Welcome! Thank you for visiting our website. We are celebrating our 13th year serving Chapel Hill-Carrboro and surrounding area students and love what we do! Before becoming director in 2018, I spent time as a verbal specialist on the ColPrep team. I earned my Masters in Teaching at UNC, and then spent ten years in North Carolina public schools, seven of them in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro system, teaching all grade levels of high school English.  While in the CHCCS system, I earned my National Board Certification. I love teaching ColPrep's SAT/ACT courses, developing strategies for college-bound tests,  and helping students write stellar college application essays. When I am not scheduling students or working as a specialist myself, I am busy at home with my three young children. 

Our Verbal Team

AMANDA is completing her PhD in Musicology at a local prestigious university, and is a long-term Triangle resident. She completed her BA in Studio Art and Spanish, an MA in Translation Theory, and an MA in Musicology. She loves tutoring students in writing, language, study skills, test prep, and AP exams. Her main goal as a writing tutor is to help students achieve clarity in their writing through clarity in their thinking. She is passionate about working with students with ADHD on their organizational and study skills, as she has excelled in the academic environment while managing her own ADHD. Her care for students informs her enthusiastic and individualized approach.

SPECIALIZATIONS: SAT and ACT verbal strategies, writing specialist (college applications/essays, writing improvement and/or enrichment), AP English/Literature, AP Spanish Language/Literature, AP Art History, AP Music Theory

CHRIS earned her BA in English from Duke University. She has extensive teaching experience in high school English classes, with her last 11 years at Carrboro High, CHHS, and Northwood High School. She has also worked as a copy editor at Duke University Press and the University Press of Mississippi. She retired last year, but is thrilled to continue  working with students, especially with writing improvement/enrichment and on winning college applications and essays. She loves to bring out the "writer within."  

SPECIALIZATIONS:  Writing specialist (college applications/essays, writing improvement and/or enrichment)

COCO earned her Masters in Fine Arts in Poetry from Columbia University, where she also served as a Chair's Fellow to the Graduate Writing Department and interned at the Academy of American Poets. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa with Highest Honors from UNC-Chapel Hill with a B.A. in History and minor in Creative Writing. While at UNC, she facilitated a Coach Write group for girls at Smith Middle School. She loves helping students become more confident writers and test takers. Always ready with a recommendation, she especially enjoys sharing her passion for contemporary poetry with teenaged readers. Coco can also be found walking her dog Ollie around Carrboro. 

SPECIALIZATIONS:  SAT and ACT verbal strategies; and writing specialist (college applications/essays, writing improvement and/or enrichment) AP American History, AP World History, AP Language and AP Literature. 

HANNAH earned her BA in English Literature, with minors in Spanish and Africana Studies, at Auburn University. She is currently a PhD candidate at a local, prestigious university, where she teaches writing and composition. Hannah also has a background in working with children from ages 8 to 14 in tutoring as well as mentorship and self-empowerment. 

SPECIALIZATIONS: writing specialist (college applications/essays, writing improvement and/or enrichment), AP English, organization/study skills. 

JAN is a veteran teacher of middle school and high school English and Social Studies/History in the CHCCS district, with B.A. degrees in English and Journalism from the University of WI Madison.  "I love working for ColPrep Tutoring," Jan says. "Nothing is more exciting than seeing a student take a leap of understanding--whether it is during a challenging reading or in constructing an elegant sentence." When not tutoring, Jan is working furiously on her own first novel.   

SPECIALIZATIONS:  middle school/high school reading, organization/study skills, pre-ACT and PSAT  previews, assessments, and reviews; APUSH success, SAT and ACT verbal strategies; and writing skills (college applications/essays, writing improvement and/or enrichment)

KELLI received her B.A. degree in English from UC-Berkeley. While earning her M.A., she began teaching SAT verbal sections and assisting with college applications and essays with a private educational company. Kelli is currently a Ph.D. candidate and Freshman Composition instructor at a local, prestigious university, and has assisted in writing the SAT and ACT curricula for ColPrep Tutoring, Inc.  "I love my work with ColPrep," she says. "It is so much fun to work individually with students and show them they can reach their goals and discover their potential."

