English & Social Studies

Sara Berliner

Social Studies (6 – 12), Executive Functioning & Skills Management, English (6-12), Writing (6-12), & Reading (6-12)

Sara Berliner graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology & Anthropology from Goucher College in 2005. A member of the International Scholars’ Program, Sara studied aboriginal culture in Australia at the University of New South Wales. Her passion for exploring the world around her, while serving others, led her to Propel Charter Schools as a member of Americorps and later as a paraprofessional, where she worked with students from grades 5 and 6 with learning challenges. Sara’s passion for education allowed her to cross the curriculum from math to reading, but history was her passion. She graduated from Chatham University with a Master’s of Arts in Teaching, focusing on Secondary Social Studies, in 2012.
Since this time, Sara has worked with students in grades seven through twelve at Propel Charter Schools. She redesigned the American History curriculum for Propel East, and has taught humanities, world history, and English courses along the way. As a tutor, Sara’s passion for history helps her to bring the narrative to life, while her extensive intervention history allows her to teach her students skills that are important to develop to become independent learners.

Locations: City, Fox Chapel

Kanika Bhandari

Executive Functioning & Skills Management, English (6-12), Writing (6-12), & Reading (6-12)

Kanika Bhandari completed her BA in English Literature and Public Policy & Global Affairs from Nanyang Technological University in her hometown of Singapore. While pursuing her BA, Kanika came to realise her passion for teaching, learning and writing. She served as a Communication Coach at NTU and also privately tutored junior high school and high school students in English, Writing and Literature. Kanika came to Pittsburgh in 2016 to pursue her Master of Arts in Literary and Cultural Studies from Carnegie Mellon University, where she also continued tutoring as a Writing Consultant at the Global Communication Center. She believes that the best ideas are those that are most clearly presented and thought out, and enjoys helping students better express themselves, and better understand and interact with the world around them.

Locations: Fox Chapel, City

Tara Brooks, BA/BA

Executive Functioning & Skills Management, English (6-12), Writing (6-12), & Reading (6-12), & College Counseling

Tara Brooks graduated from California State University San Bernardino in 2005 with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in English and a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Social Science. She continued her education at Chapman University where she earned her teaching credential and developed her philosophy of student centered education. While working on her teaching credential, she was offered a full time teaching position by Victor Valley Union High School district in Victorville California. As an English teacher in the VVUHSD, she taught classes at both the middle school and high school level. She has worked with a wide range of students from those who were below grade level and/or had learning disorders to those who worked above grade level and pursued Advanced Placement classes. In 2014 she left her position with VVUHSD to move to Pittsburgh and pursed new areas related to education as an essay rater for Educational Testing Services and as an English teacher for Global Lt.

Locations: Fox Chapel, City

Certifications: Secondary English (7 – 12)

Abigail Meinen

English (6 – 10), Reading (6 – 10), Writing (6 – 10), History (6-10)

Abigail Meinen earned a Bachelors of Arts from the University of Pittsburgh in the spring of 2018, majoring in English writing with a concentration in poetry, and completed research in gender and religious studies. While studying at Pitt, they worked in the Academic Support Center for Student-Athletes as a tutor in psychology, Spanish, philosophy, and history. They then joined the graduate staff as a writing tutor, working with students on both research-oriented and creative writing projects. In 2016, they began teaching with the Alliance for Refugee Youth in Pittsburgh, serving young English language learners through a creative arts-based curriculum. Abigail is fascinated by the ways that language shapes the world and enjoys studying Spanish and Arabic in addition to English. They are a recipient of the Vira Heinz Scholarship for Women in Global Leadership (2015) and the Poetry Foundation Emerging Poets Fellowship (2017). They currently work as the editor of Sampsonia Way Magazine, a literary publication dedicated to the work of exiled and persecuted writers worldwide. Abigail believes deeply in the brilliance of each student and is committed to helping students tell their stories and explore their passions through writing and the humanities.

