CHRISTOPHER HAMILTON, President and CEO
Mr. Hamilton began his love of teaching at UCLA, where he pursued his graduate education in English Literature. He received numerous awards as an Instructor in English Literature, teaching classes that varied from Introduction to Literature to Seminars on Crime Fiction and Philosophy. Mr. Hamilton has worked with thousands of families and assisted more than 30 students in achieving perfect 2400 scores. Mr. Hamilton has also helped countless students reach their academic dreams of admission to Harvard, Yale, Stanford, the UCs, and other top-tier universities. Mr. Hamilton serves on the San Diego Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, is a member of San Diego’s University Club, and works with literally thousands of students and families to help them reach their educational goals.
ANDREW CHUNG, Executive Vice President
Mr. Chung received a Bachelor's degree in Marketing with an International emphasis from the University of Kentucky. He studied Spanish Language at Middlebury College before moving on to Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea where he received a Master's Degree in International Cooperation with a focus on North East Asia. Mr. Chung has been working with San Diego students since 2008. With his vast knowledge in mathematics and his passion and talent for teaching, he very quickly assumed the role as the head of the Math department at both Elite of San Diego and Rancho Bernardo. His skills and expertise also include, but are not limited to, academic counseling for students in 5th through 12th grade and college counseling.
Mr. Hagen graduated from Princeton University and received a Master's Degree from UCLA in English Literature. He has taught English Literature and Grammar at select Universities in Southern California, including UCLA and Mount St. Mary's, where he authored a textbook on linguistics for teachers. For over twelve years Mr. Hagen has worked in curriculum development, creating test prep and educational materials. Mr. Hagen has extensive skills with statistical assessment, curriculum development, and test editing and creation. Mr. Hagen is also a talented instructor who in his former role has trained hundreds of top SAT instructors.
Summa's Teachers and Staff
CRAIG AGULE, Critical Reading
Craig received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Virginia. After practicing as a corporate litigator for more than half a decade, he left corporate life to pursue a career in philosophy, first at University College London and now at UC San Diego, where he is working on his doctorate in moral and legal philosophy. He is also an instructor in the Revelle College Humanities writing program and in the UCSD Department of Philosophy.
BRYAN ANDERSON, Mathematics
Bryan is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara. He earned his B.A. in Mathematics, Secondary Math Credential, and Masters in Education. He is currently Co-Department Chair at San Dieguito Academy and has been teaching courses ranging from Algebra I through AP Calculus A/B for 12 years.
Michelle Anderson is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara, where she earned her B.A., Secondary Math Credential, and Masters in Education. She is currently Department Chair at La Costa Canyon High School and is teaching AP Calculus BC and Honors Precalculus. Michelle will be completing her 12th year in the San Dieguito School District since moving to San Diego in 2000. She is passionate about math and enjoys sharing her excitement with her students.
CORIE BALES, Critical Reading
Corie received Bachelor’s degrees in English with an emphasis in poetry and Psychology at UC Irvine. She continued her studies at UCI to earn a Master’s degree in Teaching with credentials in English and Psychology. She worked with high school students in Orange County before moving back to her hometown, San Diego. Upon her return, she taught for a year at the middle school from which she graduated. Now, she spends her days with international students who travel to the United States to learn English. She has worked as a Critical Reading in SAT teacher and Book Club/PSAT teacher three and a half years.
LOUISE BECKER, Reading and Writing Specialist
Louise is an English instructor with many years of experience teaching all areas of language arts. She has an impeccable reputation in the Carmel Valley community where she is well known for her dedication to students and her many successes with students. She was the head of the English department and Principal of the San Diego Jewish Academy for many years. She serves as a curriculum consultant and reading specialist to several independent schools in the area. She is also a reading specialist and works with a wide range of students – English language learners to gifted students. She creates an accelerated challenging curriculum providing all of the skills needed for success in high school and has taught with Mr. Hamilton for several years. Her degrees include an M.Ed. with a reading specialty and M.A. in Literature.
