Leewood Learning

About Us

See. Learn. Do.


Our Tutors


Sam Leewood started tutoring in 2005 while studying for his Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics at Depaul University. Initially he enjoyed working with students one on one and found tutoring to be a great way to work part-time while he focused on his studies. After graduating from DePaul Magna Cum Laude in 2007, he decided to take his talents to UIC and earn a Master's Degree in Civil Engineering with the goal of working as a Structural Engineer. Upon graduation (with a 4.0 GPA) he realized he had developed a real passion for helping students reach their full potential.  This made the decision to focus on tutoring full-time an easy one, and Sam has been working independently full-time ever since. 

Working as a husband and wife team, Sam and Tawni Leewood decided to officially launch Leewood Learning together in 2017 in order to expand services to more students. With Tawni's 10 years of experience working in recruitment advertising and sales, her skills naturally align with the recruitment and marketing functions of the business. Sam and Tawni recognize what an undervalued profession classroom teaching has become, which is why Sam and Tawni wanted to mainly hire professional, working teachers at generous wages to ensure the highest quality tutors for you and your children. 


Let's Learn.

Leewood Learning tutors want to help you or your child to realize full potential. Contact us today to learn more about our rates and availibilty.

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President/Lead Tutor

Sam Leewood

The founder of Leewood Learning, Sam has over 14 years of one on one tutoring. He brings a fun and creative approach to working with students of all ages. His proudest moments over the years include helping a number of middle school students secure admission to Whitney M. Young Magnet High School and Walter Payton College Prep.  A number of Sam's high school students were accepted into Brown University, Wellesley University, and Yale University. 

Sam and his wife Tawni have lived in Logan Square since 2009 along with their cat, Phil. His hobbies include cooking, woodworking, yoga, playing piano, and playing basketball.



DePaul University

Bachelor's in Mathematics, 2007

University of Illinois at Chicago

Master's in Civil Engineering, 2011


Biology Tutor

Luke Mueller

A biology teacher at Lincoln Park High School in Chicago, Luke has been teaching locally since August of 2013. He previously taught in Van Nuys, California at CHAMPS Charter School of the Arts for four and half years, giving him over 8 years of professional teaching experience. He currently teaches AP Biology and freshman Biology and has developed curricula for and taught Human Anatomy and Physiology at both schools. He also chairs the Ecology Club at Lincoln Park.  Recently, Luke taught Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology in the Equinox program at Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development.

Luke and his wife Jacqueline live in Hollywood Park and have two beautiful young daughters, Elyse and Marion who are 2 and 5 years old. He also enjoys farmers markets, basketball and is extremely passionate about live music, especially Bruce Springsteen.


Notre Dame University

Bachelor's in Biology, 2003

DePaul University

Master's in Education, 2005 



Math/SPecial Education Tutor

Charlotte Funicello

Charlotte is currently a middle-school math teacher in Berwyn.  She recently moved to Chicago from New York City, where she taught middle school math for two years.  Charlotte earned her Bachelor's degree in History from Hunter College and went on to earn her Master's in Special Education from Long Island University.  For the past five years, Charlotte has worked with both general education and special needs students.  She also has experience teaching math intervention and accelerated math courses.

Charlotte currently resides in the Irving Park neighborhood and loves spending time at the Montrose dog beach with her loving boyfriend Chris, and their pitbull puppy Remi.


Hunter College

Bachelor's in History, 2012

Long Island University

Master's in Special Education, 2015


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Math and Test Prep Tutor

Matt Selensky

Matt grew up in Montana, where he developed a deep appreciation for nature and learning everything there is to know about it. He received a B.S. in environmental microbiology from Montana State University. There, he worked part-time as a Spanish tutor and in a research lab studying microbes that live in hot springs. He now lives in Chicago and is pursuing a PhD in Earth and Planetary Sciences at Northwestern University, where he gets to keep learning about nature by studying chemistry and microbiology. Matt loves to share his passion for science and hopes to inspire students to thrive academically!

In his free time, Matt likes drawing, checking out new restaurants and bands around the city, running, and camping when he gets the chance.


Montana State University

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Microbiology, 2018

Northwestern University

Ph.D. Candidate for Earth and Planetary Sciences, expected 2024


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English and Test Prep Tutor

Maddie Kilgannon

Maddie is a Boston native and a recent Chicago transplant. Her background is in journalism, and she has spent the last four years writing hundreds upon hundreds of newspaper articles. Before moving to Chicago, Maddie worked for the Boston Globe covering everything from shark attacks to Super Bowl rallies, fires, and crime. Working as a reporter taught Maddie to be quick on her feet, organize information efficiently, and to always be ready to learn new things.

In high school, Maddie spent her time helping the kids younger students with their homework after school and working with her peers on their college essays. She graduated from Suffolk University in Boston with a degree in Print Journalism.

Maddie lives in Lincoln Park with her dog, Hamilton. She’s an avid fan of print media, podcasts, black coffee, and is always on the hunt for a new typewriter to add to her collection.


Suffolk University

Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, 2019



science and math tutor

Sean McGuire

Originally from Kansas, Sean has been teaching since 2008.  His teaching career began with High School biology and spread to chemistry, physics, environmental science, and ACT prep.  He currently teaches double honors chemistry and AP chemistry at Lincoln Park High School.  Sean also works with High Jump Chicago, a program that provides enrichment and support to rising 7th and 8th grade students seeking to navigate the daunting High School application process.

Sean and his fiancé are proud residents of Uptown for the past 4 years and love visiting the lake with their giant Italian Mastiff named Henry.  He enjoys cheering for the Kansas City Royals, riding his bike on the lake, and explaining his circuitous path to and passion for education.


University of Kansas

Honor's B.A. in English - Creative Writing, 2005

Dominican University

Master's in Teaching, 2009



Math, Science, and Test Prep Tutor

Maggie Swerdloff

Maggie is a Chicago transplant from the tropical coast of South Florida. She studied at New College in Sarasota, Florida where she received a bachelor's degree with a concentration in Chemistry. Her interests in nanoparticles and biology led her to a lab at Northwestern University, where she spent time creating nano-sized devices for drug delivery and fell in love with the city of Chicago. Maggie moved to Chicago in 2017 to start her PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern, where she currently works in the Center for Bionic Medicine at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. As part of her journey towards a PhD, Maggie spends her time in the lab trying to better understand why everyday distractions can be detrimental to people who walk with prosthetic legs, and hopes to improve their walking ability by using advanced bionic leg technology.

When she's not in lab, you can find Maggie sailing and riding her bike along the shores of Lake Michigan, climbing up (and down) rock walls at the bouldering gym, watering her 1000 houseplants, or in a variety of random artistic pursuits from making ceramics to strumming on her ukulele.


New College of Florida

Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry, 2017

Northwestern University

Ph.D. Candidate for Biomedical Engineering, expected 2022



math tutor

Huma Haider

Huma attended DePaul University right here in Chicago, IL and graduated with Honors in Secondary Mathematics Education.  Upon graduation, she began teaching 9th graders algebra I and II at Pritzker College Prep and she's been there ever since.  Huma is passionate about delivering high quality education to all students.  She is currently in her second year of the Hollyhock Fellowship Program at Stanford University in order to continue her own learning and become the best educator possible for her students.

In her free time, Huma loves trying new restaurants, running, and attending various concerts and events in Chicago!


DePaul University

Bachelor's in Secondary Math Education, 2012


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math and spanish tutor

Megan Shein

Throughout high school, college, and graduate school, Megan has tutored students of all ages in math.  After traveling to Boston for college and grad school, she chose to go abroad to teach in Israel.  Megan then returned to the Midwest to teach 12th grade statistics at Pritzker College Prep and has been there since 2014.  Her goal has always been to support all of her students, inside and outside the classroom.  She loves when students get that "aha!" moment and gain the understanding they need in order to feel confident in math.

In her free time, Megan spends as much time as possible outdoors.  She loves camping, hiking, and even just reading, drawing, or running outside.


Boston College

Bachelor's in Mathematics, 2013

Boston College

Master's in Education, 2014


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English and writing tutor

Julia Levit

From a very young age when she would look forward to going back to school each summer to help her teachers set up their classrooms, Julia knew she wanted to be a teacher.  As such, Julia is currently a 10th grade English/Literature teacher at Pritzker College Prep.  She was previously a Learning Specialist for five years.  She is now in her twelfth year of teaching and has experience working with grades 6 - 10 in various subjects.  Even though she loves the energy and daily excitement of teaching her classes of fantastic students, Julia also enjoys working one-on-one with students in order to help them persevere through difficulties and find personal growth and success.

Julia finally lives with her fiancée in Lakeview after ten years of long distance dating.  They have two amazing cats, Ernie and Bert.  In her free time, Julia can be found dancing, lifting weights, trying new restaurants, attending costume parties, traveling, going to concerts and sporting events, and reading. 


DePaul University

Bachelor's in Secondary Education, 2005

DePaul University

Master's in Special Education, 2012

University of Phoenix

English as a Second Language Endorsement, 2015


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Math, Spanish, and Test Prep Tutor

Cara Ladd

Cara graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a proud Badger alumna.  After graduation, Cara moved to Chicago to start her teaching career with Teach for America.  She spent two years teaching Spanish at the K-2 level, during which she earned her Master's of Arts in Teaching with a Bilingual/ESL endorsement.  Cara is currently in her fourth year teaching for the Noble Network at DRW College Prep, and currently teaches advanced algebra and trigonometry at the 10th grade level.

In her free time, Cara loves traveling, cooking whatever she finds at the Logan Square Farmers Market, learning how to salsa dance, and trying new restaurants in the city.


University of Wisconsin - Madison

Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Environmental Studies, 2013

Dominican University

Master of the Arts in Teaching, 2015


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Science and math tutor

Nilou Sarvian

Nilou is a recent Chicago transplant from Los Angeles and is an Earth and Planetary Science PhD student at Northwestern University. Throughout college Nilou spent much of her free time volunteering at the local elementary school as a teacher's assistant. She also spent a year after college tutoring math and working as a research chemist. These experiences further developed her love of learning. Nilou hopes to continue inspiring students to succeed and pursue their dreams.

In her free time, Nilou enjoys playing sports, trying new ethnic foods, and exploring her new hometown of Chicago.


University of California, Santa Barbara

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, 2015

Northwestern University

PhD in Earth and Planetary Sciences,  expected 2022


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English and German tutor

Ben Groch

Ben comes from a rural town outside of Chicago. He attended the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, where he developed a love of writing, German and dense literary styles. He then taught Austrian high schoolers the ins-and-outs of the English language before returning to Chicago to teach ESL. Ben now teachers at Pritzker College Prep in the Hermosa neighborhood, where he also coaches soccer and rocks out with students. 

In his free time, Ben enjoys playing soccer, music and going for walks on the beach with his wife (seriously!).


University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana

Bachelor's in English and German, 2004

National Louis

Masters in Art of Teaching, 2013



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English and Test Prep Tutor

Amanda Meyers

Amanda grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2012.  Ever since she was little, she knew she wanted to be a teacher, so she began working at Pritzker College Prep upon graduation and has been teaching various levels of English there for the past seven years.  She frequently works with juniors and seniors on writing and editing their college essays.  She enjoys helping students prepare for their future and is very excited to begin working with other students in Chicago!

In her free time, Amanda enjoys coaching soccer, traveling, reading, and watching The Office on repeat.  She can quote "Titanic" on-demand and has been known to drive hundreds of miles for a cheeseburger or Arby's roast beef sandwich.  


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Bachelor’s of Arts in English and Secondary Education, 2012



English and Test Prep Tutor

Candace Kohli

Candace grew up in North Carolina and Ohio. As an undergraduate at Montreat College, she developed a love of learning that motivates her as an educator today. Candace’s curiosity about human culture and religion led her to a Ph.D. at Northwestern University in Religious Studies. She was a Fulbright Fellow in Tübingen, Germany, where she conducted her research. Since graduation, Candace has worked in higher education, adult education, as a book editor and writing coach, and as a tutor. As an educator, Candace seeks to spur students’ curiosity about the world in which they live. She enjoys coaching students in writing, reading comprehension, and critical thinking skills.

In her free time, Candace does canine agility with her dog, Abe, bakes all of her own sourdough bread, and experiments with natural dyes. She also enjoys biking and sailing on the lake.


Montreat College

Bachelor of Arts in Religion, 2004

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Master of Arts in Theology, 2008

Northwestern University

PhD, M.A. in Religious Studies, 2017 


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English and Test Prep Tutor

Sara Pasquinelli

Sara worked in middle and high school classrooms for the past eight years.  She taught middle school sciences as well as US and World history.  Sara’s focus was on increasing students’ reading, writing, and critical thinking skills.  She earned her undergraduate degree in History and Anthropology from Elon University where she studied abroad to South Africa, Denmark, and Turkey. She completed her Master’s in Secondary Education from Arizona State University.

Sara currently resides in Lakeview East with her dog, Roxie.  She’s originally from Pittsburgh so she’s a huge sports fan, but has adopted the Chicago Cubs as her second favorite baseball team.  When she’s not playing or watching sports, Sara is planning her next travel adventures!


Elon University

Bachelor of Arts in History & Anthropology, 2010

Arizona State University

Masters of Education, 2012


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Science and Math Tutor

Julie Plewa

A Chicago native, Julie has been teaching since 2014.  After graduating from the University of Minnesota with a degree in chemistry, she moved to Boston and worked in Boston Public Schools for 2 years.  Ready to move back home, Julie came to Chicago in 2016 and has been teaching high school physics and chemistry.  Julie is currently enjoying her position teaching chemistry at Lincoln Park High School.

In her spare time Julie loves to sing, bake, swim, and play with her one year old puppy, Millie. Julie loves being back in Chicago so she can cheer on her Cubs and Blackhawks.


University of Minnesota

Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry, 2014

Relay Graduate School of Education

Masters in Teaching, 2018 


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Math and Test Prep Tutor

Torey Cornblath

Torey graduated from Lake Forest College with a double major in Economics and Mathematics. He started tutoring while in college, helping a local Evanston tutor with his math clients and with ACT/SAT test preparation. After graduation, he decided to get into tutoring full time. He believes that all children can learn anything so long as the teaching style fits their learning style. His specialty is in adapting his teaching strategy to fit what the student best needs.

When not tutoring, he is usually reading, playing games, or volunteering at a not-for-profit.  


Lake Forest College

Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Economics, 2014 


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English and Executive Functioning Tutor

Shaun Bishop

A California native, Shaun grew up in the Bay Area and graduated with a degree in history from UCLA. He has spent the last eight years as a social studies teacher at schools across Chicago, most recently at Lincoln Park High School. Prior to becoming a teacher, Shaun worked as a journalist, writing hundreds of local news stories for Bay Area newspapers. He enjoys sharing his love of reading with students and helping them discover that they are capable of more than they realize. 

Shaun enjoys baking bread, hiking in the woods, cheering on Bay Area sports teams and hanging out with his two cats. 



Bachelor of Arts in History, 2006

National Louis University

Master of Arts in Teaching, 2013



Science and math tutor

Anna Pietrantonio

Anna is originally from the East Coast, but has lived in the Midwest for the past 4 years. After graduating from Amherst College with a degree in chemistry, Anna moved to Milwaukee to teach high school math and science through Teach for America. In her second year of teaching, Anna earned her Master's in Secondary Education at Marquette University. She currently resides down the street from the Obama's in Hyde Park and teaches biology at Chicago Bulls College Prep.

In her free time, Anna enjoys spending time outdoors, exploring the restaurant scene in her new hometown and taking advantage of the free trial of any exercise class she can get her hands on.


Amherst College

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, 2014

Marquette University

Master of Secondary Education, 2016



ENGLISH and spanish tutor

Anna Treesara

Anna was born and raised in Avondale and has always wanted to go into the education field. She began this journey as a Golden Apple Scholar majoring in English Education at Bradley University in Peoria, IL. She then went on to receive a Fulbright to teach English language in Thailand, where she was able to reconnect with her culture. After her Fulbright, she taught high school English at a Noble Network Charter School for three years. During this time, she also worked towards a Master of Science degree in Language Arts Instruction from Northeastern Illinois University. Although Anna loved teaching and her students, she ultimately wanted to create a larger impact outside of the classroom. As a result, she transitioned to a Program Coordinator role at a non-profit education organization, Urban Alliance, where she currently works. Anna is most passionate about creating academic and professional opportunities for students from underserved communities through intentional curriculum development and innovative educational technology tools.

In her free time, Anna enjoys working out, hanging out with her Shiba Inu Addison, and discovering new restaurants all over Chicago. 


Bradley University

Bachelor of Arts in English Education, 2013

Northeastern Illinois University

Master of Science in Language Arts Instruction, 2018


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Math and Test Prep Tutor

Ari Stillman

After graduating from Lehigh University, Ariana moved back to her hometown of Milwaukee to teach elementary school math and reading for two years. She then moved to the non-profit sector in Milwaukee but continued to tutor students throughout the school year. A recent Chicago transplant, Ari currently resides in the West Loop and works for the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education. While not in the classroom anymore, Ariana has a deep love of learning and enjoys working with students to help them find the tools to tackle academic challenges.

In her free time, Ariana enjoys exploring her new city by finding good food, coffee and used book stores.


Lehigh University

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, 2013

Alverno College

Master of Elementary Education, 2015



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Math and Early Education Tutor

Jess Backhaus

Jess has been working in the education field for ten years in many different capacities. She moved to Chicago seven years ago, after graduating from Western Michigan University with a degree in child development and family studies. Since moving to Chicago, she has developed programs for The Chicago Children's Museum, taught preschool at Concordia Place, and was the Director for The Gardner School.  Jess is very passionate about creating lifelong learners; it is never too early or late to learn something new!

Jess' favorite activities include traveling to beautiful places, hiking difficult trails, biking around the city, trying new restaurants, attending Cubs games, and doing any water related sports. She also loves spending time with her husband and dog. 


Western Michigan University

Bachelor's in Child Development and Family Studies, 2012


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Math and Test Prep Tutor

Kyle Perfect

Kyle is a high school math teacher at Lane Tech College Prep in Chicago. He has lived in the Chicagoland area all his life, growing up in Brookfield, IL. His strong interest in math led him to begin college at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign pursuing Engineering. He transferred to Concordia University Chicago to become a teacher, graduating in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Mathematics Education. He is pursuing a master’s degree at DePaul University in Applied Mathematics, beginning Fall 2019.

Kyle is very passionate about helping others succeed and believe in themselves. He has worked with students aged 6 - 22 in a range of subjects and is dedicated to motivating his students to develop a love of learning. In his free time Kyle enjoys running, hiking, playing volleyball, cooking, and playing board games with friends. 


Concordia University Chicago

Bachelor’s in Secondary Mathematics Education, 2017

DePaul University

Master’s in Applied Mathematics, expected 2021


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Math and Executive Functioning Tutor

Sammie Griseto

Sammie graduated from St. Ambrose University in 2010 and she just finished up her masters from Olivet Nazarene University.  Sammie has taught special education for 8 years.  She is currently teaching fourth grade, but has experience with students ranging from first through eighth grade.  She loves getting to know each and every one of her students.  She believes everyone is a learner once they find their groove!  Come summertime, Sam is the director of the summer camp that she has worked at for 11 years.  She loves the contagious energy and enthusiasm of children!

Lincoln Park is where Sammie calls home.  She loves to spend time with her big, extended family, play games, cook, sing and dance to great music, and make jokes!


St. Ambrose University

Bachelors in Special Education, 2010 

Olivet Nazarene University

ESL Certification and Masters in Instruction, 2018


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Math and Test Prep Tutor

Michelle A. Ramos

Michelle was born and raised in Chicago. She attended Northwestern University for undergrad, and Dominican University for her Master's degree in Early Childhood Education. Michelle then went on to do Teach for America at the Montessori School of Englewood for two years.  She then went on to teach high school Calculus and pre-Calculus for a year to seniors at DRW College Prep in the North Lawndale community. Michelle loves helping kids find their way through what may seem an insurmountable task.

In her free time, Michelle enjoys reading, writing poetry and performing spoken word, as well as working out and staying fit. She plays a number of sports including rugby, boxing, and softball. Michelle also enjoy painting and drawing when she can find the time.  


Northwestern University 

Bachelor’s of Education and Social Policy, 2015

Dominican University 

Master’s in Early Childhood Education, 2018



Math and Test Prep Tutor

John Anders

John has been teaching Mathematics for eight years and currently teaches 12th grade college algebra in the West Town neighborhood.  A native of the northwest suburbs, John graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Mathematics and a minor in Education.  Throughout undergrad, John worked as a tutor through Academic Services for Student Athletes.  A lifelong learner, he also went on to earn a Master's in Education at Notre Dame and is completing law school part time at Loyola University Chicago.

In his spare time, John enjoys playing pickup basketball and going to the movies with his fiancee.


Notre Dame University

Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, 2011

Masters of Education in Mathematics, 2013


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Test Prep and General Tutor

Rebecca Kandefer

Rebecca grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and recently graduated from DePaul University with a degree in Psychology, focusing on human development. She first started tutoring when she was in high school and continued to tutor her peers throughout her college years. In the future, Rebecca hopes to continue her schooling with a Master's degree in education.  Rebecca loves to expand her mind and she is ecstatic to share that passion for learning with her students.

Rebecca currently lives in Roscoe Village with her boyfriend and their adorable cat, Misty. In her free time, you will most likely find Rebecca biking around the city, going to last-minute Cubs games, or planning her next travel adventure (all probably with an ice cream cone in hand). She strongly believes that experience is the best way to learn and loves to face new challenges head-on. 


Depaul University

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, 2019


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Math and science Tutor

Jose Luis Contreras

Jose Luis was born and raised in Chicago and attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  One of his favorite and most rewarding experiences was studying in France for an entire school year.  He is grateful for the opportunity he had to fully immerse himself in a foreign language and way of life.  Jose Luis served as a mentor for middle school students at Erie Neighborhood House in the West Town neighborhood of Chicago where he was able to take a hands on approach to individually helping students succeed.  Jose Luis also served as a paraprofessional for several years at Pritzker College Prep. He is currently completing his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at Governors State University.  Jose Luis is happy to once again share his love of math and science with young students. 

During his breaks from studying, Jose Luis can be found playing soccer, reading, going to the movies, or playing Magic the Gathering.


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Bachelor of Arts in French Studies, 2012


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Physics and Math Tutor

Jackson Barnes

Jackson was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area where, during high school, he volunteered as a tutor in mathematics and the physical sciences.  He attended the University of California, Santa Cruz where he earned his B.S. in astrophysics.  Jackson also spent a year after his undergraduate education doing astrophysical research for UCSC, as well as researching and manufacturing solar panels for a solar company in Santa Cruz. Jackson recently moved to Chicago as a Northwestern University PhD candidate in the Earth and Planetary Sciences.   The experiences he has had as a tutor and researcher has bolstered his desire to inspire other students succeed in their own education!

In his free time, Jackson can be found long distance running, biking, hiking, playing his trumpet, exploring the local music scene, or playing with his cat, Shadow.


University of California, Santa Cruz

Bachelor of Science in Astrophysics, 2017

Northwestern University

Doctorate in Earth and Planetary Sciences, projected 2024


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Math and English Tutor

Meghan McMahon

Meghan grew up on the Northwest side of Chicago and is a Loyola Academy alum.  In 2013, Meghan earned her undergraduate degree in Marketing and Communications at Saint Louis University.  She also studied abroad in Rome, Italy while attending SLU.  After graduation, Meghan stayed in St. Louis to start her teaching career with Teach for America.  She worked in high school classrooms for four years and taught a variety of courses including pre-algebra, algebra, honors algebra and geometry.  While teaching, she completed her Master’s in Secondary Education from the University of Missouri, St. Louis.  Upon her arrival to Chicago, Meghan worked as an algebra teacher at DRW of the Noble Network of Charter Schools.  When Meghan isn’t tutoring young minds, she’s challenging older ones at a digital curiosity platform called Packback.

Meghan currently resides in the Lakeview neighborhood.  She is a die-hard foodie and loves to try out new restaurants around the city! 


