Meet Our Team
Our team of best-in-class, vetted tutors work with kids of all ages to help them achieve their scholastic potentials, retain knowledge, increase confidence, receive higher scores on exams, and gain admittance to the best schools! Finding the right tutor match ensures that students excel in school, have a deeper understanding of the coursework, have increased confidence overall and learn valuable skills from an elite group of hand-picked tutors—skills that will carry them through school, college and beyond.
Lisa grew up in New York City, attending specialized public schools P.S. 87, Delta (MS 54) and Bronx Science, and Columbia University. Through years of her own experience as a well-known tutor and mentor in NYC, she came to understand how a tutoring relationship can be life-changing for a student and began expanding her company in 2003. Lisa also enjoyed a 13-year corporate career in consumer products, spending 3 of those years in a C-level role before returning to IVY to pursue her mission to help students find joy in learning.
Like Lisa, Viktorija also grew up in New York City, attending top-tier public schools including P.S. 199, Delta (M.S. 54), The Beacon School, and SUNY Binghamton. After graduating, Viktorija taught elementary education in a variety of settings, ranging from public to private schools, traditional to Montessori classrooms, and everything in between. Viktorija also has international education experience, having served as an English Teacher for Italian students and later as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction in Florence, Italy. Viktorija’s global teaching and leadership experience enables her to connect students with the best suited tutors and mentors that closely fit their educational and holistic needs. The learning process should be fun, and Viktorija strives to create gratifying learning experiences for all students.
School Relations Manager
Hailing from the chilly city of Chicago, Claire has always been passionate about education and helping others succeed. Her mother, an English teacher, instilled in her a love of reading, writing, and teaching at a young age. For over four years, Claire has been committed to helping students in the public school system improve their study skills and prepare for exams. Her favorite part of teaching is seeing kids have breakthroughs in their testing abilities, when they figure out how to play the game. She knows how to make learning fun and values the time she gets to connect with students, teachers, and administrators. When she's not in class or tutoring, Claire can be found performing on stage and screen or exploring the city with friends. She's an avid reader, a lover of pets, and a killer opera singer.
Noga is a PhD candidate specializing in education and standardized testing. She previously graduated from St. John's University with a BA in neuroscience and psychology, and has been tutoring for over 6 years. Noga takes a personalized approach to teaching with all of her students, focusing on the understanding of the material rather than memorizing. She encourages discussion based and hands-on learning, creating an encouraging environment in which to expand knowledge and confidence.
Rick has extensive and diverse experience in education organizations, both nonprofit and for-profit. He's co-founded, developed and/or supported programs at the intersections of education, personal growth and the arts for over 15 years. Rick is passionate about creating inclusive, safe, and brave spaces that nurture and empower learners to show up authentically, take risks and collaborate. He's not only our operations guru, but also trained in coaching and consulting through an M.S. in Organizational Change Management, with continuing education in financial and management skills, adult education, improvisational theatre and communication skills.
College Essay Director
Originally from San Francisco, Justin has a Masters in dramatic literature from the Sorbonne (Paris) and an MFA in playwriting from Yale. For more than ten years, he has helped hundreds of students boost their scores as a test prep tutor (SAT/ACT, SAT/AP French) and boost their admissions prospects as a college application consultant and currently leads our popular College Essay Bootcamp. Yale, Georgetown, Vanderbilt, Boston College, and NYU are some recent admits for happy students. He has taught writing at Yale University, Wesleyan University, the Sorbonne, in high schools and privately throughout New York City with all ages. He is also a professional meditation teacher and loves sharing meditation hacks (ask him about being the meditation teacher for Facebook). When Justin is not helping people with their educational dreams, he is working on his plays in NYC (he has written more than 20!).
Mock Test Coordinator
Hanna is a computational biologist and west coast native now living in NYC. She graduated high school as an International Baccalaureate student and earned an academic scholarship to the Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon. She graduated in 2019 with a degree in Biology and received the top thesis award for her undergraduate research on the genetic mechanisms of speciation. She has been published on multiple papers and her research has been presented at the Society of Immunotherapy of Cancer and the International Symposium on Pediatric Neuro-Oncology. She is also currently taking classes at Columbia and studying for the MCAT in preparation for her MD/PhD application she is submitting this year. She is the coordinator for all things mock testing at Ivy Tutors Network!
Director of College Advising
Kristen Tarantola brings more than 25 years collective experience in business, college recruiting, high school counseling, and college advising. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business, with a Concentration in Human Resources and Corporate Communications from Ithaca College (1990) and a Master’s degree in School Counseling from Montclair State University (2017). Her first career, in Human Resources, focused on employee relations and college recruiting. Her work in the Petroleum, Financial Services, Management Consulting, and Pharmaceutical industries provide her with a broad understanding of occupational roles and the fundamental knowledge and skills required for various career paths. Over the past seven years, Kristen has worked with more than 800 high school students. Her holistic approach focuses on identifying students' academic, cultural, and social needs through personality and career assessments. Her broad understanding of careers, colleges, and the student high school experience position her as an asset throughout the entire process, from career and college exploration to the development of comprehensive applications that highlight each student’s success.
Senior SHSAT Advisor
Teresa is a born and bred New Yorker who is familiar with going to school in the city, having attended Stuyvesant. After graduating from Brown University, she moved to the U.S. Virgin Islands to work in education for the next 14 years. Teresa just earned her Masters in Developmental Psychology at Teachers College Columbia, where she is focusing on the social and neurocognitive processes of learning. She has helped countless students find success in everything from learning how to read, passing a challenging course, or scoring their best on a standardized test. Her years of experience teaching multiple subjects and working with different styles of learners, including those with learning differences, make her adept at tailoring her tutoring sessions to the specific needs of each student. She believes all students can succeed if their learning is supported by a knowledgeable and caring educator who encourages hard work, but also encourages curiosity and fun. In her free time she loves all things water, especially snorkeling, and all things dance, from ballet to hip-hop to salsa.
Public High School Admissions Advisor
Education and Admissions Consultant, Katie Miller, has been advocating for parents and children in public school education for the last 12 years, when her now 12th grader began kindergarten at P.S. 87 on the Upper West Side. Katie is an expert on navigating the complex NYC public school admissions process and works closely with families to ensure they feel confident, informed and supported. Katie also works extensively with students on essays, personal statements, and supporting documents for public school, independent school, and college admissions. She has also served in a number of volunteer positions at her children’s public schools, and is currently serving as the Vice President of Middle School on the WESS Parents Association Board. Before her career as an education consultant, Katie was the Director of Civil Justice at Common Good, and a Litigation Associate at Cleary Gottlieb. Katie graduated from Amherst College and received a joint J.D./ M.A. from Cornell Law School and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Katie lives in Morningside Heights with her husband, three children and a golden retriever named Tess.
Meet Our Tutors
Alex graduated from Yale in 2019 with a B.A. in American Studies and distinction in the major. She was a teaching assistant for the computer science department’s only course concerning the legal frontier of cyberlaw and privacy rights, helping students to explore the intersections of law, technology, and culture. Alex scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and continues to tutor and coach students through the college application process.
For two decades, Ivy Tutors Network has empowered students to succeed through personalized education and mentorship. Ivy Tutors Network was founded in 2003 by Lisa Speransky. She was 20-years-old at the time and a student at Columbia University (also a Bronx Science alum). Her vision to build a handpicked network of brilliant and passionate tutors to act as mentors for school-aged kids through the 12th grade. Since then, IVY has gone on to become NYC’s premier private tutoring company, matching hundreds of families, schools, and companies with rock-star tutors each semester!