We approach each and every student with empathy and compassion
(and a little bit of humor goes a long way, too!)
At Open Door Education, our commitment to you is two-fold: to provide exceptional enrichment and support, and cultivate a love for knowledge in your student. Our team of exceptional tutors helps each and every student who walks their strengths tap into their intellectual curiosity, build academic resilience and, ultimately, succeed in ways they never imaged.
At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA, Alec earned both his Bachelor’s of Science (2013) and his Master’s in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (2014). Driven by an implacable urge to learn, explore, communicate, and share knowledge with others, Alec offers a unique background and perspective as a tutor. He spent most of his childhood years growing up in Texas, lived abroad for a few years in France, completed high school in New Hampshire, and most recently graduated with undergraduate and graduate degrees from MIT. Alec has been playing an active role as an educator and tutor for the past several years, administering undergraduate and high school-level courses at MIT and tutoring individual students on (primarily) quantitative subjects: especially math, physics, and computer science. He also tutors SAT, ACT, and AP standardized testing material. Professionally he works in the high tech industry as an integrated circuit design engineer. Recreationally, Alec is an electronics hobbyist and an avid volunteer in his hometown. He enjoys listening to old-school hip-hop, and he cherishes New England winters.
Becca received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics, with a minor in English, from Scripps College, where she figured out that what she really loves is helping others to understand challenging academic concepts. She began as a copyeditor for community theater playbills at the age of 8 (who let her do that?) and gradually switched to editing. Before, during, and after college, she worked as a math tutor, as well as unofficially acting as peer mentor for many of her classes. She worked at a literary agency where she found great satisfaction in helping authors develop their novels and writing styles. Becca loves being able to connect with students and help them build a sturdy foundation for learning and problem-solving. She’s a big believer in the importance of learning from experiences and treating mistakes as opportunities for growth. She prioritizes helping students feel comfortable and confident in their own skills, which she finds is especially important in competitive school districts like Acton-Boxborough, where she grew up.
Outside of work, Becca can be found reading. Her favorites are sci-fi and fantasy but if it’s funny, she’ll read it. She also loves making music, baking, and dog sitting for a local guide dog organization.
Brian Mernoff is a passionate life-long learner and teacher who first started teaching swimming at the age of 14 and has since taught a wide range of subjects and skills. He was a high school chemistry teacher and has instructed middle and high school math. At the MIT Museum, Brian served as the Manager for Science Education. Brian obtained an M.S. in chemistry from Tufts and a B.S. and teaching certifications in chemistry and math from Westfield State University.
Brian takes a skills-based approach to teaching, connecting content with student interests to develop transferable skills and tools that students can bring to new problems and other subjects. He works with students using physical models, simulations, and other modalities to help them understand core concepts, which prepare them to engage with more complex ideas.
Over the years he has become proficient at 3D modeling, 3D printing, laser cutting, astrophotography, archery, mountain biking, and puzzle box and board game design.
Cathy has over 20 years of experience teaching mathematics in private school settings and privately tutoring mathematics at both the high school and the middle school levels. Cathy has had success teaching math to students with a wide range of learning styles. She has worked extensively with students with a variety of learning differences, including but not limited to: ADHD, dyslexia, executive functioning struggles, and dyscalculia. She loves to work with students one-on-one to help support their academic growth. Cathy believes that everyone can achieve success in mathematics with the right speed of instruction, quality of practice, and personalized support. Her favorite moment as a tutor is when she begins to see her students change their beliefs about themselves as math learners. Success then breeds more success, and it is a joy to be a part of this process!
Cathy earned her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from The University of Vermont as well as her Teacher Certification. She has two adult children. She raised them on Harry Potter, nature walks, and Broadway musicals and is very proud of the intelligent, confident adults they have become. Cathy’s hobbies include gardening, yoga, swimming, and walks in the woods. Cathy and her wife enjoy travel, trips to the ocean, and completing 1000-piece puzzles on rainy days.
David’s B.S. in Biology came from Brandeis University in 2016, where he participated in exciting research at the Sengupta Lab as an undergraduate. During his time at Brandeis, David found gratification in helping classmates prepare for exams and has translated that into guiding students past academic hurdles at Open Door Education. David placed 1st in the 2011 Massachusetts Science & Engineering Fair, and he enjoys sharing his experience and ideas with students interested in competing in the yearly Science Fair.
