Pinnacle Prep tutors have impressive academic backgrounds. Applicants must have at least a bachelor’s degree and must score in the top percentiles of the tests they will tutor. But it takes more than simply being a great test-taker to be a great tutor — personality is equally important. We look for tutors with dynamic and engaging personalities, so that they can communicate efficiently and make connections with students. One-on-one tutoring requires the trust and inspiration that comes with a great rapport.
We are very selective when it comes to hiring tutors. It is quite difficult to find tutors who are both great at taking tests and have the ability to inspire students. In a recent application cycle with over 150 applicants, 50 were invited to take a diagnostic exam, 12 were invited to training, 6 made it through the first day, and 3 completed initial training successfully!
Once tutors are hired, they receive rigorous initial training, followed by continuing training and support from the office for as long as they continue with Pinnacle Prep. We put a great deal of energy into periodic reviews, frequent continuing training seminars, and limitless professional development as needed.
Pinnacle Prep’s standards for tutors are unrelenting — we expect the utmost from our tutors, because we want our students to achieve incomparable results. And they do: Pinnacle Prep students’ average improvement is over 260 points, and nearly 90% of our students improve by 100 points or more in at least one section.
Because our tutors have such impressive academic track records, standardized test tutoring often leads to academic tutoring. Please call our office to inquire about academic subject support.
Top Test-takers with Dynamic Personalities
Peter earned master’s degrees from both Columbia University and University College London. He’s passionate about tutoring and loves helping students reach their potential. He has a tremendous ability to find creative ways to explain concepts and motivate his students. Outside of tutoring, he also brings that same creativity to his internationally acclaimed work as a theater director.
Geoff graduated with a B.S. in astrophysics from Brown University, where he studied black holes for his undergraduate thesis. He is currently in medical school pursuing his M.D. at Case Western. Geoff enjoys making his tutoring sessions as fun and interesting as possible, and is always looking for ways to cater to each student’s unique learning style. When not tutoring, Geoff can be found running in the park, watching soccer, or relaxing with a good book.
Corinne graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in music education and music composition. She has 10 years of experience teaching children from 5 to 18 in both academics and fine arts. She teaches her students to be process-oriented and strives to alleviate test-taking anxieties. Corinne actually enjoys taking standardized tests and wishes that she could do so more often.
Sadi graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University with a B.A. in dance and sustainable development. Her positive and energetic tutoring style brings out the best in her students. Alongside tutoring, Sadi works as a freelance dancer and choreographer. In her free time, she likes to ski, hike, bike, read, travel, and shop in thrift stores.
Evan graduated with a B.S. in applied physics with concentrations in astronomy and astrophysics and a minor in applied mathematics and is currently enrolled in a masters program in physics. His calm, patient and systematic approach to the test helps students conquer their anxieties. Outside of tutoring, Evan enjoys hiking and experimenting with new recipes.
Liza graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in theater and linguistics. She has an empathetic and positive tutoring style, with a commitment to making difficult concepts more approachable. Outside of tutoring, Liza can usually be found acting, directing, singing in the shower, or working on a crossword puzzle.
Nate studied history at Bowdoin College, where he wrote an award-winning thesis on the political and cultural roots of conspiracy theories. He has used this research to acquire a position teaching history and science and to become the Illuminati’s secret commander of the East Coast. In tutoring sessions, he takes a very positive and humorous approach to attack the monotony of standardized tests. When Nate isn’t plotting international intrigue or tutoring he can be found doing photography, cooking, playing music, or screenwriting.
Ellen graduated summa cum laude from New York University with a B.A. in comparative literature and Romance languages (Spanish and French). During her time at NYU, she was employed by the university as a tutor for the Expository Writing Center, and she also led a traditional Korean drumming group. As a tutor, Ellen’s friendly and supportive energy helps students feel comfortable and confident. Outside of tutoring, you can find her reading, playing music, or playing games.
Chad holds a B.S. in environmental engineering from Yale University. While at Yale, Chad conducted research on water filtration systems, publishing his work in various academic and scientific journals. As a civil engineer, New York native, and lifelong student, he has a strong passion for teaching. In his spare time, he trains in Muay Thai martial artist and probably reads too many comics.
Melissa graduated with a B.A. in economics and Latin American studies and is currently pursuing graduate studies in quantitative analysis and data science. She was born in Havana, Cuba, and spent a semester in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she taught her first class. As a tutor, she is approachable, engaging, and attentive to detail. When she’s not teaching, she enjoys reading and writing pop culture think pieces.
Forrest graduated with a B.A. and an M.A. in cinema studies from New York University. He works hard to foster trust and tailors his methods to students’ sensibilities and preferences. When he isn’t tutoring, you can probably find him wandering through museums, at the movies, or taking in a baseball game.
