University of Chicago Laboratory Schools: High School and Middle School Tutoring

High School & Middle School Tutoring

Specializing in High-Performance Strategies 

for Reading and Writing in the Humanities

at The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools

English, History, Humanities, all grades

Science through 9th grade Bio


When you are looking for a tutor for your son or daughter, you want to be sure the person you select is well qualified for the subject matter, but you are also looking for much more.

The person you select needs to genuinely relate to your child on a personal level and should be able to communicate honestly  and effectively--and yet with humor and compassion. You want someone your child will be glad to see time after time and come home feeling empowered to do the work.

I come from a family of teachers and have been a teacher all of my life. Teaching is in my bones and blood, in my smile and my laugh. The fact is, I love working with kids--and they like working with me too! That is something you can observe and decide for yourself in the interview I have with parents and students before we decide to work together. 

In the initial interview we spend about an hour talking together. I like to hear what the student’s interests are and share a bit of my own life. Then I want to hear what the student has to say about academic issues, needs and goals. We spend a little time one-on-one so we can begin to feel comfortable with each other. Then the family goes home for discussion. I do a follow-up call, and, if we decide to move forward, we create a plan and schedule that is agreeable to all. The reason for all this up-front care is to be sure we are all on the same page and feel good about working together.


Teaching and tutoring experience

And now we will talk about that expertise you are looking for. 

High school, communities and churches. I  began my professional career teaching high school language arts, speech and theatre. Over the years I have taught in a variety of settings in churches and communities. I was ordained to ministry and served for five years as an Associate Pastor in a Hyde Park congregation. Families and youth have always been at the center of my work.

Tutoring at UCLS since 2000. I have been tutoring at The University of Chicago Laboratory School since 2000. It has been my joy and fulfillment to see many students empowered with skills they will carry on into college and throughout their lives.

All abilities. I have boosted performance for kids with many types of learning disabilities and also for top performers who are headed for Harvard, Yale and other high-ranking schools. I work closely with counselors and other professionals to maximize benefits for each individual student. 

International students. I have worked very effectively in building reading and writing skills with international students or children of first generation immigrants.

Professional writer and researcher for twenty-five years. I worked as a professional writer in the corporate world for fourteen years. I have also written and published my own book entitled Rising UP!: My Recovery from Multiple Sclerosis, Disability and Despair, available on Amazon and in many digital formats. I have translated my writing experience into high-performance strategies for students in middle school and high school, with essay writing and research as my specialties. Many of my tutoring referrals come directly from UCLS English teachers with whom I have worked closely over the years. I have presented my essay writing approach as an in-service training for Lab School English teachers.

Author of ZoneReadingTM: I have developed an interactive, multi-sensory reading program that has proven to boost reading comprehension quickly and effectively across all informational reading disciplines. ZoneReading empowers students to become confident, independent readers, consistently helping boost test scores and overall grade points. I have presented ZoneReading as an inservice training for the UCLS English and History faculties. It is currently being used as a pilot reading program for a new UCLS high school history course for which I have been a consultant. ZoneReading is an integral part of my tutoring program and a key to the success I have had with so many students. Click here for more information.

SAT, PSAT, ACT Tutoring. Group tutoring programs for the College tests are good as an overview for many students, but they often don’t address the fundamental skills that cause repeated mistakes and lower scores. I work with individual students to analyze exactly what skills are lacking and attack the problems at their roots.  I work with overall strategies as well as the nitty gritties in order to significantly raise scores. 

Stress relief. I am a certified teacher of Tai Chi-Qigong, which I have practiced for fifteen years and which have been an important part of my life and my healing from serious disability.  I teach in hospitals, rehabilitation centers and community venues of various types. I incorporate principles of Tai Chi relaxation and stress relief into my tutoring when needed. I offer a program of stress relief strategies for students. Please see the following link:


The people listed below will provide references for my tutoring. Notice that I have often tutored more than one student in a family; I like to establish good, long-term relationships.

Dr. Kristi Kirschner (Sam and Will),

Jialing Xiang (Nora Lin), 

Ngo Bau Chau (Thanh Hien)

Amy Gelman (Stephen and Adam),

Mark Greenwald,

Dr. Diane Puklin, UCLS History Chair (retired),

Johnnie Cleaves (Matt),  312-222-3719 or 773-731-6543

Sharon Matlock-Mahoney (Sage and Breck), 773-268-4245

Maria Holmes (Michelle and Stephanie), 312-467-8505

Hank Webber and Chris Jacobs (Hannah),

Laura Skosey.

Bea Schutz (Mark),

Aasta Watson (Gregg),

Valerie Driscoll (Terry Kirk)

Valerie Harris (Vikki Bills),


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