Nice to meet you 🙂

We are passionate about teaching, mentoring, and helping students of all ages. Get to know us a bit below, and feel free to introduce yourself—we love hearing from parents and students alike.

 
 

Leadership

 
Principia_Edited_81.jpg

Oliver Lee, M.F.A.  |  Princeton University | Founder & Director

Oliver Lee has been tutoring since his sophomore year of high school, when he was selected to teach at the Writing Center at the Gilman School, a prestigious private school in Maryland. In addition to his private tutoring work, he has taught at The Princeton Review, Yale University (summer sessions), and most recently at the University of Florida (Rhetoric + CompositionTechnical Communication, and Creative Writing: Fiction).

Oliver majored in Psychology and Creative Writing at Princeton University (‘02), and received an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Florida, where he served as an editor of Subtropics literary magazine. His awards include First Place (English) in the Seoul National Essay Contest, a full fellowship to the prestigious NY Summer Writers Institute, and most recently, one of twenty-five finalists in Glimmer Train's 2016 New Writers Contest. His work has appeared in 12th Street Journal, Flaunt Magazine, TakePart.com, and Atlas Obscura, among many others. He specializes in college preparation and coordination for middle and high school students, and in his spare time he is at work on a comprehensive college essay guide.

Offerings: College Consulting, College Essays, Academic Consulting, Writing Competitions, Test Prep (SAT, ACT)

 

Elaina Mercatoris, M.F.A.  | TJ and Program Director

Elaina Mercatoris is a graduate of Allegheny College, where she was the editor-in-chief of The Campus newspaper and The Allegheny Review. She completed her masters from the University of Florida (M.F.A in Writing) where she was assistant editor of the Journal for Undergraduate Research. She has taught at the University of Florida and the Santa Fe Learning Lab and specializes in reading & writing development as well as TJ/SSAT prep. Her poetry and essays have appeared in Subtropics magazine, Compose JournalNatural Bridge, and Cosmopolitan online.

Offerings: TJ Prep, TJ SIS/Essay, Academic Consulting, Essay Writing, College Essays, Test Prep (SAT/ACT)

 
Principia_Edited_87.jpg

Natasha | Harvard University, Ph.D. | Manager of Curriculum and Instruction

Natasha is a graduate of Wellesley College and Harvard University, where she earned her PhD in Historical Musicology in 2018. She has taught at Harvard University, the Harvard Art Museums, and, most recently, a music festival in Oregon, where she worked with students to produce the modern premiere of a 17th-century opera. In addition to tutoring and mentoring students, she is working on a book about opera and politics in the age of Louis XIV.

Offerings: Test Prep (SAT, ACT, SSAT), AP English Language, AP Literature, APUSH, AP World, Essay Writing, College Essays, Writing Competitions, Organizational Skills

 

Instructors

 
Principia_Edited_3.jpg

Marcos | Ph.D Physics, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

From an early age, Marcos has been constantly curious about how the world around him worked. This curiosity drove him to obtain a Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Massachusetts and a pursue Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department at Princeton University. He has published several peer-reviewed papers in the field of Materials Physics and stays active in the academic community by disseminating the results of his research at national and international conferences. He enjoys deconstructing complex concepts in order to communicate and teach them in simpler ways. He has mentored students in the areas Physics and Mathematics for almost 10 years and hopes to continue demystifying these subjects for many more years in the future. 

Offerings: AP Physics 1/2/C; SAT Physics, SAT/ACT Math, Math through Multivariable Calculus, Spanish

 
Principia_Edited_36.jpg

St. Clair | B.A. French and Francophone Studies, Brown University

St. Clair is a recent graduate of Brown University, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in French & Francophone Studies. While in college, she tutored refugee children through BRYTE (Brown Refugee Youth Tutoring and Enrichment) and studied abroad in Ecuador, where she was fortunate to study education from an interdisciplinary, multicultural perspective. For the past two summers, she's been a Teaching Assistant at MIT's Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science, a summer program for rising high school seniors. She's now back in her hometown of Washington, DC, working as a filmmaker and photographer in addition to tutoring.