Saint Louis University

Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and Communications, 2013

The University of Missouri, St. Louis

Masters of Secondary Education, 2015


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English and Test Prep Tutor

Karissa Shanley

Karissa attended University of Minnesota for a bachelors in Youth Studies, and when finished decided to continue her youth work in the classroom by pursuing a Masters in the Arts of Teaching and Reading Specialist licensure at Hamline University. Her teaching brought her to Las Vegas where she taught reading for 6th and 7th graders and tutored students between kindergarten and 12th grade. Karissa returned to the Midwest in 2016 to teach at UIC College Prep. There she has had the pleasure of teaching 9th and 12th grade reading, as well as AP English Literature. 

Karissa lives in Humbolt Park with her husband and pup. On her free time, she loves to travel, read, hike, and cook. She is always interested in new recommendations for Chicago restaurants to try!


University of Minnesota

Bachelor of Science in Youth Studies, 2009

Hamline University

Masters in the Arts of Teaching, 2015


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Science and Test Prep Tutor

Luca Podrecca

Luca recently finished his Masters degree at Rutgers University in New Jersey where he also worked with the Rutgers Science Explorer team, teaching hands on science experiments at middle schools across the state. Luca recently moved to Chicago to continue his research in geoscience at Northwestern University, studying how climate and sea levels have fluctuated through Earth’s history; he believes that the only hope for making accurate predictions about the future is by understanding the mechanisms which shaped the past. Originally from Key Largo, Florida, Luca loves water activities, from fishing to diving, and has begun taking sailing lessons on Lake Michigan to keep close to the water at his new, inland home.

In his free time Luca enjoys reading, camping, hiking, and riding dirt bikes. He even spent one summer doing all three as he and a friend rode the Trans-America Trail from the Atlantic coast to Denver, CO.


University of Florida

BSc. in Geology, 2013

Rutgers University

MSc. Geoscience, 2018

Northwestern University

Ph.D. Geoscience, (Current)


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Math and General Tutor

Amit Khatkhate

Amit grew up in Skokie, Illinois, a proud graduate of Niles West High School.  After high school, he attended and graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, subsequently serving five years in the Army.  In 2012, when Amit was transitioning off of Active Duty, he wasn’t exactly sure what his career path might be.  He was sure, however, that he wanted to move back to the Chicago area and work in the field of education.

Amit began teaching in 2013, in Gary, Indiana, where he taught 7th and 8th Grade Math.  He received his training through Indianapolis Teaching Fellows, crediting his love and ability for teaching to the wonderful mentors at ITF, as well as the many colleagues with whom he has interacted over the years.  In the Fall of 2015, Amit became a Special Education teacher, and is currently in his fourth year at DRW College Prep, where he teaches three different courses at the 10th grade level: math concepts, transitional writing, and advanced algebra with trigonometry.

In his free time, Amit enjoys hanging out with friends and family, keeping up with current events, especially politics, and recently has taken up running again, with the goal of running another half-marathon by the end of 2019.


U.S. Military Academy at West Point

Bachelor of Science in Economics and Latin American Studies, 2007

Marian University

Master of Arts in Teaching, 2015

National Louis University

Learning Behavior Specialist 1 Endorsement, 2016


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English and Spanish Tutor

Callie McHugh

Originally from the Boston area, Callie graduated from Tufts University in Medford, MA with a degree in International Relations and a minor in Latin American studies.  She then moved to Colorado where she taught middle school social studies and writing with Teach for America.  After two years of teaching, she spent a year traveling and leading teenage adventure trips in South America, eating too many empanadas and using her Spanish.  Missing the classroom, Callie then returned to teach in Denver, Colorado.

Callie moved to Chicago to attend law school at Northwestern University.  She loves learning and being challenged, and she’s pleased to be working with students again.  In her free time, Callie enjoys playing pick-up basketball, running, looking for places to ski, and hanging out with her cat.


Tufts University 

Bachelors in International Relations with a minor in Latin American Studies, 2012

University of Colorado

Master's of Urban Education and Critical Pedagogy, 2015

Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law

J.D. Candidate, 2020