Locations: Fox Chapel, City

Laura Mullican, MA, BA

English (6 – 10), Reading (6 – 10), Writing (6 – 10), Test Preparation

Laura received a Bachelor of Arts in 2007 from St. Vincent College, where she majored in English and minored in history and secondary education. She then taught middle school English in Western PA for two years before moving to Milwaukee to obtain a Master of Arts in English literature from Marquette University. While at Marquette, Laura taught Rhetoric and Composition I and II for two years. Teaching college freshmen, though invaluable professionally, confirmed for Laura that her true passion was teaching at the secondary level. In 2011, Laura returned to Pittsburgh and has been teaching middle and high school English in Gibsonia for the past five years. She currently teaches 6th-8th grade English, grammar, and study skills classes and 10th grade American Literature. Laura looks forward to strengthening students’ reading and writing skills and contributing to their academic success.

Teaching Certifications: Secondary English (7 – 12); Mid-Level Math (4 – 8)

Locations: Fox Chapel

Miriam Wertheimer, MAT, BA (Director of Curriculum & Programming)

Writing (6 – 10), Reading (6 – 10), Organizational Management/ELA (6 – 10)

Mimi Wertheimer graduated from University of Rochester in Rochester, New York with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Health and a double minor in Medical Anthropology and Psychology. After completing her Bachelor’s Degree, Mimi returned home to Pittsburgh to attend Chatham University where she earned a Master of Arts in Teaching and Pennsylvania teacher certificate in Elementary Education: K-6. Mimi completed her student teaching at Propel McKeesport in Kindergarten and spent three years teaching 6th grade English Language Arts at Propel Pitcairn. While at Propel, Mimi developed curriculum for 6th grade ELA and Social Studies, based on data from PSSA assessments. Mimi is currently a lead teacher and supervisor in the pre-kindergarten program at Carriage House Children’s Center.

Mimi serves as KEFTutoring’s Director of Curriculum and Planning, a role that taps into her broad base of knowledge, ranging from organizational management to elementary mathematics to post-secondary research and analysis. Incorporating her knowledge of curriculum design with student-centered teaching practices, she works with our Chief Educational Strategist and tutors to ensure that our programs remained focused on student achievement.

Locations: City, Fox Chapel

Pennsylvania Teaching Certification: Instructional I (Elementary K – 6)

Naomi Purnell, MA (exp. 2019), BA

English (6 – 12), Mathematics (4 – 12), Test Preparation (SAT/ACT), Study Skills (4 – 12)

Naomi Purnell graduated from Pepperdine University in 2016 with a Bachelor’s of Arts, with additional course completion from the Studio Arts Center International in Florence, Italy. She is currently pursuing her Master’s of Arts degree at Regis University where she studies Art Theory as a form of interpersonal communication.

She has worked extensively with the Urban Impact Foundation, a local non-profit, as a lead classroom teacher of math and literacy during the summer months. After graduating from Pepperdine, Naomi moved to Hangzhou, China to teach English at a vocational college. Even though she taught over 400 students, she implemented individualized learning strategies within the classroom and devoted time outside of
class to tutoring students in small groups. Naomi teaches with a student centered focus, working on skill development through content area and test preparation.

Locations: City, Fox Chapel

Scott Gloden, MPP , BA

English (7-12), Writing (7-12), Reading (7-12), & Test Preparation (AP English and Literature & SAT Verbal/ACT  Full)

Scott Gloden graduated from Ithaca College in 2010 with a Bachelor’s of Arts, and is presently completing his Master’s in Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University. Between completing his undergraduate degree and pursuing his graduate studies, he worked as a College Access Counselor in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Through this AmeriCorps program, Scott facilitated evening and weekend ACT Preparation courses for small groups and individual students. Subsequently, Scott worked as an editorial associate at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Both of these positions were supplemented by providing literacy prep and development writing for a number of secondary schools in Ohio, New York, and Louisiana. His current public policy studies have a specialized concentration on education policy design.



  • Next ACT Exam Date

    Second Semester ACT #1February 10th, 2018
    Good luck today!
  • Next SAT Exam Date

    Second Semester SAT #1March 2nd, 2018
    Good luck today!
  • Did you know?

    KEFTutoring offers college counseling services for students in 11th and 12th grades, and educational consulting services for school planning for students in grades K – 12!

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