Offerings: Elementary Reading/Writing/Math, Test Prep (SAT, ACT, SSAT), AP English Language, APUSH, Essay Writing, College Essays, Writing Competitions, Organizational Skills

 
 
Principia_Edited_2.jpg

Emily | M.P.A International Development Economics, Princeton University

Emily received an MPA in the International Development Economics from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University where she specialized in international migration policy and multilateral diplomacy. Her teaching experience includes the Peace Corps in Thailand (K-8), Minnesota Literacy Council (low literacy EFL adults), Petey Greene juvenile detention center tutoring (Math and English), and she’s fluent in Thai and speaks Mandarin at an upper-intermediate conversational level.

Offerings: Elementary through High School Reading/Writing, Test Prep (SAT, ACT, SSAT, HSPT, TOEFL), AP English Language, Essay Writing, College Essays, Writing Competitions, Organizational Skills

 
principia2.jpg

Tomaj | B.A. Physics + Math, University of Maryland, College Park

Tomaj has been tutoring math and physics for over seven years; his love for teaching drove him to becoming a full time tutor and in 2018 he won the teacher of the year award for the highest satisfaction rate from his students. Tomaj views teaching as a fun, interactive process in which he uses imagery and analogy to translate the abstract and often elusive concepts into relatable experiences in the student’s daily life. Tomaj graduated from the University of Maryland-College Park in 2015 with a physics major and math minor. He is a published author and has written a book on the philosophy of quantum physics; while his evenings are devoted to tutoring, his day time is devoted to writing and blogging about science and philosophy.

Offerings: Test Prep (SAT, ACT, TJ, AMC 8, 10, AIME), AP Physics, Math through Multivariable Calculus / Linear Algebra

 
Principia_Edited_5.jpg

Abby | M.A. Applied Economics, University of Maryland, College Park

Abby triple-majored in Math, Physics, and Economics at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and holds an M.A. in Applied Economics from the University of Maryland. She specializes in Algebra II and Calculus instruction and has devoted over a thousand hours volunteering in disaster relief for the Red Cross.

Offerings: Math through Multivariable Calculus, AP Physics, AP Economics, AP Statistics

 
Principia_Edited_35.jpg

Justin | M.S. Medical Physiology, Case Western Reserve University

Justin majored in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Urbana-Champaign and holds a M.S. in Medical Physiology from Case Western Reserve University. He is analytical biological scientist and has been teaching and tutoring since high school. 

Offerings: Test Prep (SAT, ACT, SSAT), AP Bio, AP Chem, AP Statistics, Math through AB Calculus

 
download.jpeg

Delphine  | B.A. Int. Studies in Humanities, University of Chicago

Delphine is a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and the University of Chicago, where she was awarded a four-year, full tuition merit scholarship and majored in Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities. She has worked as an ESL teacher in Moscow and an editorial fellow at Mother Jones, and is an experienced SAT/ACT instructor as well as college essay advisor. 

Offerings: Test Prep (SAT, ACT, SSAT), AP English Language, AP Literature, Essay Writing, College Essays, Writing Competitions, Organizational Skills

 
K. Bittick.jpg

Katie | M.Ed Reading, Writing, and Literacy, University of Pennsylvania

Katie is a certified English Language Arts teacher who studied English, Political Science, and
English Education at Boston University. After teaching 9th and 12th grade English, she attended the
University of Pennsylvania in 2013 and gained reading specialist training as part of her M.Ed. in Reading, Writing, and Literacy. She was a founding team member of a new middle school in Memphis, Tennessee and currently teaches 7th grade at the highest performing charter school network in Washington, D.C.

Offerings: Test Prep (SAT, ACT, SSAT), AP English Language, AP Literature, Essay Writing, Writing Competitions, College Essays, Organizational Skills

 

Want more information? Ready to get started?