Zach graduated with honors from Brown University, where he majored in cell and molecular biology with a focus on the genetics of neurodegenerative disease. When he’s not nerding out over science, he’s probably nerding out over film or music. Zach likes to keep his sessions positive and high-energy, clearly explaining concepts and skills to put students on the path to success. When he’s not tutoring, you can find him petting other people’s dogs at the park, indulging in reality TV, or cooking up a storm in his kitchen.
Lynsey graduated cum laude from Columbia University with a B.A. in English and visual art. She loves to teach, and works as an educator at many NYC-area institutions like the Museum of the City of New York and Rikers Island. As a tutor, she approaches her students with warmth and enthusiasm and uses humor to make students feel relaxed and confident. In her free time, she makes artwork, reads, and plays guitar.
Blake graduated with a B.F.A. in musical theatre and 8 semesters on the dean’s list with honors. Shortly after, he moved to New York City to pursue theatre as an actor/producer. His strength in tutoring comes from his enthusiastic energy and his ability to make learning fun for every one of his students. When not tutoring or acting, Blake enjoys dogs and camping.
Shawn graduated from college summa cum laude, excelling in all academic areas. He is a patient, encouraging tutor, whose positive energy makes sessions both enjoyable and motivating for students. Outside of tutoring, Shawn enjoys hiking, cooking, and choreographing.
Maggie graduated with a B.F.A. in acting and considers herself a life-long learner. In her spare time, she writes plays and fiction and is a skilled copy editor. Her extensive theatrical background influences her creative and interactive approach to tutoring. When she’s not tutoring, she enjoys reading and exploring hidden corners of New York City.
Josh graduated with a B.A. from Yale University, where he studied subjects ranging from theater and English to psychology and law. After performing in some of the most acclaimed regional theaters in the country — and after receiving a Governor’s medallion as a “California Arts Scholar” in his hometown of Berkeley — Josh is now pursuing his twin loves: acting and tutoring. Josh’s positive energy, warmth, and command of test-taking techniques make him an ideal instructor.
Francisco graduated with a B.S. in physics and a B.E. in aeronautical engineering and went on to complete a Graduate Diploma of Education in mathematics at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. He has been teaching and tutoring for the past 8 years, working with students at both the high school and college levels. In addition to education, Francisco is also passionate about music, and he is currently furthering his education at The Collective School of Music. He is friendly and outgoing and loves helping students achieve their dreams and goals through education.
Angel graduated from Hamilton College with a B.S. in biology and is pursuing an M.P.H. in epidemiology and global health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. His positive and patient approach to tutoring encourages students to try different approaches to see what style best suits them. When he’s not tutoring, Angel can be found visiting museums and looking for the best dumplings in NYC.
Myles is working towards his Ph.D. in cell biology and genetics at Yale University. He received his B.A. from Kenyon College, where he studied biology and anthropology. When not studying or tutoring, Myles can be found flying around New England or reading a book. Myles is a positive tutor who tailors his subject material to each student’s interests to make every topic accessible and fun.
Kyle, Tutor / First Session Manager
Kyle is an artist, scientist, and advocate based in New York City. He holds a B.A. in cognitive science from Yale University, where he completed his thesis research on the psychology and neuroscience of performance and creativity, and is currently enrolled in a masters program at the Harvard Kennedy School. He brings laughter, kindness, and expertise to his tutoring, helping students to understand and realize their full potential. As one of our managers, Kyle does the first session with many of our students and introduces them to our techniques.
Kimmy, Tutor / First Session Manager
Kimmy graduated cum laude from Boston College with a B.A. in sociology and theatre. Prior to attending BC, Kimmy spent her freshman year in the prestigious B.F.A. acting program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and she continues to act and write in New York. She also runs a film production company; her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, Daily Mail, Marie Claire, Buzzfeed, and on MTV. A veteran babysitter and improv instructor, Kimmy employs her upbeat energy and sense of humor to make studying enjoyable. Kimmy attended a French immersion elementary school and loves to indulge her inner Francophile when she isn’t making movies or writing! She is also one of our first session managers.
Ellen T., Tutor / First Session Manager
Ellen earned a bachelor’s degree in music and German and a master’s degree in voice performance. She loves to teach both academics and music and works hard to ensure that her students build confidence and reach their potential. She fosters in her students the precision and organization necessary to conquer the patterns of standardized tests. When she isn’t tutoring, she performs both nationally and internationally and loves to take long runs in the park. Ellen is also one of our first session managers.
Erin, Tutor / First Session Manager
Erin graduated magna cum laude from Yale University with a B.A. in English and theater studies. Although she has always loved literature and theater, while in college she enjoyed studying a wide range of subjects, including biological anthropology and Egyptian hieroglyphics. She is an actress and Shakespeare enthusiast who also enjoys making less-than-healthy baked goods and is famous in certain circles for her chocolate chip cookies. As a manager, Erin meets with new students who are beginning the tutoring process.