Professionally David works as a consultant in genomics and precision medicine and has previously worked in China for a year. When he’s not working, David is passionate about skiing, traveling to new countries, and experiencing new cultures. He is fluent in Chinese and enjoys the challenge of gaining fluency in new languages.
Don still wonders how he became a Classics major at the University of Pennsylvania. He’s even more surprised that he then had the opportunity to teach Latin to underserved students in Philadelphia — in an innovative program that increased students’ reading scores through the study of “classical root” words and grammar. Since that time he has tutored and advised international students trying to get into American universities, and mentored freshman students at Harvard University. He also managed academic programs at Harvard Business School for a dozen years. Don’s graduate degrees are a Master’s in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts, and an MBA from Boston University.
In his spare time, he is a tennis addict and a collector/fan of 60s vinyl. He and his wife, Laraine, have ushered three kids through the Acton school system, and well understand the many challenges of a highly competitive school systems. Their children have left them with Leo, a sixteen-year-old Cairn Terrier who is a dead-ringer for Toto. In addition to tutoring and competing with Leo for the choicest foods, Don also writes and edits strategic plans for nonprofits.
Ellen is enthusiastically supportive of a wide variety of learning styles. Her educational experience encompasses public and private settings and students of many ages and backgrounds. She has earned a master’s in Integrated Day Education from Antioch New England Graduate School, and a second master’s from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Ellen is licensed as a teacher and administrator in Massachusetts and prefers to spend her time working face-to-face with individual students.
She leverages knowledge of neurology, organization, technology, special education, and long-term educational outcomes to support students with atypical learning styles. Her tutoring partner has four legs and meows.
Ellen values self-reflection and challenges her own learning in such diverse areas as enigmatology, mycology, costume, international and historic dance, and local history. Becoming a grandmother has confirmed Ellen’s certainty that all children are special.
With over 10 years of experience as a program manager, academic director and tutor/instructor, Fareed has a deep passion for student advocacy. He began teaching while attending Wesleyan University in Connecticut, where he earned his B.A., and never looked back. After graduating, he moved to NYC creating and managing several test prep programs at top-rated schools and nonprofit organizations serving students from under-resourced communities. Through his experience, he has come to understand all the many elements that must come together for a student to thrive – and learned how to meet students where they are. Utilizing a holistic approach, Fareed is an empathetic and patient educator that provides rigorous academic plans to meet the goals of students and families.
In addition to being an educator, Fareed is a music lover, songwriter and producer. Currently, Fareed lives in Detroit, Michigan and enjoys his new hobby of skiing.
Jazz graduated as the only Sikh student in her class at Harvard College. She began tutoring as a way to make education more accessible for her local community of underserved black and brown students and immigrants in L.A. Being a filmmaker and storyteller allows her to be innovative and adjust to how each student learns, responds to stress, and thinks about their education. She prioritizes not only teaching educational content but foundational skills like stress management, creative problem solving, goal setting, and articulating needs.
When Jazz is not teaching, she enjoys playing volleyball, roller skating, deconstructing movie scenes, cooking Punjabi dishes, and spending time with her siblings.
Jennifer graduated from Bennington College with a degree in drama. She found that her interest in creative problem-solving and collaboration was a perfect fit for the realm of education. She spent six years working in the special education and guidance departments at Concord-Carlisle High School while finishing her MA in school counseling through Lesley University, and she is now a school counselor at Bedford High School.
Her work supporting students at Bedford and CCHS has made Jennifer adept at crafting interventions specific to each student; she is keen on tailoring an approach based on a student’s past history and current needs, but sessions with her will typically included motivational coaching, an in-depth assessment and subsequent adjustment of study habits and skills, and conversations about how to introduce sustainable strategies for maintaining academic performance and confidence.
In addition to being a long-distance runner and an avid baker, Jennifer also holds an MFA from The Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and her first collection of poetry was published in 2023.
