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Our Tutors

All can score in the 99th percentile on any test they teach, have degrees from top universities, at least 3 years test preparation experience, and are completely dedicated to your success.

Shahar Link

CEO and Founder

Mindspire™ was founded by Shahar Link, who has been teaching in high schools and tutoring standardized tests for over 18 years. Shahar earned a Masters degree in History from Stanford University, writing his thesis on the history of IQ testing. Ever since, he has been determined to help students succeed on standardized tests and in high school.

In addition to Mindspire’s elite tutoring team, Shahar is available for SAT/ACT tutoring. Please select the contact us option in the navigation bar and indicate you are interested in working with him. Online only.

SAT: 1600 out of 1600

David London

Director, NC Triangle Area

Raised in Greensboro, North Carolina, David graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Statistics. During high school, he worked as a private math tutor assisting his peers and others achieve academic success. While in 12th grade, David became the first student at his high school to take college Calculus 3 and Biology where he tutored other college students in his classes. Throughout college, David continued to aid his peers in classes like Statistics, Economics, and Calculus while maintaining Dean’s List. Following graduation, he sought to close the education gap left by COVID and pioneered online SAT/ACT prep classes for rising juniors and seniors. From tutoring the football team in AP Calculus to working one-on-one with students with learning and mental disabilities to tutoring groups of students during COVID, David’s love and passion for education radiates through his work. Outside the office, David can be found on the tennis or pickleball court, experimenting in the kitchen, working out in the gym, or traveling the world.

Uri Brookmyer

Uri graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Philosophy, focusing on formal logic and moral philosophy. By working with a broad range of learning styles in both 1-on-1 and group settings over the last 8 years, Uri has become proficient in deconstructing complex ideas and communicating them effectively. When he’s not working, Uri likes bouldering, reading, playing strategy games, and finding new music.

ACT: 36 out of 36

Theresa Burns

Theresa is a native New Yorker. She graduated high school valedictorian, went to NYU, and finished her degree in just three years, thanks to AP credit. Now she works as a tutor and an actor/singer/dancer and director/choreographer. When she's not working with students or working on a show, she loves to play the drums, read, and hang out with Chowder (the best tuxedo cat in the world).

Theresa has been preparing students for their standardized tests for 15 years. She has helped over 400 students get the scores they want on their SAT, ACT, ISEE/SSAT, and AP English Literature and Language tests. Her extensive background in the arts helps her connect and communicate with all kinds of learners, including students with LDs, students with test anxiety, students aiming for perfect scores, and students who consider themselves "bad test takers."

Theresa believes that there is no such thing as a "bad test taker," because the skills needed to succeed on standardized tests are learnable. If a student feels like a "bad test taker," it probably just means they haven't learned the skills necessary for this test yet; that's where tutoring comes in. Personalized one-on-one tutoring is the best way to move test scores and grades; Theresa meets students where they are and tailors their program to their individual needs.

Malik Zaidi

Malik is a Columbia University graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in African-American Studies. He has been tutoring one-on-one full-time for the past 18 years with exceptional results. Even as a student in high school and in college, Malik demonstrated his love of teaching by helping classmates, relatives, and family friends prepare for their exams. He currently tutors for the SAT, ACT, SAT II: Math Levels 1 and 2, and PSAT and has instructed students in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Germany, India, South Africa, Switzerland, and throughout the United States via Skype. As a father of three boys, ages 4 to 15, and a 17 year-old girl, Malik understands that every student is unique. Having taught hundreds of students, he knows the importance of structuring lessons to students’ specific needs. In his leisure time he is an amateur chef who likes to pretend he is a contestant on Chopped. He also enjoys bowling, playing pool, and traveling.

Chrissy Nesbitt

Chrissy started teaching immediately after graduating from Princeton University, and she’s been helping people learn ever since. As a former Montessori teacher in the public school system, she has unique experience in combining student-led discovery with standardized test prep. Chrissy loves radishes and daffodils, Ang Lee and Lu Xun. She can knit a Möbius strip and a pretty good approximation of a Klein bottle. When she’s not tutoring or working on her mini-homestead with her family, Chrissy can most often be found swimming in the Eno, paddling on Jordan Lake, or taking a road trip to visit friends.

Cristy Carr

Cristy Carr taught private and classroom music in high school and tutored math and science while earning a B. S. in Biology from Grove City College. After working as a forestry technician and aquatic researcher in the Rocky Mountains and as an ophthalmic technician in Richmond, VA, she returned as a science teacher to her first love: the classroom. In addition to teaching, she loves her family, the mountains, and children’s books.As the recipient of a National Merit Scholarship, Cristy knows how important college prep tests are in the college application process, and she firmly believes that test scores should not stand in the way of a student’s life goals. It is her delight and privilege to collaborate with students to grow their motivation, knowledge, and test-taking skills…and then watch them meet (and exceed!) their testing goals. Cristy lives in Roanoke, VA and works with Mindspire™ clients in Central and Southwest Virginia.

Drew Alexander

Drew began tutoring in 2013 while working on a PhD in philosophy at Boston College. He has classroom teaching experience at five colleges and currently teaches ethics courses in the NCSU philosophy department. He especially enjoys connecting with students one-on-one and helping them ask productive questions. After spending almost a decade in Boston, Drew and his family moved to Durham in 2021. In his free time, Drew enjoys woodworking, reading, hiking, and playing with his children.

Finola Prendergast

Finola graduated magna cum laude from Yale University with a B.A. in English (creative writing track). She went on to earn a Ph.D. in English from the University at Notre Dame, where she taught first-year composition and wrote a dissertation on moral philosophy in science fiction. After graduate school, she did research for a small nonprofit as well as tutoring academic English and the ACT. When not working, she enjoys training for marathons on the American Tobacco Trail and hanging out with her husband and their obstreperous one-eared rescue dog.

Bruce Hitson

Bruce is a Stanford graduate (Ph.D., EE/Computer Science) and entrepreneur. He started tutoring for the SAT and ACT while raising three children. To say he enjoys it immensely would be an understatement – he lives for that “Oh, now I get it!” reaction from his students as they confidently set and advance towards their goals. Every student thinks differently, and Bruce prides himself in his ability to explain concepts in ways that make sense to the individual. He is caring and sensitive to the realities of today’s students and works with them to navigate the ebb and flow of their insane workload.  Bruce makes studying for the SAT or ACT as fun as possible with stories, occasional humor, and always good cheer.

Scott Irons

Originally from Auburn, California, Scott graduated from Duke University with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Linguistics. He has been tutoring and mentoring since high school and continued to do so at Duke, working as a peer advisor and helping fellow students achieve their academic and extracurricular goals. After graduating from Duke, Scott spent nearly 2 years teaching English and SAT courses in Vietnam, and he excels at effectively teaching students from diverse backgrounds. Upon returning to the United States, it didn’t take long for Scott to end up back in North Carolina, and he looks forward to helping local students exceed their standardized testing goals. When he’s not tutoring, Scott can be found lifting weights, running, and listening to music.

Sarah Stokely

Originally from East Tennessee, Sarah is a proud NC State graduate having earned her BS in Applied Mathematics and her MS in Mathematics Education. Sarah began her work as a tutor during her second semester as a freshman at NC State and quickly fell in love with helping others learn and be successful in their coursework. She has been consistently working with students of all ages in both math and chemistry courses ever since! Sarah currently serves as Supplemental Instruction Coordinator for the NC State University Academic Success Center where she oversees two academic support programs offered to undergraduate students enrolled in chemistry, math, and physics courses. To say that Sarah enjoys working with a wide variety of students of all levels would be quite the understatement! Being trained as a mathematician and educator, Sarah thoroughly enjoys helping students identify what they currently know and then build upon that knowledge in such a way that helps promote independent learning and critical thinking skills that will serve students long past that first tutoring session. Sarah believes that every student can be successful in their education and is especially passionate about helping students make connections between material and become more confident in their own abilities to succeed in order to overcome test anxiety and conquer the fear of “I’ve never seen this before.” In her free time, Sarah can be found trying new recipes, finishing her latest read, training for a 10k or anywhere near the ocean if she can help it.

Sarah Park

Raised in Korea and Washington, Sarah recently graduated from Dartmouth College, where she studied Neuroscience and Government. Since high school, she has been tutoring her classmates and younger students. Sarah currently works as a researcher analyzing public health policies and intends to attend graduate school in the future. In her free time, she can be found reading, cooking, exploring restaurants, hiking, or knitting.

Christine Mulvey

Born to a pair of high school science teachers, Christine was raised in the suburbs of Boston, with her twin and younger sisters. After high school, Christine received a B.S. in Engineering Sciences from Harvard University in 2004 and a doctorate in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University in 2011. Christine moved to Durham in 2011 when she accepted a job in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Duke.

Christine believes that it is possible to provide good learning experiences for all students, even if that requires a little more time and effort.Tutoring happens to be her favorite form of teaching, so she’s happy helping with SAT/ACT test prep or any type of math and science. When she’s not teaching, you’re likely to find Christine baking, listening to folk music that’s older than she is, taking her Schnoodle, Moose, to the dog park, crafting, reading, rooting for her beloved Red Sox, or spoiling her new niece, Madeleine.

Sarah Davis

Sarah first began tutoring in 2013 and quickly realized how much she loves helping students learn and improve their skills. She then spent several years volunteering as a teacher’s aide in various schools in her hometown of Greenville, SC. During her college years at UNC, Sarah tutored other students at UNC while earning a B.S. in Chemistry and a B.A. in Music. She is now happy to be a Mindspire tutor as she starts at UNC School of Law. In her free time, Sarah enjoys playing music with friends, pursuing her new love of espresso making, and taking care of her spirited kitten, Penny Lane.

Karl Zipple

Karl has always had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. As a high school student, he enjoyed discovering ways to game standardized exams and sharing these strategies with friends and family. Since then, Karl has amassed over a decade of experience tutoring several college admissions tests including the SAT, ACT, LSAT, AP Physics, AP Calculus, and SAT Math I, II, and Physics exams. Karl loves that moment when students “get it” and master material they previously struggled with. He has the content knowledge and educational experience to work with students of all skill levels and the passion to make sure that all of his students succeed.  Karl earned a BA in Math from Northwestern University.

Katy Murphy

Katy discovered her passions for writing, art, and teaching as a high school student in NYC, and went on to study Art History, Comparative Literature, and Creative Writing at UNC Chapel Hill. After earning her B.A., Katy had the opportunity to design and teach writing workshops at schools and non-profit organizations throughout the Triangle. Inspired and energized by her students, Katy continued her studies by earning an M.F.A. in Writing at UNC Greensboro. While at Greensboro, Katy taught literature and worked as a tutor at the university’s Writing Center. Following graduate school, Katy worked with an elite private tutoring company in Palo Alto, CA, helping high school students throughout Silicon Valley reach and exceed their test-prep, academic, and college-process goals. Katy loves seeing her students light up as they gain confidence in themselves. Her academic and professional background enables her to give each student the time and attention they deserve and to keep learning fun and collaborative – as it should be! When Katy isn’t tutoring, she enjoys writing poems and essays, practicing yoga, and hiking with her two dogs.

Ashley Flynn

Ashley grew up in Cary, North Carolina, tutoring both classmates and younger students over the past 10 years. She graduated from Duke University with a Biomedical Engineering degree and later worked for a brain imaging research lab at Duke Health. While attending Cary Christian School, Ashley successfully self-studied for 5 AP exams and took both the Biology M and Math Level 2 SAT Subject Tests! Ashley competed on Cary Christian’s cross country team as their fifth runner and was on two state championship teams. A self-described cat enthusiast, Ashley possesses a lot of miscellaneous feline knowledge and enjoys walking her cats Mango and Coconut in a cat stroller! She met her husband at Duke, who has since begrudgingly morphed into a cat lover, and enjoys finding new shows and video games to enjoy together with him.

Ian Luther

Ian was born and raised in Raleigh, attending high school at Cardinal Gibbons where he was awarded the National Merit Scholarship for his PSAT and SAT scores. After graduating with a BA in Journalism from Elon University in 2014, Ian made the unfortunate decision to move cross-country to Los Angeles in January of 2015. While he had done some subject tutoring while in college and worked as a student mentor with the YMCA Mentor program, it was during this time that he first got involved with SAT and ACT prep for students in the LA area. However this couldn’t last long, as Ian beat a hasty retreat off the West Coast in December 2015, and back to his hometown of Raleigh. Since his return, Ian has been doing SAT and ACT test prep with Mindspire™ for almost two years, as well as ISEE, SSAT, and other middle school test prep.

Steven Gilmore

Steven is a kind and curious educator and math enthusiast. His teaching philosophy focuses on cultivating the students' problem-solving skills and creativity. He has been a math teacher for over six years, teaching and tutoring students of all levels from grade school to college. Steven earned his Ph.D. from NCSU in 2021, with research in understanding the underlying theoretical properties of real-world models; he also has experience in the software engineering field. Outside of teaching, Steven loves the outdoors and is an avid musician, chef, and gardener.

Lucy Bergwall

Lucy grew up in Lebanon, New Hampshire, where she enjoyed spending time outside, reading and playing sports. She graduated as valedictorian of her high school and went on to Williams College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in Environmental Policy in 2016. While at Williams, Lucy tutored students in biology courses and worked as a math teaching assistant. After graduating, Lucy lived in Bolivia for 9 months and worked on farms in New England before moving to Durham in 2017. She has spent the past two years working with middle school students as a substitute teacher and math interventionist at Central Park School for Children and as a summer teacher at Student U, a college-access enrichment program. She is currently attending the Masters of Arts in Teaching program at UNC Chapel Hill, focusing on Special Education and Mathematics. Beyond working with students, Lucy loves to cook, ride her bicycle, and explore the trails along the Eno River.

SAT: 2400 out of 2400

Casey Fraley

Casey first discovered a love for helping others achieve their academic goals by tutoring math for grades K-12 while she was getting her Associates in Science in Asheville, NC. She then moved to Chapel Hill to pursue a B.S. in Quantitative Biology at UNC. She currently works at Duke University in preclinical brain cancer research, and is working on a Masters degree in Physiology from NC State. In her free time, Casey enjoys discussing politics and theology with her husband, snuggling up with their 4 dogs, gardening, playing the alto saxophone, and baking.

Owen Webster

Owen Webster is a Ph.D. candidate in nuclear engineering at North Carolina State University, and is also pursuing a graduate certificate in Nuclear Nonproliferation Science and Policy. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, B.S. in Economics, and B.A. in Chinese Studies, including a year spent at Tsinghua University on a Boren Scholarship. Owen performs materials research on next-generation semiconductors for nuclear detection applications. He is particularly interested in reducing global fissile material stockpiles and improving nuclear material accountancy. Beyond his schoolwork, he volunteers with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and was selected to participate in the 2021 Hiroshima ICAN Academy. Owen hopes to encourage his students to harness their intellectual curiosity and find fulfillment in their academic lives. In his spare time, he enjoys beekeeping, raising cactus, and spending time with his cats.