Leadership Team

Since 1988, our team of experts has calmly, caringly, and expertly guided thousands of families through the process of preparing their students to be critical thinkers and lifelong learners. We’ve had many imitators over the years, but we’ve stayed ahead by evolving and refining every aspect of our service: our pedagogical approach, our customer care, our course materials and technology, and, most importantly, our expert tutors, the face and heart of Summit. Our commitment is to your success, on your terms: a commitment to find the right tutor, to customize the optimal program, to create a schedule that works for you. Get to know us.

Charles O’Hearn


While an undergraduate at Yale University, Charlie provided personalized, in-home tutoring services to students in the New Haven area. Seeing a need for one-on-one, in-home tutoring and test preparation, he launched Summit Educational Group in Wellesley, MA in 1988. Charlie has written a number of highly regarded test preparation books, which are used by tutoring companies and schools around the country. He is an expert in the field of tutoring and test preparation and is a frequent speaker and panelist at education conferences, forums, and schools around the country.

Michael Dean

Executive Director

Michael received a BA in Film from Emerson College and MA in Library and Information Science from Simmons College. He has held several different management positions during his 10+ years at Summit, and his customer service focus and integrity make him well-suited to his latest role managing Summit’s Massachusetts office. Michael is highly-regarded among school and independent counselors throughout New England and New York as a trusted test prep partner who does all he can on behalf of his clients.

Drew Heilpern

Chief Brand Ambassador

Drew graduated cum laude from Duke University with degrees in Biology and Elementary Education. He then completed his PhD in Immunology from Tufts Medical School. After completing his postdoctoral fellowship, Drew began tutoring for Summit where his passion as an educator quickly made him one of Summit’s most requested tutors. Outside of Summit, Drew is busy with his two girls both under the age of two, his two cats, and talking shop with his wife, Carol, who is also a Summit tutor.

Ali Kaplan

General Manager, Tutor and Teacher Services

Allison earned a Master’s in Counseling Psychology from The Ohio State University. After 20 years in higher education, she turned her attention to test prep tutoring. In her current role, she is committed to hiring, training and supporting Summit’s outstanding tutors. Allison was excited to volunteer as a tutor for Summit’s scholarship program. In her spare time, she plays board games, reads avidly, and discovers new recipes.

Katherine Lee

Chief Finance Officer

Katherine received a B.S. in Economics from MIT and a graduate certificate for Special Studies in Administration and Management from Harvard University. Before joining Summit, she worked as an independent financial management consultant for various clients. She has over 25 years of experience working for large corporations and small high-tech startups, including prior positions as Co-Founder & CFO at Modo Labs, Inc. and CFO & EVP of Online Environs, Inc. She enjoys teaching at Korean school on weekends.

Kathy Linhares

Marketing Director

Kathy received a B.A. in Communication from Emerson College and an MBA from Boston University. She has over 25 years of experience defining, developing, and executing marketing strategy for Fortune 500s, national nonprofit organizations, and regional companies. Before joining Summit, she worked at leading Boston marketing and technology agencies, as well as on her own as a consultant for various clients. She is a dedicated mom of two, avid traveler, and outdoor enthusiast.

Whitney Longworth

Director of Business Development

Whitney graduated cum laude from Connecticut College where she was a selected scholar for the Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy. Her early career focused on client relations in the retail and entertainment fields. Whitney enjoys collaborating with our school and counselor partners in her role at Summit. She is an expert panelist and frequent guest speaker at industry conferences. Outside of work, she enjoys planning elaborate events.

Jeff McClure

General Manager, Course Materials & Services

Jeff graduated summa cum laude from Boston College with a degree in Economics and concentration in Finance. He went on to complete the CFA Charter program while working in the financial services industry. Originally from Philadelphia, Jeff has worked for several large brokerage and banking firms, where he specialized in educating clients on products and best practices. Outside of work, he enjoys playing ice hockey and spending time with his wife and two young children.

James Saelee

General Manager, One-on-One Tutoring

James is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, where he double-majored in Music and Political Science. While there, he volunteered as a math and reading tutor for Berkeley Unified School District. James has more than a decade of experience in the field of test preparation. At Summit, he oversees operations for its one-on-one tutoring division and helps families navigate the testing and admission landscape. Outside of Summit, James enjoys traveling, playing tennis, and listening to podcasts.

