BILTMORE’S TUTOR REQUIREMENTS
- Master’s Degree and/or PhD
- Teaching Experience
- Extensive Background Check
- Exceptional Interpersonal and Motivational Skills
QUALIFICATIONS: All of our tutors have Master’s degrees or PhD’s and extensive teaching experience. Beyond these industry-leading requirements, Biltmore Tutoring looks for individuals who have outstanding interpersonal and communication skills. Once a potential tutor meets these qualifications, Biltmore Tutoring runs an exhaustive background check and selects only those who measure up to our standard of excellence.
TRAINING: Tutor training at Biltmore Tutoring is extensive. After meeting initial requirements, our tutors must train for between 30 and 100 hours for each test they will teach. During this time, our tutors are taught proprietary teaching methods and strategies; they observe tutoring sessions; and analyze and annotate all relevant texts, tests and other publications. Finally, our tutors must complete a certification interview with a senior staffer. This process ensures that each and every Biltmore tutor meets our strict standards of educational excellence.
EXPERIENCE: Just as important as our hiring and training policies are our tutor retention efforts. Biltmore Tutoring provides our tutors with an environment in which they can continue to pursue their own pursuit of personal excellence, without many of the headaches associated with traditional teaching or those associated with in-home tutoring (travel, etc.) As a result, we are able to attract and retain the best tutors in the area.
All of Biltmore Tutoring’s specialists possess a minimum of a Master’s Degree along with teaching experience, and are experts in their subject areas. Call us today for a free academic consultation, and a guaranteed tutor match with your child.
Dr. MARY MAC OGDEN, PhD
Dr. Mary Mac Ogden has over twenty years of teaching experience at the secondary and college levels. She is a published author and conducts research on southern politics, civil rights and American nationalism. Her book, The Politics of Progress in South Carolina, is currently in publication at the University of South Carolina Press.
Dr. Ogden received her B.S. in History from Presbyterian College, an M.A. in History from UNC Wilmington, an M.Ed. in Secondary Social Studies, a graduate certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies and a PhD in American History with special fields of US South and American Women from the University of South Carolina. She is a Guardian Ad Litem and a freelance writer, and holds teaching licenses in North and South Carolina. Her special interests are traveling, conducting research, renovations and resale of estate jewelry.
Subjects: AP US History
Dr. IOAN MUNTEAN, PhD
Ioan has a PhD in the Philosophy of Physics from the University of California, San Diego as well as a PhD in Philosophy – with a specialization in Metaphysics – from the University of Bucharest in Romania. Ioan achieved a BA and MA in Theoretical Philosophy and Philosophy from the University of Bucharest, as well as a BS in applied physics from the Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest (also in Romania). Ioan currently teaches at UNC-Asheville, and has worked as an instructor and lecturer at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana University-Purdue, the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. He was a graduate student instructor at UC-San Diego, and was an associate professor at the University of Bucharest and at the Polytechnic University of Bucharest.
He has a wealth of experience in teaching physics, logic, computational science at the college level. He worked in three countries and he is passionate about improving the STEM education of young people. He has experience with mathematics, physics, computer science, logic, and critical thinking. He’s main pedagogical tool is critical thinking and learning through questions, seeking the “Big Picture.”
Ioan (pronounced Yan) is a member of the Philosophy of Science Association, the American Philosophical Association, the European Philosophy of Science Association, the British Society for the Philosophy of Science; and the Romanian Society for Analytic Philosophy (he is a founding member). He has published or co-authored many papers throughout his career; his most recent was titled Artificial moral cognition: from functionalism to autonomous moral agents, and was published in the journal Philosophy and Computing.
Ioan says that, “Any learning process is a transformative experience, a process that makes us more virtuous and our life worth living. Mathematics is like music, physics is like dance. There is no process of learning without unearthing the inner potential in the student.”
Subjects: Algebra I – II; Integrated Math I-III; Geometry; Pre-Calculus; SAT Math; ACT Math; ACT Science; SSAT Math; SAT Math I Subject Test; SAT Math II Subject Test; College Algebra; AP Calculus; Calculus I-III; AP Physics, College Physics; AP Statistics
Dr. NED GUTTMAN, PhD
Ned Guttman has a PhD in Marine Science and a MS in statistics from North Carolina State University. He also holds a BA in meteorology and oceanography from New York University. Retired from NOAA, he is a statistical climatologist specializing in applying statistics to climatic data to solve practical problems in areas such as agriculture, transportation, energy usage, military operations, spaceflight and water resources. He is a veteran of the Air National Guard and served as a weather officer. He is currently a consultant and has worked extensively with the United Nations World Meteorological Organization.
As an adjunct professor, Ned taught meteorology, oceanography, math, logic, ecology and climatology at our local universities. He had a one-year assignment as a professor at the US Naval Academy and also taught at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville. He co-founded the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of North Carolina – Asheville. Ned has over 10 years of experience tutoring high school and college students and graduates in math and physical sciences and teaching test prep classes for the SAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT and GMAT.
Ned serves the community by volunteering at Habitat for Humanity and as a Guardian ad litem. Crafts have played a big part in his life. He taught basket making and chair caning for Asheville Buncombe Technical College and worked as a potter for over 15 years. He and his wife, a fiber artist who volunteers for the Western North Carolina Regional Archives and the Southern Highland Craft Guild, have for decades raised, trained and loved pugs. They are avid gardeners and love basketball!
Subjects: Algebra I – II; Integrated Math I-III; Geometry; Pre-Calculus; College Algebra; AP Calculus; Calculus I-III; AP Physics, AP Statistics; Environmental Science; Meteorology
Dr. SCOTT BRANSON, PhD
Scott Branson is a writer, teacher and musician. He has taught full-time at the college and graduate level for seven years, including at Amherst College, the University of Massachusetts, and UNC-Asheville. Scott has a BA in English and American Literature and a MA in Humanities and Social Thought, both from New York University, and a PhD in Comparative Literature (French, English, German, Spanish) from Emory University. Since Scott’s academic training is interdisciplinary, he has a wide breadth of expertise and has taught across the humanities curriculum.
Scott has a passion for finding connections among different ways of thinking. His research focuses on experimental literary forms, issues of gender, and critical theory. Scott is warm and approachable, with a keen interest in sharing knowledge and finding ways for people to collaborate from their strengths. Scott has over two decades of experience writing, recording and performing music. He loves cooking and science fiction.
Subjects: AP English Language and Composition; AP English Literature; SAT Reading; SAT Writing; ACT Reading; ACT English; College Essay; SSAT; Reading & Study Skills; SAT Subject Tests; AP US History; AP World History; AP European History; French Language
MANDI BOYD, MA, NBCT
Mandi Boyd holds a Master of Arts in Education with Instruction Technology concentration from Appalachian State University, and a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Math Education from ASU. Mandi was a North Carolina Teaching Fellow. She completed her Bachelor’s degree as the Honor Student Teacher for the western region and her Master’s degree with high honors, earning a 4.0 GPA. Since completing her Bachelor’s, she has been teaching in North Carolina high schools for seven years. In 2015 Mandi became a National Board Certified Teacher.
Before becoming a classroom teacher, Mandi worked for the Duke TIP program teaching Geometry and Algebra II. This program allowed for several years of specialized training in working with academically driven and gifted students. Mandi’s training with TIP has allowed her to teach honors level math each year of her career.
Mandi specializes in high school math, including: Math I, Math II, Math III, Pre-Cal, Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II. She is also an expert at working with students on ACT, SAT, and SSAT test prep.
In her free time, Mandi enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter. She loves the outdoors, college football, and good books.
Subjects: Algebra I – II; Integrated Math I-III; Trigonometry; Geometry; Pre-Calculus; SAT Math; ACT Math; ACT Science; SSAT Math; SAT Math I Subject Test
CINDY HALLMAN-MORRIS, MA, NBCT
Cindy received both her Bachelors of Arts in Mathematics Education and Masters in Mathematics Education degrees from the University of Georgia. She is a rabid UGA fan – she tells anyone who will listen that her blood bleeds red and black. Cindy has been National Board Certified for the last 10 years. In 1997, she moved with her family to Asheville and she started teaching at TC Roberson High School. She is currently the chair of the mathematics department at TC Roberson.
This is Cindy’s 25th year as a high school math teacher. She has taught math classes ranging from Remedial Math to AP Calculus. She believes deeply in both a traditional mathematics curriculum and an integrated mathematics curriculum, and has taught in both environments. She excels in modifying her instruction for many different learning challenges, including for students on the autism spectrum. One of Cindy’s most rewarding experiences was teaching Pre-calculus to a blind student (before the aid of advanced technology).
Cindy’s graduate classes focused not just on mathematics, but specifically how the brain learns mathematics. She is a strong believer in students understanding why and how a mathematics topic works and how each topic weaves into the fabric of the bigger mathematics picture. Her recent passion revolves around Carol Dweck’s brain research, entitled ‘Growth Mindset,‘ out of Stanford University.
Cindy has two children – a daughter at Tulane and a son at Vanderbilt University. Her family is rounded out with Boudreaux the dog and Harry the cat. She enjoys cooking and even had a food blog for about 4 years! When she is not tutoring and helping students to increase their test scores, grades, and confidence, Cindy spends her free time reading fiction, listening to podcasts such as RadioLab and This American Life, listening to 80’s music, hiking, working in her yard, and enjoying time with friends and family.
Subjects: Pre-Calculus; SAT Math; ACT Math; ACT Science; SSAT Math; SAT Math I Subject Test; SAT Math II Subject Test; Calculus
KATIE DAVIS, MA
Katie earned a MA in Special Education from Vanderbilt University with a focus on behavioral disorders. While pursuing her Master’s Degree, Katie tutored for the Vanderbilt Reading Clinic as well as Nashville Metro Schools, researching and applying evidence based reading interventions. Prior to attending Vanderbilt, Katie received a BA in Psychology with a Minor in Educational Studies from Haverford College. While attending Haverford, she was a four year starter and two year captain of the school’s NCAA women’s fencing team.
In addition to tutoring, Katie is a full time special education teacher. She values tutoring because of the opportunity to focus on an individual’s strengths and weaknesses in a supportive environment. Katie particularly enjoys helping students discover what reading strategies and executive functioning skills work best for their individual learning style.
In her spare time, Katie enjoys cooking, swing dancing, and caring for her rescue dog, Gatsby.
Subjects: AP English Language and Composition; AP English Literature; SAT Reading; SAT Writing; ACT Reading; ACT English; College Essay; Biology, SSAT; GRE; Reading & Study Skills; SAT Subject Tests; Algebra; Pre-Algebra; History; Spanish; ACT Math; ACT Science
KRISTIN KELLY, MA
Kristin graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and a minor in Social Work from NC State University. After graduation, Kristin accepted a recruitment scholarship offer from Kansas State University and took a job as a Graduate Teaching Assistantship there. While completing her Graduate Teaching Assistantship she was recruited for a position as the STEM outreach coordinator in a National Science Foundation grant office—the K-State Office for the Advancement of Women in Science and Engineering. In that particular role she was able to work with junior women faculty on the tenure track as well as help coordinate and provide support for STEM summer camps for young girls and women in the Manhattan, KS area. In 2014, Kristin graduated from Kansas State University in 2014 with a Master of Arts degree in Sociology by successfully defending and depositing her thesis on political sociology and social movements. After graduation, Kristin was published in a competitive peer-reviewed journal, Contemporary Justice Review. Kristin was also accepted as an AmeriCorps volunteer here in Asheville, NC for two years, where she continued her work as a STEM Education Coordinator and Educator for two local nonprofits in the area.
Kristin is currently an adjunct instructor at AB Tech Community College where she teaches courses in Sociology and Academic Success. In her sociology courses, Kristin highlights the importance of the Arts in STEM by designing hands-on, engaging activities for her students that emphasize the engineering design process, science and mathematical sociology. Kristin also teaches Academic Success courses to college transfer students and shows her students study strategies that and techniques for college.
In her downtime, you can find Kristin on the French Broad River in the summer months on a paddle board or on a tube, floating down the river. Kristin also enjoys playing community softball and kickball when she is able. On occasion, she can also be found mentoring elementary and middle school children in LEGO robotics. Overall, Kristin is a well-rounded individual, gifted writer and mathematics lover who is looking forward to helping your child succeed!
Subjects: AP English Language and Composition; AP English Literature; SAT Reading; SAT Writing; ACT Reading; ACT English; ACT Math; ACT Science; College Essay Writing; SSAT; Reading & Study Skills; Pre-Algebra; Algebra I; Algebra II; Geometry; Statistics; Integrated Math I; Integrated Math II; Integrated Math III; Science
CALIE BERRY, MA
Calie Berry grew up in what was, at the time, the sleepy little town of Charleston, South Carolina. She grew up at the beach. Her upbringing on the coast instilled an incredible love and appreciation for this incredible planet and all of the beauty that it nurtures. Her curious nature was piqued as she traveled to countries such as Costa Rica and St. Maarten. As she was exposed to more foreign cultures, she couldn’t help but delve into Spanish. She started learning Spanish when she was 12 years old and that process continues to this day – Calie understands what it means to be a lifelong learner!
She has been incredibly fortunate to have traveled to and lived in multiple countries, such as Peru, Spain, Argentina and Costa Rica. She possesses Bachelors’ degrees in both English and Spanish from Clemson University. She was awarded an assistantship to the Spanish Graduate Program at the University of Georgia (along with a scholarship) and was able to earn her Master’s degree in Spanish and to travel extensively overseas. Calie also taught at the Universidad Cesar Vallejo in Trujillo, Peru, and was able to expand her knowledge of the Spanish-speaking world by leaps and bounds as a result of this experience.
While Spanish (as well as English language topics including ACT and SAT preparation) are a large passion of Calie’s, she also enjoys being outdoors in her free time. She loves to cook delicious vegan meals and to create things that inspire others. She is of the firm opinion that life is short and must be lived to the fullest. Calie is inspired to help students achieve at their utmost level of ability, while appreciating the wonders and possibilities of the larger world.
Subjects: Spanish I, II, III; AP and College Level Spanish; AP English Language and Composition; AP English Literature; SAT Reading; SAT Writing; ACT Reading; ACT English; College Essay; SSAT; Reading & Study Skills; SAT Subject Tests; College Essays
DENNIS LABARGE, MBA
Dennis LaBarge has been a teacher for the past 15 years, following a successful career in the computer industry as a product line manager and business consultant. Certified to teach Physics, Chemistry, and Math, Dennis has 14 years experience teaching High Level International Baccalaureate (IB) Physics and 6 years experience teaching Advanced Placement (AP) Physics B. His real world experience in the private sector has enabled him to bring his subjects alive in the classroom, enlightening students with tangible examples of how the Physics, Math, and Chemistry principles are applied in everyday life.
Having earned a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) and a Masters in Business Administration from Oakland University, Dennis was taught by professors who employed traditional lecture style instruction. From his first days as a teacher himself, however, Dennis has employed an inquiry-based approach in the classroom as means to engage his students in critical thinking throughout the entire learning experience. Rather than depending strongly on PowerPoint lectures for delivering the content of the course, Dennis has used hands-on demonstrations of discrepant events and numerous discovery-based practical lab activities to deliver the concepts directly into the hands of the students. Dennis has led workshops on his teaching methods for science and math teachers at the various school districts where he has taught and at selected teachers conferences in the US, South America, the Middle East and in Europe.
Dennis has applied his inquiry-based teaching approach also with his tutoring students, successfully preparing them for improved performance in the classroom and for high achievement on their IB and AP subject tests.
Subjects: Algebra I – II; Geometry; Pre-Calculus; Trigonometry; SSAT; Integrated Math I-III; AP Chemistry; AP Physics; SAT Math; ACT Math; ACT Science
THOMAS KOZAK, MA
Thomas Kozak earned his MA in Secondary Education from Wake Forest Graduate School and his BA in English from Wake Forest University. While the primary focus of his studies was English, he has also spent years honing his skills as a teacher and tutor of Mathematics (having always loved what he deems the poetry of numbers).
Thomas prefers the personal focus of tutoring to that of classroom teaching, having found greater reward in the enduring academic growth that comes from one-on-one instruction. He is devoted to helping students develop into life-long learners, knowing that can be achieved through encouraging academic responsibility and inspiring intellectual curiosity.
A song-writer, film-maker, and poet, Thomas keeps a keen eye on the role of creativity in academic success. He has seen, first-hand, the leaps in achievement that students can make when they realize how some of the most stubborn conceptual blocks can be loosened by creativity in perspective or approach.
Having balanced a heavy load of extracurricular activities in high school and college, Thomas knows that time is a precious commodity in any student’s life. He is adept at creating individualized strategies that allow students to maximize success without overloading on work. He believes that academic achievement is always possible without being at the cost of a student’s passions.
Subjects: AP English Language and Composition; AP English Literature; SAT Reading; SAT Writing; ACT Reading; ACT English; SSAT; GRE; Reading & Study Skills; SAT Subject Tests; Algebra I – II; Geometry; Trigonometry; Pre-Calculus; Integrated Math I & II; SAT Math; ACT Math; ACT Science; College Essays
JEFF PENLEY, MAT
Jeff Penley earned a Master of Arts in Teaching from Western Carolina University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has also worked in various programs at The George Washington School of Political Management and The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Jeff is also a fellow at The North Carolina Institute of Political Leadership and a graduate of The North Carolina Rural Economic Development Institute.
Jeff brings with him a vast base of experience. He has served in the U.S. Navy as an airman, working in 2 deployments in The Middle East aboard several aircraft carriers. He worked as a character actor, extra and stand-In in Los Angeles , CA, appearing and working on productions like Back to the Future 2 and Seinfeld. For a time, he was also a professional artist, working on abstract paintings and alabaster sculpture. His art still remains in various galleries throughout the country. As well, Jeff has worked as a political consultant and advisor to over 100 political campaigns in the last 22 years. He specializes in media and mass communications.
Today, Jeff teaches at McDowell Early College, where he teaches college bound students who earn an Associate of Arts/Science degree with their high school diplomas. These students begin college as juniors, saving parents a tremendous cost.
Over his career, he has taught AP Government and Politics, AP Comparative Government, AP World History, AP U.S. History, and Honors Civics and Economics. He also teaches Theatre Arts.
Jeff believes that passion is the first step to a student being engaged in the Social Sciences. Jeff says, “You can look in their eyes and tell when they begin to understand. The excitement and enthusiasm shines through like a beacon of light. And that’s why I teach.”
Jeff is married and has two children in elementary school. In his spare time, he enjoys coaching his kids in baseball, softball and football. He also loves to travel, where he is a big fan of Broadway productions.
Subjects: AP English Language and Composition; AP English Literature; SAT Reading; SAT Writing; ACT Reading; ACT English; College Essay; SSAT; GRE; Reading & Study Skills; SAT Subject Tests; ACT Science; Economics; AP US Government; AP US History; AP World History; AP European History; AP Sociology; AP Psychology; Anthropology
SKYE FIRESTONE, MAT
Skye Firestone has a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Lewis and Clark Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Secondary Education, Gender Studies and Mathematics from Portland State University in Portland, OR. She is currently licensed to teach Advanced Mathematics and middle school science in Oregon and is working on transferring her accreditation to North Carolina, as well.
She taught high school math for 5 years in Portland, OR before moving to the Asheville area to be closer to family. Before becoming a classroom teacher, she worked with students as an academic coach focusing on test prep, study skills and test anxiety. Prior to that, she worked at Portland State University’s Learning center tutoring students in Mathematics and Statistics and leading Supplemental Instruction sessions for Statistics students. It was at PSU where Skye fell in love with education and helping students find their individual pathways to excellence.
When not working with students, Skye enjoys spending time outdoors with her dog, Cassie. They spent the summer traveling the US on their journey east, camping and adventuring on HWY 1 down the CA coast, Vancouver Island, Glacier National Park, Theodore Roosevelt National Park and many of the other natural wonders of North America. She also enjoys traveling internationally and has had the fortune of visiting 7 countries in Europe the past two summers and volunteering and studying Spanish in Central America in the past.
Subjects: Algebra I – II; Geometry; Pre-Calculus; Calculus; Statistics; SSAT; Integrated Math I-III; AP Physics; SAT Math; ACT Math; ACT Science
ALAN WILSON, MAT
Alan graduated with an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University with a concentration on vibrations and acoustics. After a brief stint working as an engineer at Bristol Compressors he returned to school at East Tennessee State University to focus on earning his Masters of Arts in Teach Secondary Mathematics. While working on his Masters, Alan accrued 21 hours a graduate level Math with a primary concentration in Modern Algebra. During this time, he worked as a graduate assistant in charge of the tutoring program run by the universities disability services department. For the last 12 years he has been teaching a wide variety of math ranging from Math 1 through Precalculus as well as AP Computer Science.
Alan believes that all students are capable of being successful math students. This underlying belief drives his educational philosophy. As a tutor he works to ensure students understand the rich underlying ideas and connections that exist between mathematical concepts. He also focuses on building long term strategies that will help students become successful.
In his free time Alan enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter outdoors. He is an avid hiker who has hiked over 600 miles of the Appalachian Trail and the John Muir Trail in California.
Subjects: Algebra I – II; Geometry; Pre-Calculus; SSAT; Integrated Math I-III; AP Computer Science; Physics; SAT Math; ACT Math; ACT Science
BRIAN CASKEY, MA
Brian Caskey holds a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from UNC-Wilmington, and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida. Brian completed his Master’s program with great distinction, finishing with a 4.0 GPA. In addition, his thesis, “Autobiography, Southern Themes, and False Nostalgia in the Poetry of Cathy Smith Bowers” won an award as the best master’s thesis in the program. Brian’s work has been published in both scientific and literary journals, including Bios and Palaver Journal.
Before opening Biltmore Tutoring with his wife, Stacey, Brian worked for many years as a systems administrator and senior manager of digital projects for Barnes and Noble. Since returning to the field of education, Brian has helped many of the area’s top students with biology, literature and history topics. A versatile tutor, he specializes in AP US History, AP World History, and AP European History, but he also tutors in Biology, Environmental Science, and Literature topics. Brian takes great pleasure in showing students how to score highly on their ACT, SAT, and AP essays.
Despite his technical background, Brian is a firm believer that narrative is the most important element that leads to understanding. Knowing the story that ties facts and details together is the only way to understand what’s happening and why.
In his spare time, Brian enjoys kayaking, fishing, golfing, and restoring old cars (his current project is a 1971 Datsun 240Z sports car). He is also a member of the Town Council in Mills River, and a voting member of both the Henderson County Transportation Advisory Committee and the French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Subjects: AP US History; AP European History; AP World History; Biology; Environmental Science; AP English Language and Composition; AP English Literature; College Essay Writing
STACEY CASKEY, MS, NBCT
Stacey Caskey completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Brooklyn College and Queens College. A National Board-certified educator, she taught in the NYC school system for eleven years before moving to Asheville in 2001. Stacey taught at Claxton Elementary from 2001-2010 and is now the educational director and co-owner of Biltmore Tutoring. With 25+ years in the education system, Stacey is one of the most knowledgeable resources of curriculum, school administration, and testing programs.
Stacey received her College Counseling Certificate from the University of California – San Diego in 2012. She makes frequent visits to colleges and universities around the US, so that she can stay abreast of admissions criteria and requirements, as well as obtain an understanding of college-specific programs and opportunities. Once gaining college admittance, Stacey works with families to obtain scholarship money to fund these dreams.
Stacey says, “College admissions are much more competitive now. In 2010, Harvard accepted only 6% of their applicants, Stanford 7%, Duke 14%, and UNC 29%. What does that mean for your student? Excellent ACT and SAT scores are needed before students will even be considered by a college admissions committee. Grades, extracurriculars, and class ranking are also important. After the application process begins, we take great pride in helping parents and students navigate the confusing application process, and to help students decide between various programs and scholarship offers.”
Subjects: College Counseling; Academic Advising; College Essay Writing