Alex, Tutor / First Session Manager
Alex, who is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University, graduated summa cum laude from New York University, where he focused on the fields of philosophy, literature, and art history. An artist, musician, and filmmaker, Alex is able to be creative in his sessions when explaining difficult concepts and has a long track record of success. His sense of humor, versatility, and rigor keep his students engaged and focused as they master and hone their approach. Alex is also one of our First Session Managers.
Michael, Tutor / First Session Manager
Michael A. is a Ph.D. student studying philosophy at Fordham University. He graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in philosophy, writing his senior thesis on the Danish philosopher Kierkegaard’s theory of education and the virtue of hope. He is a supportive and encouraging tutor who is passionate about helping his students unlock new levels of understanding. When he isn’t tutoring he can be found cooking, biking, or reading aloud to himself in Van Cortlandt Park. As a manager, Michael meets with students to get them set up for success on their tutoring journey.
Gabrielle, Tutor / First Session Manager
Gabi earned a B.A. in psychology and literary arts from Brown University and an M.S. in education from Long Island University, where she focused on 7-12 Special Education. She currently works as an ELA teacher in Harlem. As an undergraduate, she began to tutor local refugee families, which sparked a lifelong passion for teaching. She is an enthusiastic and warm tutor with a knack for tailoring lessons to best fit her students. When she is not tutoring or teaching, she cuddles her kittens, rock climbs, and enjoys ice cream in the park. As a manager, Gabi helps setup students and families with a plan for a successful experience with us.
Darrin, Tutor / First Session Manager
Darrin graduated magna cum laude from Northwestern University with a B.A. in theatre and minors in history and dance. Darrin’s passion for education stems from his own curiosity and creativity, and his background in teaching occasionally extends beyond academic tutoring and into the dance studio. He brings his warm and light-hearted nature to each tutoring session in order to provide the best atmosphere for successful studying. Darrin also does first sessions with new students. When Darrin is not tutoring, he might be found searching for the best donut in New York City. As a First Session Manager, Darrin also meets with students to introduce them to our techniques and equip the family with a plan.
Leo, Tutor / First Session Manager
Leo received his B.A. in English from Vassar College and his M.A. in cinema studies from New York University. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in cinema studies at NYU. Leo also writes film criticism for a variety of national and international publications. One of the most senior Pinnacle Prep tutors, Leo engages students with his dynamic personality, inspires them with stories from movies, and builds their confidence through his reassuring manner. He is also one of the managers that do first sessions with students.
Myles H., Tutor / First Session Manager
Tutor by day, musician by night, Myles graduated cum laude from the Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a B.S. in mathematics. Outside of tutoring, Myles enjoys exercising, cooking, and playing the bass. He employs his positive attitude and creative energy to engage students and take them to the next level. As a First Session Manager, Myles meets with new students to get them started on the tutoring journey.
Tyler, Tutor / First Session Manager
Tyler graduated with a B.S. in drama with a focus on directing and music history. In addition to tutoring, he has worked on and off-Broadway as a theatre director and producer. His experience in both business and art allow him to make connections across subjects while inspiring his students to do their best work. Tyler is also one of our First Session Managers.
Rachel, Tutor / First Session Manager
Rachel earned an M.A. in English literature from the University of Chicago and is currently a Ph.D. student at Teachers College, Columbia University. Beyond her love of literature, she has a passion for the study of philosophy, which has informed her academic work on the novelistic portrayal of the structure of consciousness. Having been raised by a lawyer and a librarian, grammar and logic are her bread and butter, and she enjoys teaching as much as she does learning. Rachel’s enthusiasm is contagious and her expertise engaging. As a manager, Rachel also does first sessions with students.
Patricia, Tutor / First Session Manager
Patricia graduated from Boston College as the valedictorian of her class with a dual degree in English and theater arts. While at Boston College, Patricia was a member of the Presidential Scholars Program and, as a playwright, saw two of her award-winning plays produced and directed by university faculty. She is an established actress who can be seen performing in and around New York City. Patricia is a patient and engaging tutor who developed a creative teaching style while teaching within Boston’s prison system. She is also one of our First Session Managers.
Ashwin, Tutor / Regional Director
Ashwin earned his J.D. from New York Law School and his M.A. in history from Villanova University, where he lectured on CIA-backed coups and deconstructed colonial histories. He hasn’t lost his fondness for deconstructive theory, though! Today, he uses it to help high school students overcome the “intellectual hegemony” of standardized tests. In his free time, Ashwin tortures himself by taking capoeira (a Brazilian martial art) lessons and by making all the wrong fantasy football decisions. As Regional Director, Ashwin helps hire and communicate with tutors. He also does first sessions with students and helps match them with great tutors.