Joshua White

Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Training

In his role as Director of Curriculum, Joshua oversees the development, implementation, and oversight of Summit’s curriculum, instruction, and training. Prior to his role, Joshua spent 3 years as a Summit tutor and classroom teacher, preparing students for the SAT, ACT, SSAT, ISEE, and essay-writing. With over 10 years of tutoring experience, Joshua has taught students from kindergarteners to senior citizens in everything from cooking to computers.

Laura Rothman

Director of Business Analysis

Laura is originally from Bolton, Massachusetts. She attended Applewild School in Fitchburg and Middlesex School in Concord. She earned her bachelor’s in Mathematics and secondary concentrations in Economics and French from Bates College. She has tutored the SAT, ACT, SSAT, ISEE, and additional math subjects since 2010, and joined Summit in 2015 as a Program Director. Outside of her work for Summit, she enjoys volunteering with the Boston rowing community.

Core Team

Joseph Ayala

Program Director

Joe Ayala has been a program director at Summit for four years. He is originally from the Bronx and holds degrees from Columbia (Political Science) and Sara Lawrence College (Writing.) Prior to joining Summit he was the director of the Double Discovery Center a college access program hosted by Columbia University. Before that he was a college counselor at Publicolor in NYC. Joe is a dad, a DIY enthusiast, basketball fan and he owns a rapidly rusting unicycle.

Lauren Campbell

Assistant Director of School Partnerships, CT/NY

Lauren graduated cum laude from Salve Regina University with a major in Global Business & Economics, and a minor in Business Administration. Prior to Summit, Lauren worked in retail, where she built strong personal and professional relationships by offering impeccable customer service and support. Outside of work, Lauren enjoys spending time on her boat, cheering on the New York Rangers, and running after her labs, Bowie and Hank.

Steven Deridder

Senior Manager of Tutor & Teacher Services, MA

Steven Deridder graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with two minors and almost enough credits for two Bachelors, but his innate love for learning and ability to inspire others has led him to excel in a variety of careers, from high-end photographer to ophthalmology technician, until he discovered his passion. Since then, Steven has taught and tutored a variety of subjects and students across the country for seven years. In his spare time, Steven writes novels, publishes poetry, hosts critique groups, hikes, and photographs the world he travels.

Miriam Fine

Program Director

Miriam graduated cum laude from Tulane University with a BA in English and French. After completing her Masters of Education at the University of South Alabama, she taught middle and high school English for several years. Upon returning to Massachusetts, Miriam found her place as a Summit tutor, helping students learn strategy, skills, and content in ACT, SAT, SSAT, ISEE, and AP testing programs. As a Program Director, she enjoys working with families to navigate the testing landscape and helping students gain confidence in test preparation.

Chelsea Gisolfi

Program Director

Chelsea is a graduate of Southern Connecticut State University, where she earned a BA in history and psychology and an M.Ed. majoring in Special Education from Fairfield University. She has worked in education since 2014 as a former special education teacher, tutor, and special education paraprofessional. Chelsea continues to enjoy supporting both students and families in their education journeys. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, cooking, spending time with her family, and watching her favorite sports teams.

Lisa Houtzeel

Business Development Manager

Lisa joined Summit in 2008 as an SAT, SSAT and ISEE tutor. In her current role as Senior Program Director, Lisa enjoys building relationships with families and drawing on her experiences as both a tutor and as a parent, to design and personalize Summit’s programs for each individual student. Lisa graduated from University of Massachusetts in Amherst with dual degree in Sociology and Journalism and a minor in Psychology.

Andrea Howland

Program Director

Andrea Howland graduated cum laude from Oklahoma City University, then completed graduate school at Appalachian State University on the prestigious Provost’s Fellowship, with degrees in Music Performance. She pursued parallel careers in education and music, working as an early childhood music teacher, Reggio preschool teacher, elementary school French teacher, a private tutor, and finally a Summit SAT and ACT prep tutor, while singing opera regionally and in New York City. She loves helping to bring Summit’s sane and sensible approach to the stressful world of test prep, and was excited to join the full-time team as Client Advisor in 2020.

