science, and engineering courses and has taught both computer science and chemistry courses. In his free time, Mark enjoys activities such as backpacking, attending the symphony, visiting museums, and watching baseball.

Molly Haughey – Academic & Test Prep Tutor

Molly grew up in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts and graduated with a B.A. in Creative Writing from Hamilton College in 2012. While a student at Hamilton, Molly won three awards for writing and communications, including one of the most coveted undergraduate creative writing awards in the country. She studied many different disciplines at Hamilton, a liberal arts school, and has been tutoring middle and high school math, science, English, history, and Spanish with JBG for over four years. She also tutors SAT, ACT, and SSAT prep and helps students write and edit their college admission essays. During the day, Molly is the Science Writer for the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts University, where she assists in editing manuscripts of scientific research, writing interpretive summaries, facilitating the HNRCA’s partnership with the USDA, and collaborating with the Communications and PR teams. In her spare time, Molly enjoys going to musical concerts, reading, writing, and skiing.

Olivia Lawrance – Academic & Test Prep Tutor

Olivia graduated from Johnson State College with her literature degree in 2013. From there, she went on to earn her Master of the Fine Arts at Wichita State University, where she also taught composition courses. Originally from Jeffersonville, Vermont, Olivia now resides in Dover, New Hampshire. In her spare time she focuses on her writing and her two dogs, Mingus and Napoleon.

Rebecca May – Academic & Test Prep Tutor

Rebecca has been a classroom teacher, home instructor, and academic tutor for over ten years. She relocated from the western New York region last year and joined the staff at Framingham High School. As a classroom teacher, she has experience teaching numerous subjects including biology, AP biology, earth science, 8th grade science, chemistry, and college level Anatomy and Physiology. While in New York, Rebecca spent many hours tutoring students for the state level Regents exams. In addition, she was a home instructor for students that could not attend school. Rebecca enjoys helping students achieve success and is excited to begin tutoring here in Massachusetts. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in biology education from the State University College at Buffalo.

Rhosalyn Williams – Academic & Essay Writing Tutor

Originally from Cardiff, Wales, Rhosalyn graduated from the University of Florida in sunny Gainesville in 2015. After spending nearly two years teaching creative writing to local middle and high school students, she went on to earn her Master of Fine Arts from the University of New Hampshire. While there, she volunteered as a community writing instructor, teaching such topics as College Entrance Essay Writing and Poetry of the Holocaust. Additionally, she taught two semesters of introductory poetry at UNH. She deeply enjoys working with students individually to improve their writing and reading skills and to help foster a passion for the written word. Rhosalyn lives in the beautiful seacoast of New Hampshire and enjoys the shore in all seasons. In her spare time, she writes, plays music, and explores.

Seth Shamres – Academic Tutor

Seth was born in New York City but grew up in North Miami Beach after his parents migrated there when he was two. Seth was valedictorian of his high school class of 783 and went on to graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Electrical Engineering. He has worked as both a hardware engineer in test systems and as a systems administrator for Unix, Linux, and Windows systems, and has lived and worked as an engineer in Sacramento, CA, and in New Orleans, LA. He is generally interested in all sciences and also enjoys music and photography.

Vinesha Baker – Academic & Test Prep Tutor

Vinesha Baker was born in Brooklyn, NY, but has lived in Boston, MA for most of her childhood. Vinesha is a graduate of Columbia University in the City of New York, where she majored in Art History. While attending Columbia, she joined Peer Health Exchange as a Health Educator to teach health topics to ninth graders in New York City Public Schools. Vinesha first began tutoring in high school and has continued beyond college. She believes that every child can succeed in life if they are given an environment that fosters to their particular learning style. She has worked with the Math/Science UMass-Nobles Upward Bound Program for the past five years teaching math, tutoring students in other subject areas, and advising students through the college application process. Vinesha has recently become the Assistant Director of the program and loves that she can continue to help kids reach their academic goals. Outside of work, Vinesha enjoys oil painting, film-and-darkroom photography and visiting as many new art exhibits and galleries as possible!

Will Coyne – Academic Tutor

Will lives in Needham and is a senior at St. Sebastian’s School. He specializes in tutoring mathematics and test prep, including the Math 2 SAT subject test. He has completed an accelerated math curriculum which includes Multivariable Calculus and Linear Algebra through Johns Hopkins University. Will has tutored middle school and high school students over the last year.
In his free time, Will serves as president of the International Club, details cars and travels the country with Operation Breakfast, serving breakfast to people who have suffered a natural disaster.

Bryce Parazin – Academic Tutor

Bryce is a senior at Westwood High School and lives in Westwood. He specializes in tutoring both AP Physics 1 and AP Chemistry in addition to math up to and including precalculus and college test prep. Over the last few years, Bryce has completed all of those courses as honors or AP level courses and is excited to help others learn that material. Bryce serves as a senior captain on the Westwood Science Olympiad team and head of web design on the Westwood Robotics team in addition to other hobbies like hiking and playing board games.