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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.

Sarah Waters – Vice President

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 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 council, 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 – College Consultant

Kateri Chambers enjoys collaborating with students, parents, teachers, and administrators to integrate student learning and fulfill academic needs. She holds degrees from Johns Hopkins University, Boston University, Peabody Conservatory, and Guildhall School in London. Kateri has been teaching as well as developing curriculum, training, and student support services since 2006. Her current work allows her to better serve her clients by keeping her finger on the pulse in dynamic educational environments.

Christina Skeldon – College Consultant

Christina graduated from Quinnipiac University with her Bachelors degree in Psychology and New York University with her Masters degree in School Counseling. After graduating, she worked in college admissions at a university in Boston. After this, she combined her passion for helping youth in a social/emotional capacity with her love for college admissions and became a Guidance Counselor at a local High School. She currently works for JBG as a College Consultant and Executive Functioning coach, pulling from both her experience and education to create and implement an individualized plan for each client.Christina grew up on Long Island, New York and currently resides on the South Shore of Massachusetts with her husband and two sons. In her free time, she likes to cook, run and have fun with her boys!

Christina Bolduc- Billing/Office Manager

Christina grew up in Guilford, CT and currently resides in Medfield with her husband and three children. She obtained a Bachelor’s of Science in Finance from Providence College in 2003. Christina has worked in business management and bookkeeping roles for over a decade. She has been a voice for pediatric cancer organizations and also volunteers as a religious education instructor. In Christina’s spare time, she loves to spend time with her family, garden and run.

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.

Tracey Kelly – Client Relations Specialist

Tracey grew up in Montgomery, MA and now lives with her husband and two children in Natick. Tracey graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Interpersonal Communications. After graduating, Tracey worked in the publishing industry in various positions including Marketing, Sales, and Events. In Tracey’s spare time she loves to go to the gym, garden, and spend time with her family and friends.

Aileen Shaughnessy – Academic and Test Prep Tutor

Aileen received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and minor in Anthropology from Union College in upstate NY. After graduation, she moved to Boston to work at Massachusetts General Hospital as a clinical research coordinator in the ALS group. After meeting amazing patients and seeing the enrollment end to one of her studies, she transitioned to Project Manager within this group. In her free time, she loves to spend time with family, find and try different coffee shops, read poetry, skimboard, dance, and travel.

Andrea McCoy – Academic Tutor

Andrea is a passionate believer in the power of creativity as an educational and developmental tool for young people. Pursuing her passions for both education and the arts, Andrea obtained a B.A. in theater and English from Wesleyan University and an M.Ed from Lesley University. Over the past decade or so, Andrea has been lucky enough to join countless children and young adults as they undergo their own development through the arts. During that time, Andrea has taught at a variety of schools and arts organizations including: Oddfellows Playhouse, the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, UP Academy Boston, the Boston Arts Academy, and the Hopkinton Center for the arts. Currently, Andrea is the Director of the Medfield High School Theatre Society. Her favorite thing about the Society is its inclusive and supportive community. Originally from Connecticut, Andrea currently lives in Holliston with her partner, James, and two young sons.

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.

Colleen Cook – Life Coach

Colleen received her Bachelor of Science in both Psychology and Public Health from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. After graduation, she started working at MEDITECH as an implementation specialist implementing healthcare software for hospitals all over the US. She is also a college ambassador for MEDITECH. Colleen is currently attending Boston University to earn her Masters in Social Work. Throughout her high school, college, and postgraduate years she has worked with children in many different capacities ranging from coaching them in sports, tutoring them in academic subjects, to providing guidance for some of life’s challenges. In her free time, she loves to spend time with family, work out, ski, and travel. One of Colleen’s favorite quotes is: “ The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”- Nelson Mandela

Dan Arsnow – Academic Tutor

Dan grew up in Lynnfield, MA and currently works as a middle school ELA teacher in Beverly. Having graduated from Bates College with a B.A. in English and from Salem State University with a Master of Arts in Teaching with a concentration in English, Dan is passionate about instilling his love of reading and writing in all of his students. Dan has been teaching for seven years and also runs the middle school Cross Country and Track programs in Beverly. He loves the outdoors, road trips, playing with his puppy, and playing drums in a local band. What Dan loves the most about his job is making connections with his students, parents, and other community members, and building long lasting, meaningful relationships that last beyond the academic calendar year.

Don Allison – Academic and 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.

Goutam Sudhir – Academic Tutor

Goutam was raised in Mansfield, MA and currently lives in Franklin. In 2016 he graduated from Brandeis University with a BA in mathematics and economics during which he tutored a number of high school students in Geometry, Algebra II, Pre-Calculus, and physics. After graduating, he spent two years working at Fidelity Investments as well as a boutique film studio. He is currently a Master of Science in Business Analytics candidate at Bentley University. In his spare time he likes to play soccer, basketball, kayak, hike, travel, and read.