SPECIALIZATIONS: organization/study skills, pre-ACT and PSAT  previews, assessments, and reviews; SAT and ACT verbal strategies; and writing skills (college applications/essays, writing improvement and/or enrichment)

MARY BETH earned both her BA in English and her MAEd from Wake Forest University, where she also worked in the Writing Center coaching athletes and other peers through the writing process. She is entering her 20th year as a high school English teacher, mostly in Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools (ECHHS and CHS), and now at Durham School of the Arts. For several summers, she has taught courses in Elon University’s college access and support program (Elon Academy), which helps prepare first-generation college students for the academic, social, and personal demands of college life. Mary Beth’s research interests include the adolescent brain and best practices in brain-based reading and writing pedagogy, and she loves working with high school students because they are open and creative thinkers with fierce ideas about justice and fairness. Mary Beth is also a mom to two high school students, a rising sophomore and a rising senior at ECHHS. SPECIALIZATIONS:  high school/college reading strategies, writing skills (college applications/essays, writing improvement and/or enrichment), organization/study skills, SAT and ACT verbal strategies

RALPH earned his BA in English from UNC-CH and his MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia College. He taught grant writing to graduate students at Tulane University for sixteen years and first-year composition at NCCU for a decade. He has published a number of short stories and novels; most recently he published "Argos: The Story of Odysseus as Told by His Loyal Dog" with HarperCollins. After sending two children to college recently he understands the college application process and is eager to help students find their "authentic voice" in order to craft impactful essays.

SPECIALIZATIONS: writing specialist (college applications/essays, fundamentals of grammar/punctuation, writing improvement and/or enrichment), SAT/ACT verbal strategies

SEBASTIAN is a PhD candidate in Immunology at Duke University, studying pathogens that infect the brain and central nervous system. His passion for helping others drives him to understand the immunology and treatment of these diseases. He graduated from Virginia Tech with a BS in Biochemistry, with minors in Chemistry and Professional & Technical Writing. He serves as a TA at Duke and has been tutoring students since high school. Sebastian enjoys building relationships with students and seeing them grow as individuals.

SPECIALIZATIONS: SAT and ACT verbal and math/science strategies, college applications and essays, writing improvement/enrichment


Our Math and Science Team

BREANNE is a Ph.D. student in chemistry, currently conducting RNA research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She graduated from Minot State University with a BA triple major in Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics and concentrations in Physical Science and Physics. As an undergraduate Bree served as a Supplemental Instructor in Organic Chemistry for two years. She also was a lead tutor in biology, chemistry, and math courses for three years. At UNC-CH, Bree was a teaching assistant for analytical chemistry courses. She is passionate about helping students find excitement in STEM fields and enjoys developing her mentor skills to fit the individual needs of every student. 

SPECIALIZATIONS: CC Math I through BC Calculus, biology, chemistry, physics, and SAT/ACT math/science


CATHY is a Ph.D. student in biochemistry and biophysics, currently conducting epigenetics research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She graduated from UNC-CH with a BS in chemistry, BS in biology, and minors in physics and music. Cathy has been a teaching assistant and tutor for both undergraduate and graduate science courses, and intends to incorporate science education into her future career. She is always excited to continue finding ways to make math and science relatable and fun subjects for students to learn.  SPECIALIZATIONS: CC Math I-III, biology, chemistry, physics, and SAT/ACT math/science

CHRISTOPHER is a Ph.D student in biochemistry and biophysics currently working in protein design at the University of North Carolina. He graduated from Missouri Baptist University with a BS double major in Chemistry and Biochemistry and minors in Mathematics and Biology. As an undergraduate, Chris served as a lead tutor for many upper and lower division math and science courses and as a teaching assistant for physical science, general chemistry and organic chemistry. He enjoys working with students and helping them gain the skills and confidence they need to be successful in their academics.

SPECIALIZATIONS: CC Math through BC Calculus, biology, chemistry, physics, SAT/ACT math/science 

COLLIN is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering within the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Currently, he studies bacterial and viral inactivation kinetics in the Environmental Microbiology and Virology Laboratory. Collin attended UNC as an undergraduate, graduating with a B.S., and performing research in fluid dynamics and harmful algal blooms. After
working for three years at the US Environmental Protection Agency, Collin returned to UNC and completed his Masters of Science in Public Health. Collin has served as a teaching assistant for biology and has a passion for interactive learning that he enjoys sharing with his students.  

SPECIALIZATIONS: CC Math I-III, biology, chemistry, physics, and SAT/ACT math/science

DAVID completed his Masters in Computer Science at UNC Chapel Hill.  He received a bachelors in Math and Computer Science from UNC.  David currently works as a bioinformatician and cancer researcher at the Lineberger Cancer Center.  He enjoyed teaching and tutoring in graduate school and is looking forward to working with his students.  He has an enthusiastic and caring approach to tutoring and believes in the potential of all students to learn and love math and science.    SPECIALIZATIONS: Tutor for CC Math I through BC Calculus, biology, physics, computer science; and SAT/ACT math/science​ ​

KIRSTEN is an Applied Mathematics graduate student.  She received her BS in Mathematics and minor in Computer Science.  Hailing from a small liberal arts college she enjoys fostering supportive learning communities where students are excited to explore new mathematical and scientific ideas.  Currently, she mentors undergraduate women through her chapter of American Women in Mathematics.  Kirsten’s research experiences and interests lie in mathematical biology, fluid dynamics, and marine biology.  From years of experience as a Calculus recitation leader and math tutor, she enjoys working with students to help them develop their critical thinking skills to succeed. 

SPECIALIZATIONS: Tutor for CC Math 1 through BC Calculus; biology/ AP biology; SAT/ACT math science. 

LUKE is an M.D./Ph.D. student at Duke University. He has completed his medical coursework and core clinical rotations and is now in the Ph.D. phase of his program studying immunology, specifically how we can improve the immune system’s ability to fight off cancer. Prior to coming to Duke, Luke graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.S. in Biology and in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. For three years after college, he worked as a research fellow, first studying undergraduate science teaching and learning and then immunology. Luke has experience tutoring math and science at the high school, undergraduate, and graduate levels, and was an introductory biochemistry and biology course TA. He also has experience working as a scientific writing editor. Luke enjoys working with students, and prioritizes helping them achieve a concept-based understanding and build their confidence in a low-stakes setting that welcomes questions and discussion. His teaching philosophy is rooted in the belief that if a student isn’t “getting it” it is not because they can’t, it’s because the concept hasn’t been presented in a way that works for them!

SPECIALIZATIONS: Biology/ AP Biology; Chemistry/ AP Chemistry;  study skills and SAT/ACT math/science. 

SARA earned her B.S. at the University of Evansville in Nutrition and her master’s degree in public health at UNC with a focus on maternal and child health. She has experience working with Duke TIP, teaching environmental science at summer camps in Oregon and mentoring students. Sara is currently working at Eshelman School of Pharmacy at UNC as a program manager organizing a grant and doing preliminary data analysis for the project. She loves working individually with students to help empower them with confidence and skills.

SPECIALIZATIONS: CC Math I-III, Biology, Chemistry, Spanish, and SAT/ACT math/science and verbal sections

SELENA is a Ph.D. student in Immunology at Duke University.  As a member of the Duke Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Program, her work focuses on understanding systemic immune deficits that arise in patients with brain cancer.  Prior to Duke, Selena graduated from Bowdoin College with a degree in Biology, then spent two years working at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.  In addition, she is a manuscript editor with American Journal Experts.  Selena is currently enrolled in the Certificate in College Teaching program at Duke.  She has experience as a teaching assistant for graduate and undergraduate students, and as a tutor for both undergraduates and high school students.  It is important to Selena that her students learn in a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere where they feel encouraged to ask questions. Selena plans to pursue a career at the intersect between research science and the clinic, likely in the field of cancer immunotherapy. She is passionate about helping others and getting people excited about science!

SPECIALIZATIONS: Biology/ AP Biology; Chemistry/ AP Chemistry;  study skills and SAT/ACT math/science. 

SHANNON is a Ph.D. student in chemistry, currently conducting protein chemistry and biophysics research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She graduated from Rhodes College with a BS. in chemistry. Shannon has been a teaching assistant in general chemistry and analytical chemistry classes. She has also tutored students at the undergraduate and high school level throughout her education.  Shannon has a passion for science communication and mentoring and hopes to be a professor after completing her PhD.  She is always excited about finding new teaching and mentoring styles to implement in tutoring.

SPECIALIZATIONS: CC Math I through BC Calculus, chemistry, SAT/ACT math/science, study skills/organization