S. Devlin

Test Prep & Academic Tutor

I majored in both English and Theater at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. I greatly enjoyed the classes which involved directing and teaching because the goal was always bringing out the best in others. It did not take me long to realize that achieving something as a team is far more rewarding than accomplishing something alone. I began to develop a holistic approach to teaching, focusing not only on effectively communicating the subject matter but also on understanding the concerns, goals, and skills of the students.

Wanting to further my creative and academic pursuits, I moved to San Diego and earned an MBA degree at John Paul the Great Catholic University. There, I worked as the director of the university’s writing center, helping many students pass the writing proficiency exam. Because the work was so gratifying, I stayed there part-time while also gaining experience in fields such as marketing, teaching, and film-making.

As a tutor, I greatly enjoy helping students prepare for standardized tests, such as the SAT, ACT, ISEE, SSAT, and HSPT. The introduction to standardized testing is a great time to build confidence and skills that will pay off down the road for all of my students. Many students begin the process intimidated by the prospect of a multi-hour comprehensive exam, but, with practice and coaching, they soon realize that much of the content they already know, and it’s just a matter of becoming familiar with the format and idiosyncrasies of the exam.

I was attracted to AJ because of its emphasis on 1-on-1 learning, which I’ve found to be effective in identifying and working on an individual student’s strengths and weaknesses. As someone who distinctly remembers the frustration of tackling difficult subjects, I am particularly adept at encouraging students to conquer their fears, allowing them to patiently take on previously intimidating projects. Tutoring others in their writing skills is particularly meaningful because it enables students to showcase their thoughts and perspectives in the best possible light. This does not simply improve their grades: it also gives them the confidence to take on other challenges.

It is a joy to be back in my hometown of Los Gatos, where I can venture on outdoor excursions with my family and occasionally attempt to cook (emphasis on attempt). I continue to work in pre-production, analysing novels and scripts and letting producers know which works have the potential to become great films. I also enjoy traveling and coming home to a good book!

Subjects Tutored

Interview Prep
ISEE, HSPT, SSAT, and Writing Sample
Academic English
Academic US History
Academic Algebra 1
Academic Geometry
Academic Study Skills
Academic K-8
AP English Language and Composition
AP English Literature and Composition
AP US History

Offices Served



Happy parents and students

 I really loved how friendly my tutor was! She loved teaching me and always had a super positive attitude. It was honestly fun coming in.  Read what others are saying

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