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 and Test Prep Tutor

Jason Bisson loves dogs, music, and languages, and has pursued those interests casually and professionally. He is a graduate of Northeastern University’s Psychology and Linguistics program, and spent his undergraduate years working extensively with service dogs. In addition to tutoring for JBG, Jason works as a therapeutic mentor with LBGTQ teens and families. He is passionate about helping every student find an approach to learning that works for them. In his free time, Jason can be found either playing the piano and drums or hiking with his dog, Buster.

John Koch – Academic and 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.

Mike Malone – Life Coach

Mike attended Lehigh University and spent years working in the film industry before finding his true passion as a life coach and patient advocate. Mike has worked as a life and relationship coach on the in-patient and outpatient level for over three years and was the program director of a high-end sober living in Los Angeles. He uses a client centered approach to help individuals align with their ideal self professionally, personally and spiritually. Mike has years of personal and professional experience in recovery and spent time working as a mentor for dual-diagnosis clients. As a counselor, he has extensive experience working with adolescents and adults and is currently in clinical training for his Marriage and Family Therapy License at Antioch University in Los Angeles.

Vinesha Baker – Academic and 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!

Whitney Chandler – Academic and Test Prep Tutor

Whitney Chandler graduated from Michigan State University in May with an Animal Science Degree. She is originally from Needham, MA and is living there as she builds a resume for medical school. She excelled in all science classes throughout high school and college as well as psychology, maths, and grant writing. She led many study groups in her academic career and loves to spread the wealth of knowledge through helping kids of all ages learn. During her time at MSU she raised a puppy for Leader Dogs for the Blind and was involved in many other clubs. Her interests include watching sports, hiking, snowboarding, fishing, and traveling. She is organized, adventurous, compassionate, and driven and enjoys helping students build confidence and succeed.

Dalena Nguyen – Academic Tutor
Dalena is a Massachusetts native and earned her bachelor’s degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from Northeastern University. She currently works as a research associate at a biotech company that develops T cell therapies for a variety of diseases, such as cancers and COVID-19. She enjoys travelling, cooking, playing sports, and dancing.
Josh Krill – Academic and Test Prep Tutor

Josh is a graduate of Brandeis University, where he studied physics, math, and Arabic. He resides in Boston. Besides physics, Josh enjoys many scientific disciplines, as well as history and languages. In addition to speaking conversational Arabic, he speaks Spanish and is learning Portuguese. As his father and grandmother were both teachers, Josh inherited their shared love of imparting knowledge onto others, and is excited to continue to do so. Josh enjoys travel, playing rugby, and spending time with family, friends, and his dog.

Olivia Pijanowski – Academic and Test Prep Tutor

Olivia was raised in West Roxbury, MA, and attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst, earning her B.S. in Psychology Neuroscience. Since graduating, Olivia has been working at Massachusetts General Hospital and is currently a clinical research coordinator involved in research studies for individuals who have ALS. Additionally, she is currently finishing up a Masters in Biomedical Science at Tufts University. In her free time, Olivia enjoys going to spin class, yoga, watching live music and spending time outside!

Reece Rivera – Academic Tutor

Reece was raised in the small town of Waterford in the central valley of California, and later attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), graduating with a B.S. in Computer Science Engineering and a concentration in Ancient and Medieval Studies. Each summer since 2014, he’s helped teach calculus to incoming freshmen of all backgrounds at MIT. Outside of that, he has tutored students from the middle school to high school level in math, history, and the sciences. Other than tutoring, he enjoys visiting museums (art and history), building computers (smaller the better), and playing tabletop games like Dungeons and Dragons.

Margaux Welsh – Academic Tutor

Margaux received her Bachelor of Science in Biology and Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. While at school, she worked as a writing tutor, an EMT-B, and a research assistant. She was also active in extracurriculars and held leadership positions in UMass Women’s Club Basketball and CHAARG. In her free time she loves to read, hike, travel, and do yoga.

Katie Kraemer – Academic Tutor

Katie is originally from Wellesley, MA but now is living in New York City. She graduated from Colgate University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and is currently earning her MA degree in Clinical Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University. After graduating from Columbia, she plans on pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology with a focus on working with children. In her free time, Katie loves to run, read, and spend time with her family and friends!

Erin Heffernan – Editor

Erin Heffernan is a third-generation resident of Scituate, MA. A graduate of Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, she is a published author and journalist. She was the chief editor of Wheelock Magazine at Wheelock College before the College merged with Boston University. As a chief editor, she disseminated the College’s mission to improve the lives of children and families through education and social justice. Erin is now a ghostwriter of novels and memoirs and a mentor and guide to students writing college application essays. She contends that life is a journey, and to every journey there is a story. Erin is also a professional photographer and enjoys time spent with friends and family, especially her three children.

Julie Levinson – Editor

A Massachusetts native, Julie grew up in Needham, spent 25 years in Brookline, and now lives in Marblehead with her husband, Barry. Together they have four children, three of whom have benefited greatly from the services of JBG Educational Group. A graduate of Beaver Country Day School and Skidmore College (B.A. Psychology/Sociology), Julie has worked in university development, both retail and corporate sales, and as a freelance writer. She has written a blog for nearly a decade and has been featured on several website, including Better After 50, Scary Mommy, Huffington Post, AOL News, and Lung Cancer Foundation of America.