LORI BRICKLEY, AP Biology
Lori began her teaching career in September of 1981, which means that she has been teaching for more than 30 years! She received the honor of being named the San Diego County Teacher of the Year. She has also received the 10 News Leadership Award for implementing an Alternative program for at-risk youth and the Children’s Hospitals’ “Champion for Children” Award. Lori taught AP Biology for 8 years and has a 98% pass rate and 70% of her students have received a “5” on the exam. She has taken a group of students on an Outward Bound trip through the rainforest of Costa Rica. Lori teaches kids to believe in themselves and search for their gifts, which many times lie hidden inside until an opportunity (like carrying a classmate up a mountain) presents itself. She tries and provides as many of those diverse opportunities as she can. “I love my job and my students every year, every day, every moment! They teach me so much…”
ANNIE CHARTRAND, Critical Reading and Writing
Annie is a talented senior critical reading and writing instructor who received her B.A. in Psychology with Provost’s Honors at UC San Diego. She has been teaching classes and tutoring one-on-one for the SAT since 2004, working for companies such as Ivy West and Elite Educational Institute before joining Summa. Annie has taught reading and writing skills to elementary and junior high school book club classes, as well as extracurricular enrichment tutoring for high school students. In addition, Annie has taught the verbal sections of such standardized tests as the ISEE, PSAT, ACT, and SAT II Literature, as well as worked with college-bound seniors in the college application workshops.
SARAH COCITA, Critical Reading
Sarah has known she would be a teacher since her first classroom experience when she was 5. She pursued her education at Loyola Marymount University where she earned her Bachelor's degrees in English Literature and Spanish in 2005. She then did a summer abroad in Salamanca, Spain where she studied Spanish literature and art. She began working with high school students immediately after while continuing her study of English language and literature and earning a teaching credential at CSUSM. In the past seven years, Sarah has worked with all levels of students all over San Diego county. She teaches high school full-time and has taught Critical Reading and PSAT Book Camp. In her free time, Sarah enjoys reading (of course) and traveling as much as possible. She recently attended a literary conference in St. Andrews, Scotland where she presented a paper on dystopia. She will return to the UK in 2013 to pursue a Master's degree in English Literature at University College London.
TOM CORRINGHAM, Mathematics and Economics
Tom is a Ph.D. candidate in Economics at UC San Diego, whose research interests include environmental economics and applied climate science. During his graduate studies, Tom was a National Science Foundation's graduate fellow at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography's Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, and a researcher at the SIO Climate Research Division. Tom received his B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Oxford (Balliol College), and is a graduate of Torrey Pines High School (class of 1996), where he was a National Merit Scholar, with perfect scores on both the PSAT and the SAT.
BRIAN DEVINE, Mathematics
Brian has been providing tutoring and enrichment in mathematics and the Sciences for close to 30 years. Brian's undergraduate work at the University of San Diego and Louisiana State University focused on Biochemistry. His Master's work at San Diego State University shifted to Applied Mathematics and then to Mathematics Education while studying in the joint Doctoral program initiated at the Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education at SDSU with UCSD. He is a reporting member of PMENA and the NCTM and maintains a research emphasis on Syntactic-Semantic Transference, investigating the alternate heuristic paths students take when solving multiconceptual word problems. Brian has coached many students to perfect score performance on SAT, ACT and Calculus A/B exams, and is currently a credentialed Mathematics teacher in the Grossmont Union High School District, working with Honors, AP and International Baccalaureate students.
SARAH DYER, Mathematics
Sarah graduated from the University of California, San Diego in 2008 with a B.A. in Mathematics. She will complete a M.S. in Statistics at San Diego State University this spring. Sarah has extensive experience tutoring students in middle school through college level math. In addition to years of private tutoring, she taught various mathematics courses for three and a half years before joining Summa Education’s mathematics faculty. She has also worked as a Calculus teaching associate at San Diego State University for the last two years and has had the opportunity to be the lecturer for SDSU's pre-calculus course. She is passionate about teaching mathematics and loves working with students to create educational plans so they can reach their goals.
CHARLENE ENGLE, Writing
Charlene pursued her undergraduate degree at Tufts University in Boston, with time abroad studying at Kanazawa University in Japan. She is currently at the UC Irvine Political Science Ph.D. program and has taught subjects there including Political Science, Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, and Upper Division Writing. She began teaching Grammar/Writing in 2008 and is one of Summa's most experienced instructors for the college application workshops and is an engaging and inspiring writing teacher.
KATIE FANKHAUSER, Mathematics
Katie graduated Cum Laude from Concordia University, Irvine, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics with an emphasis in education. She continued her studies at Concordia University where she went on to earn her credentials for teaching. Katie has a strong background in teaching high school and middle school level mathematics from her experiences with teaching for the Poway Unified School District, for other test prep companies, and for Summa.
JASON FLESOCK, AP Chemistry and Subject Chemistry
Jason is a graduate from UC San Diego, where he received a B.S. in Chemical Education and a M.Ed. in Secondary Education. He is a teacher at The Preuss School UCSD, a highly-acclaimed secondary school that has recently been recognized as the "Top Transformative School" in the nation. There, he teaches AP Chemistry, Advanced Chemistry, and Physical Science. He also has experience with SAT/ACT test preparation as well as college advising. His passion for teaching and helping students discover their potential helps drive him to be the best educator he can be!
JOSEPH HYUN, Mathematics
Joseph graduated from UCSD with a B.A. in Mathematics-Computer Science in 2005 and earned his M. Ed. and teaching credential in secondary mathematics the following year. He has taught math at Morse High School for the past seven years and is currently teaching AP Calculus A/B and Geometry. Joseph is passionate about working with students of all ability levels and helping them reach their fullest potential as mathematical thinkers. He has a love for tutoring and also serves as Academic League coach at Morse. Joseph was recently admitted to the Noyce Master Teacher Fellowship for Mathematics at UCSD and was awarded a scholarship for his innovative practice in the classroom.
DAVID KADANOFF, Writing
David is Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the UC San Diego. He has a Master’s degree in sociology from UCSD and a Bachelor’s degree in sociology from Emory University. David is a published academic author whose current research examines the social construction of users in product design and development. He has received a number of university grants and awards for his research and has been accepted to present his work at some of the nation’s most prominent sociological conferences. David began teaching at UCSD in 2006 and has since taught for both the UCSD Department of Sociology and the UCSD Warren College Writing program. Since 2007, David has also taught SAT Writing classes and provided one-on-one college application counseling to some of the nation’s highest achieving students. David has been honored for his teaching with a university teaching fellowship and a distinguished teaching award. He is an experienced admissions essay consultant and senior Writing instructor at Summa.
ESTHER KANG, Writing
Esther graduated from Johns Hopkins University, where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health and Natural Sciences and a Master’s of Health Science Degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She moved onto Stanford University where she received her Master’s of Education. She not only has years of experience teaching in the field of SAT preparation at companies such as Kaplan Education and Elite Educational Institute, but she also has a strong background in teaching general science and chemistry at high schools such as Fremont High School and Valhalla High School.
ADAM LEWIS, Literature and Critical Reading
Adam received his B.A. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota and recently completed his doctorate in Literature at UC San Diego. His graduate research focused on nineteenth-century American literature. He has over six years of experience teaching college composition and has also designed and taught upper-division American literature courses at UCSD. Adam spent two years working in an elementary school back in Minnesota. In addition to sharing his excitement for literature and history with students, Adam spends a lot of time outside of the classroom on his bicycle or hiking in the nearby mountains and desert. Adam teaches SAT Critical Reading and English Literature at Summa, and will be leaving us in the fall to begin teaching at UPenn!