Jeremy has been a professional freelance tutor for the past 7 years, and has extensive experience with test prep as well as all things under the STEM umbrella. Jeremy earned his Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Florida. He tutors all levels of algebra, calculus, physics, geometry, and trigonometry. Jeremy understands the importance of communication and organization – he will work with you and your child every step of the way to create a comprehensive plan of action.
Jeremy participated in Mu Alpha Theta (Math Team) in high school and frequently attended math competitions. He was also the president of his debate team and competed on the National Debate circuit. Outside of school, Jeremy founded a startup company designing and manufacturing 3D printed bionic prosthetic upper extremity limbs for amputees. In his free time, he loves to ski, camp, and hike. To sum up Jeremy as a tutor – he is passionate, direct, engaging, realistic, and tenacious.
Leann discovered her passion for education in high school through peer-to-peer tutoring programs and Best Buddies. She worked for several years as a subject tutor at Wake Forest University, where she graduated in 2013 with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Spanish. Since graduation, Leann has been a zookeeper, rescued abandoned sea turtles, and worked as an educator at the New England Aquarium. She began working at Open Door Education in September 2014. Her experiences have taught her that life is not a linear path, and she uses that knowledge to reassure anxious students.
In her free time, she enjoys making pottery, crocheting, listening to podcasts, reading science fiction novels, and volunteering at Stone Zoo.
After graduating from Columbia University in 2009, Maurice began providing ACT and SAT tutoring for a test prep agency in Greenwich, Connecticut. This experience included both one-on-one and group tutoring, both in-person and online. Once his students started to succeed with these exams, he began receiving requests from parents to tutor their younger students for the ISEE, SSAT, and SHSAT, as well as their older students for the GRE and GMAT. Maurice enjoys the process of helping a student gain confidence through structure and discipline while helping them work towards their goals.
Maurice is firm but fair with his students. As a former student-athlete who also used to run his own businesses, he understands the challenges inherent in busy schedules and student responsibilities. Maurice does not believe in excuses, and he works to support students with an emphasis on organization, scheduling, consistency, and resolve. By doing so early on, students trust him and commit to the work habits required to become successful.
Mike grew up near Pittsburgh. Visits as a boy to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History fostered a lifelong love of learning. His family moved to Panama where he spent his high school years SCUBA diving, racing cayucos through the Panama Canal, and hiking across the Isthmus on the Camino Real. Mike graduated from Dartmouth College, majoring in government. He then worked as a police officer. Later, he earned a JD from the University of Maine School of Law and, after a stint as a judicial law clerk to the New Hampshire Superior Court and a trial attorney with the Department of Justice, spent 22 years as a trial lawyer litigating cases throughout New England.
Having passed four bar exams, Mike understands the stress of high-stakes test taking. He mentored many young lawyers and for years coached youth sports. Mike enjoyed doing so, discovered he was a good teacher, and found great satisfaction in helping others. A former licensed history teacher, Mike has worked with several local school districts. He is certified to teach English as a foreign language through TEFL. He is an award-winning thriller writer. In his spare time, Mike enjoys biking, history, reading, movies, and hanging with Smudge, his rescue dog. He also loves spending time with his wife and daughter.
Philip earned his Bachelor’s of Science in Chemical Engineering at MIT and subsequently began his teaching career in public schools around the Greater Boston area. His passion for education was instilled through taking classes taught by incredible professors and mentors as well as participating in MIT’s Educational Studies Program, where undergraduate students teach classes to middle and high school students. His philosophy revolves around the belief that every student possesses unique strengths and learning styles, and one-on-one tutoring most effectively taps into those individual qualities to facilitate optimal learning. He strives to create a positive learning environment that encourages students to feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and actively engaging with challenging content. As such, Philip is a patient and supportive tutor who takes the time to tailor his teaching approach to the specific needs of each student. He hopes to impart grit, confidence, and a love for lifelong learning to his students. He has since transitioned out of classroom teaching to work in the biotech industry. Outside of work, Philip can be found making digital art in the form of postcards, running to enjoy nature or to train for a marathon, and, on occasion, figure skating.
Piper graduated from Merrimack College with a B.A. in Mathematics and minors in Music and Women’s & Gender Studies. During her time at Merrimack, she discovered her passion for tutoring at the math center where she worked with a wide variety of walk-in students. By the end of her undergraduate studies, she was assisting the Director in leading peer tutor training and making sure the center ran efficiently during unpredictable times. Piper has helped students succeed in math subjects from pre-algebra to AP calculus, and she believes that effective tutoring involves adapting to a student’s specific learning needs through communication and collaboration in order to facilitate a solid understanding of concepts and application.
When she isn’t tutoring, Piper enjoys learning about music and playing just about anything on the many instruments she has taught herself. She has also enjoyed teaching herself various coding languages to support some of her many other hobbies. She loves spending time with friends both online and in person and enjoys taking walks with her Yorkshire Terrier, Lila.
Sam is a current medical student at the Duke University School of Medicine. She graduated from Harvard College with an AB in neuroscience on the mind, brain, and behavior track and a secondary in the studies of women, gender, and sexuality. She discovered her love for education through coordinating an after-school program for immigrant children and tutoring her peers. She continued to work in education during her gap years before medical school as a learning strategist, where she provided tutoring and academic support to first-gen, low-income students. In addition to tutoring, she was a mentor to first-year students and incarcerated youth while in college. She views education as a tool for social change, which is why she is excited to continue her tutoring career at Open Door Education. As a future physician, she hopes to use what she learned in her time as a tutor to educate her patients on their health and well-being.
In her free time, Sam loves to travel, listen to music and podcasts, and go for nature walks, especially with her family and friends.
Tom’s first experience with one-on-one education came through an informal language exchange program in Berlin, Germany, where he lived for parts of 2007 and 2009. For one hour, Tom would teach his partner English, and for the next hour, Tom’s partner would teach him German. It was like platonic speed dating for polyglots, and Tom enjoyed the experience. When Tom returned stateside in late 2009, now fully confident in his language skills, he decided to tutor German to students in the Boston area, and thus blossomed his tutoring prowess, which now includes the ISEE, SSAT, SAT, ACT, and GRE.
Tom studied Political Science and German at the University of Rhode Island, where he earned his BA in 2008. Tom also competed as a Division-1 track and field athlete in the long and triple jump. Since he suspects the reader is wondering, the answer is “yes:” Tom was indeed able to dunk a basketball on a regulation rim. For several years, Tom worked in environmental policy, and in 2012 he completed a Masters of Environmental Management at Duke University, with a concentration in Environmental and Resource Economics.
When Tom is not at Open Door, he pursues snowboarding, patronizes Chipotle, visits family and friends, and travels the US and abroad.
Travis Minor founded Open Door Education in 2011 with the goal of building a smart, compassionate business that helps students to navigate academic challenges on the path to higher education.
Travis, who earned his B.S. in Secondary Education at the University of Vermont and his M.Ed. at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, began his teaching career in West Philadelphia, where he became acutely aware of the profound impact of enthusiastic, rigorous tutoring. He saw how one-on-one tutoring could teach content efficiently and effectively, but that it could also provide so much more, from mentorship to organization to a deeper understanding of what it truly means to be a conscientious student. As a 2005 graduate of Concord-Carlisle High School, Travis understands the pressures and challenges facing students attending competitive high schools, and he also knows the life-long benefits of learning to rise to overcome these obstacles through patience, grit, and a willingness to ask for help (something he is still working on). He is excited to continue to promote access to education for all students and to share his love of devious geometry questions. When he’s not at Open Door, Travis loves learning new things (ask him about podcasts!), playing basketball, running, mowing the lawn, and going on adventures with his amazing wife Rebecca and his best friend Dewey, a Bernese Mountain Dog.
William obtained a B.A. in Biology from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). He conducted bioinformatics research at the Barnholtz-Sloan Lab throughout his undergraduate career and greatly contributed towards two publications about gliomablastoma (brain tumor) informatics research. During his time at CWRU, William found it rewarding to help other students achieve their academic goals and to see them advance in their various career paths. This enthusiasm for helping others has transferred into helping students succeed at Open Door Education. Additionally, William graduated from Acton-Boxborough Regional High School (ABRHS), so he has been through the ABRHS life and can understand the current students’ perspectives.
In his free time, William loves to play basketball, spend time with family and friends, and go hiking on nature trails.