In her free time, Julie loves to read – particularly psychological thrillers, do crossword puzzles, and play word games. She is a dedicated walker, not willing to call it a day until she has logged between 5 and 10 miles, sometimes more. She loves living by the water, road tripping with her husband, and discovering hole-in-the-wall eateries.

Max Halpern – Academic Tutor

A graduate of Brandeis University, Max majored in Biology and also studied mathematics. He now works in Biotech as an associate scientist researching novel therapeutic delivery systems. Beyond work, Max is an avid baker and chef, enjoys drumming and spending time outdoors as well as with his girlfriend, friends, and family.

Valda Gabriel – Academic Tutor

Valda Gabriel is a graduate from Lesley University, Cambridge MA. She was born in the beautiful Caribbean island of Dominica and moved to Boston 22 years ago. Upon arriving to the US she began working in the field of early childhood education and has developed a passion for the field and for teaching.

She believes that each child is an individual and is capable of learning. She also believes that she can make a difference in a child’s life and will continue to dedicate her time and skills to help every child succeed.

Jack Levinson – Academic Tutor

Jack Levinson was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, where he currently resides. He received his Bachelor of Arts in English from Vassar College, where he also studied Art History and Political Science. Jack has worked as a 10th and 11th grade English teacher and also taught a course called College Readiness, a remedial class designed to help students tap into their talents and skills as they approached the college application process. He also has extensive experience working as a copywriter, with clients in a wide range of industries including art galleries, nonprofits, home goods companies, and wellness brands. Jack is passionate about writing and helping students find their individual voices.

Robbie Trocchia – Academic Tutor

Robbie Trocchia was born and raised on the Jersey Shore and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. He received his Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Vassar College. After working in museums and restaurants for the past 7 years, he is excited to be returning to tutoring. You can find him reading on the subway, dancing with friends, hiking upstate and spending time with his family on the beach.

Sophia Wells – Academic tutor

Sophia received her Bachelor’s of Science in Physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the spring of 2021. Since then, she has begun a masters program at Northeastern University studying Energy Systems. She is passionate about the hard sciences, specifically physics, which she chose to pursue in undergrad after taking AP physics at Needham High School! She has worked as an instructor for SuperScience, an after-school science program for local elementary schools, and is the science editor for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program. Sophia is deeply interested in renewable energy infrastructure such as grid forming controls and energy storage. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, reading historical fiction novels, and keeping up with current events.

Chris Armstrong – Academic Tutor

Chris Armstrong was Born in Chicago, IL and moved to the east coast for college at Brandeis in Waltham. After a BA in physics and chemistry with almost-a-minor in classics, he worked at the Center for European Nuclear Research (CERN) as a research technician. Chris is aspiring to be a secondary teacher and excited to be tutoring! When not working, he enjoys cooking with friends and family, reading Ann Patchett novels, and facetiming with his three cats back home.

Karima Jackson – Academic Tutor

Karima Jackson is a New York native; she was born and raised in Harlem and has been living in Brooklyn for the past 5 years. She graduated from Columbia University in 2013 with a Bachelors in Latin American and Caribbean Studies with an Anthropology focus. While in undergrad she tutored high schoolers with the Double Discovery Upward Bound Program as well as taught history and dance classes. She also served as co-coordinator for MyNYC, a mentoring initiative in which Columbia students supported students through their college application process. Karima has always had a love of learning, and a passion for making information accessible. In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching documentaries, listening to podcasts and making friends with every animal that crosses her path.

Leah Soyer – Academic Tutor

Leah grew up in Needham and is currently a senior at Goucher College studying Elementary Education. She spent the fall semester full time student teaching in a 4th grade classroom in Baltimore County. Her passion for teaching comes from a love for watching students grow and build their confidence as learners. In the summer, Leah works with children, teens and young adults with developmental disabilities at a camp in NY. In her free time she enjoys spending time outside, working with animals, and reading.

Cathy Farinacci – Academic tutor

Cathy grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts and currently resides in Medfield with her husband and two children. She graduated from the College of the Holy Cross with a B. A. in Mathematics and Babson College with an MBA. She held numerous positions in Finance in large corporations before taking time off to raise her family. She most recently worked for Sturbridge Growth Partners as a Controller.

In her free time, Cathy enjoys traveling, cooking, and spending time with her family, friends, and dog.

Megan Collern – Intern

Megan is an incoming Junior at Medfield High School. She spends most of her time training with her competitive dance team, but in her free time, she also likes to read, go shopping, or hang out with friends and family.

Katherine Waters – Intern

Katherine is a junior at Medfield High School. As our JBG intern she is responsible for supporting marketing initiatives and doing research assignments for the JBG team. Katherine enjoys playing volleyball, running, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends.