Location icon

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 1-on-1 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.

Charly Kuecks

Charly Kuecks has been a Test Prep and math tutor and group instructor for the past decade. For four years, she taught ACT courses at the University of Utah since her first semester of grad school in August 2017 and has loved every minute! When not working, she pursues her interests in yoga, creative writing, snowboarding, and music. Having been a National Merit Scholar and gone to the Eccles School of Business on a full merit scholarship, what she likes best about test prep as a field is demystifying a test that can be a huge barrier to students' upward mobility otherwise. With an approachable demeanor and an eye for minor details, I motivate my students to believe anything is possible in their pursuit of higher education. She’s excited to launch Mindspiration, in-house newsletter.

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.

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.

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

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 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.

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.

Tyler Pulis

Tyler (they/them) has 20+ years as a high school math teacher, curriculum writer, teacher trainer, and tutor. This year, Tyler’s going back to the classroom as a graduate student in Physics at NCCU, specifically working on a Nuclear Astrophysics project with a professor from the University of North Carolina. Tyler graduated from Duke with a B.A. in History and an M.A.T. in Teaching Mathematics. Tyler also received an advanced degree (ABD) from North Carolina State University in Mathematics & Statistics Education.

In addition to teaching, tutoring, and studying, Tyler serves on the Board of Directors of 1:11 Art & Healing Space, where they host a game night and teach an occasional mixed-media art class. A passionate learner, Tyler is always trying new things. Right now they are enjoying learning to box and exploring their creativity through art. After fostering a plethora of kittens with Independent Animal Rescue, Tyler now has a crew of 5 mostly “unadoptable” cats at home living their best lives.

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.

Jetta McPhee

Jetta is an M.A. student in Educational Technology at UNC Chapel Hill, and has been working with students since high school. She recently graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a B.S. in Psychological Science. Her M.A. research focuses on improving K-12 math instruction using AI and 360° videos. In her free time, Jetta loves to go to concerts, do gymnastics, and try new recipes!

Lindsey Wright

Lindsey is an English MA student at North Carolina State University. She discovered her love of tutoring in 2019 while getting her undergraduate degree in Writing and Rhetoric and the University of Central Florida. Since then, she's tutored students from a wide variety of backgrounds, academic disciplines, and education levels. Lindsey believes that an individualized approach to tutoring is important in helping each student to do their best. When she's not working, Lindsey loves to sing, read sci-fi and fantasy novels, and spend time with her dog, Zero!

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.

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.

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.

Sara Angella

Working her way through her academic career, Sara earned her bachelors degree from George Washington University in political science, a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary in theology and a Masters of Arts from Jewish Theological Seminary in New York in Hebrew Bible. Sara moved to North Carolina to pursue her PhD in religious studies at UNC Chapel Hill and currently resides in Durham having returned to her political roots. She now works for a data and analytics firm that specializes in hyper targeting for campaigns specializing in AI modeling and forecasting. She tutored throughout her academic career as well teaching courses at university.

Sara would like it specially noted that she is dyslexic and learned and taught effective study and habit building strategies that help reduce text anxiety and bring focus to daily efforts. She has always thought about engaging with work creatively, and tailors work to students believing one size does not fit all.  

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.