Jay Liu

Office Manager

Jay joined summit in May 2022 as a tutor. He worked as a math teacher for 5 years, after earning a MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) from Brandeis University, and a BA from Bennington College. Jay is currently a Ph.D. student in the Integrated Applied Mathematics program at the University of New Hampshire. Jay enjoys working with students, independently or as a group. Outside of work, Jay enjoys spending time with his family, cooking, and working on small projects at home.

Alex McBride

Senior Program Director

Alex McBride graduated with her BA in English and Sociology from California Lutheran University. She then decided to move across the country to pursue her MA in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College. She worked a plethora of jobs before finding her place in the Summit family. Alex is a Program Director, verbal tutor, and occasional proctor for Summit’s weekend practice tests. She enjoys reading, playing video games, and spending time with her dog and cat overlords.

Lynne Mica

Director, One-on-One Tutoring Operations, CT/NY

A graduate of SUNY Albany with a degree in Secondary Education and focus on Business, Lynne brings a unique skill set and past business experiences to Summit. She also brings her life experience of navigating the college landscape successfully with her 3 daughters! Beginning her career as a high school teacher in Upstate NY, she has also held director-level positions with Sylvan Learning Centers and Kaplan Test Prep, as well as private education companies. Lynne enjoys working with students at all levels, with the goal of helping them achieve their academic dreams.

Stephanie Miller

Program Director

After graduating magna cum laude with a degree in political science from Brandeis University, Stephanie went on to earn her master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. She began her career at Summit as a verbal tutor and proctor and quickly moved on to become a Program Director. As the mother of three daughters, Stephanie is extremely familiar with the demands and nuances of the high school curriculum, standardized test preparation, and college admissions.

Angelina Moore

Manager, Tutor and Teacher Services

Angelina has a BFA in Writing from the University of Maine at Farmington and a MS in Library Science from Southern Connecticut State University. She has worked in education since 2004, primarily as an English and adult education teacher. She started as a teacher and tutor with Summit in 2012. She loves supporting others in their education journeys. Outside of work, she enjoys painting, fiber arts, and reading (and has taught all of those at some point as well).

Josh Pearson

Operations Manager, Course Materials & Services

Josh Pearson graduated in 2004 with an M.S. in Control Engineering, B.S. in Systems Science and Mathematics from the University of St. Louis and B.S. in Mathematics from Regis University. After graduating he worked for a decade at a subsidiary of Pearson Education (no relation) developing early online tutorials and digital math problems for college text books. He joined Summit Educational Group in summer of 2016 doing miscellaneous jobs before becoming a full-time tutor. In November 2017 he joined the Course Materials and Service division at Summit Educational Group. In his spare time, he collects houseplants and bees.

Michael Singer

Full-Time Tutor

Michael joined Summit in 2015 and has happily tutored many one-on-one and classroom programs since then. Throughout his multi-decade teaching career, Michael has taught reading to children and adults of all ages, religious school to children and teens, ESL/ELL to undergraduate and graduate students of all ages, and biblical studies to adults. He holds a BA in History from Franklin & Marshall College (go Dips!), an MA from Brandeis University, and has completed work toward a PhD, also at Brandeis. When not sharing his love of learning with people of all abilities and ages, Michael enjoys spending time with his family, reading, cooking, listening to podcasts, classic video gaming, and playing sports.

Andrew Strelecky

Senior Manager, Tutor and Teacher Services, CT/NY

Andrew joined the staff at Summit after a long and successful time as a Summit tutor. He is not only a terrific tutor, but also a licensed math teacher with a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from UConn. As a Senior Manager of Tutor and Teacher Services, Andrew brings his leadership skills and love of teaching to our tutor training and continuing education programs in the Connecticut and New York regions. In his free time, Andrew enjoys studying math, chess, and biking on Connecticut’s many trails.

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"The system is great, very simple to use."

Vedika K.

“Allison is a great tutor, and really patient and calm as well as experienced. She always gave my younger daughter the feeling of being more relaxed and less stressed. Jessica went to Derby, but was also accepted at Thayer and Tabor! Thank you.”

Cristina F, Parent

“Absolutely top-notch in terms of staff. Knowledgeable, professional and friendly! Perfect materials aimed at ensuring all critical areas are covered. Wonderful services in terms of students' abilities to take diagnostic tests in a testing environment at Summit's offices.”

Debbie N., Parent

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