Dhaya, Tutor / Tutor Manager
Dhaya graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. from Columbia University and an Ed.M. from the Harvard Education School. She’s been an English teacher in public and private schools, and has worked for several international organizations in Asia. When she’s not teaching, Dhaya enjoys salsa dancing and experimenting with recipes. Her encouraging and interactive approach helps students master even the toughest problems. In her role as Tutor Manager, Dhaya helps hire, train and communicate with tutors.
Dennis, Tutor / Academic Advisor
Dennis graduated from Michigan State University, which he attended on a full-ride merit scholarship for engineering. He is a member of Mensa and works as a theatre director in New York City, where he has won several awards for his boundary-pushing work. He loves helping students gain a calm yet focused confidence and providing them encouragement to grow and reach their potential. As Academic Advisor, Dennis is in regular contact with families to help ensure that students are progressing toward their goals.
Lizz, Academic Advisor
As Academic Advisor, Lizz monitors the progress of each student, relays feedback to parents, and makes sure that all students are on track to reach their goals. Lizz earned her B.A. in English and journalism. She began her career in book publishing and is also proud to have published three books, all three of which prominently feature cats and dogs! In her spare time, Lizz enjoys writing, reality television, and spending time with her husband, friends, and cat.
Diana, Academic Advisor
Diana holds a B.A. in architecture & urbanism from Stanford University and an M.A. in higher education & student affairs from NYU. She brings her curiosity about process to every part of her life, from teaching in various capacities to working in operations. Diana believes tutoring is ultimately a team effort that involves not only tutors and students, but also families and communities. As Academic Advisor, she makes sure that parents are kept up to date on their children’s progress. Outside of the office, she enjoys savoring her daily life in Brooklyn, finding her new favorite Youtube channel, and practicing yoga.
Megan, Chief of Operations
Megan graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in English and Spanish and went on to earn an M.A. in Latin American studies from Tulane University. Megan is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Sigma Iota, and Mensa. She brings terrific enthusiasm and patience — a rare combination! — to her role as Chief of Operations. Megan oversees daily operations, including supporting all our tutors and students to help them reach their goals.
Jen Keiser Gordon, CFO
After graduating magna cum laude from Barnard College and earning academic honors at Columbia Law School, Jen clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Stephen C. Robinson in the Southern District of New York and worked as a litigator in Manhattan. Prior to law school, Jen served as Executive Director of a nonprofit and then as Deputy Finance Director in a New York City mayoral campaign. Now the CFO of Pinnacle Prep, Jen utilizes her legal background to oversee finances and compliance. She is also involved in strategic planning, day-to-day operations, and management. Jen enjoys speaking to parents and helping them select the right program for their families. Her delightful and ever-positive persona brings a bright light into the office on a daily basis.
David Gordon, Founder and CEO
David founded Pinnacle Prep in 2002 with one goal: to offer students a systematic methodology designed to maximize their scores on standardized tests. Combining his extensive tutoring experience with rigorous analysis of published tests, he developed methods and techniques that have proved to help students achieve higher scores. Knowing that motivation and engagement are key, David stresses handpicking tutors not only for their impeccable academic records but also for their excellent communication skills and dynamic personalities.
Prior to starting Pinnacle Prep, David served on the faculty at both New York University, where he earned an M.A. in composition, and Hofstra University. He also founded the Look & Listen Festival, a non-profit organization that presents new music concerts in art galleries and recently celebrated its 18th anniversary, and served as president of another non-profit, the League of Composers/ISCM, the oldest new music organization in the U.S. During his tenure as President of the League/ISCM, David launched the Orchestra of the League of Composers, started Residency, Membership, and Commissioning Programs, and increased the organizational budget by over 300%.
Throughout his life, David has also explored other artistic media, including writing a novel titled The Canvas and directing and editing a documentary film titled Mitia, which is in the collection of the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago. Recently, David has enjoyed designing games and hopes to publish his first board game soon. David is also an avid fantasy baseball competitor and holds championships in some of the nation’s most competitive leagues. In his spare time, David and his wife Jen (the CFO of Pinnacle Prep) can often be found cheering on their children at baseball games or karate exhibitions, or taking their beagle Gordon Gordon (the official Pinnacle Prep office dog) for walks.
We provide extensive training and support, flexible schedules, and the following perks:
• paid travel time and travel bonuses
• increasing bonuses as tutors work with more students
• training stipend and paid continuing training time to ensure excellence
To qualify for an interview, applicants must:
• have completed at least a bachelor’s degree
• have a record of excellence on standardized tests
• score 700+ on all sections of a full-length diagnostic SAT or 32+ on all sections of a full-length diagnostic ACT.
If you’re interested in tutoring with Pinnacle Prep, please write to our Tutor Manager Dhaya at email@example.com. In addition to your resume, cover letter, and three references, please include the days and times that you are available for a brief Skype interview this week (20-30 minutes). We look forward to hearing from you!