ADAM LOWENSTEIN, Literature and Critical Reading
Dr. Lowenstein spent most of the last 12 years at UCLA, first as an undergrad (BA, English, 2002), then as a graduate student (PhD, English, 2011), and most recently as a full-time Lecturer in English. While at UCLA, Dr. Lowenstein taught a variety of literature courses and seminars, including Shakespeare, contemporary American fiction, Modernist fiction and poetry, and critical thinking and writing. Since 2004, he has also helped countless students refine their critical reading and writing skills in preparation for the SAT and ACT exams, in addition to offering his expertise to high school seniors as they navigate the college admissions process. In 2012, Dr. Lowenstein came to Summa, inspired by the company's mission to help students from all backgrounds achieve their intellectual and professional goals while instilling a love of the written word.
STEPHEN PARK, Mathematics
Stephen is a graduate of UC San Diego with a B.S. in General Biology. He attended the UCSD School of Medicine for a year and a half but decided to pursue a different career path. Having taught junior high and high school students at his church for many years, Stephen finds great joy in teaching and mentoring students. Stephen has taught various math subjects for years, Stephen has now joined Summa as one of our most popular and experienced math instructors.
ERIC PETERSON, Literature and Critical Reading
Eric graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of California, Berkeley, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in English. After teaching SAT and ACT for several years, he went on to further his studies in English at the University of Chicago where he obtained his Master’s degree in 2008. Eric has experience teaching AP English and standard English classes for the San Diego Unified School District as well as the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts. He is currently a teacher at the Pacific Ridge School where he teaches English to high school and middle school students. Eric is a senior Critical Reading instructor at Summa.
JOE SALAMON, AP Physics and Subject Physics
Joe graduated with honors in Physics from Caltech, where he served as an undergraduate tutor and TA in the Physics Department. While at Caltech he also served as a RISE tutor, helping high school students in the Pasadena Unified School District. He is currently teaching Physics classes at UCSD, where he is pursuing his Ph.D. in High Energy Physics Theory. He has taught classes ranging from E&M, Wave, and Optics to Relativity and Quantum Physics. Mr. Salamon teaches and tutors Physics at Summa.
ERIN SCALERO, Writing
Erin graduated with a Bachelor's degree in English and teaching credential from San Diego State University. She then began her teaching career and has been at Scripps Ranch High School for the past seven years. In addition to teaching her English courses, Erin is the coach for the Scripps Ranch Academic League team and the Jane Austen book club advisor. Erin also received a Master's degree in Education (with an emphasis in curriculum design) from the University of San Diego. She has experience teaching SAT Critical Reading and Writing as well as PSAT and Literature/Writing courses. Erin has a strong background in teaching high school students and is passionate about helping students succeed.
MELISSA SCHULZ, Writing
Melissa earned a B.A. in Comparative Literature from UC Irvine and an M.A. in Literatures in English from UC San Diego, where she taught undergraduate writing in Eleanor Roosevelt College’s Making of the Modern World program. In addition to teaching college-level writing, Melissa has taught and tutored English grammar, composition, and literature to high-school students, and she has a background in special education. She also several years of experience as a Book Club, PSAT, and SAT instructor and is now an SAT Writing Instructor and 9/10 PSAT Instructor at Summa.
HANNAH SMITH, Critical Reading
Hannah earned her B.A. in Anthropology from Reed College in 2008. She chose her major after spending a school year abroad through UW-Madison in India, where she studied Tamil and trained in ethnographic research methods. After graduation, her passion for studying foreign languages and cultures brought her to rural Japan, where she taught junior high and elementary school English for the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme. After returning to the U.S. and spending a summer teaching SAT preparation, Hannah moved to San Diego in 2010 to begin a Ph.D. program in Cultural Anthropology at UCSD. She currently teaches undergraduate writing for UCSD's Making of the Modern World program, where she enjoys encouraging her students' curiosity and about the world around them.
TOM SWANSON, AP US History
Tom is the Social Studies Department Chair, Academic League Coach and AP US History teacher at Del Norte High School. He has taught AP US for twelve years at a 90% pass rate. He was named Teacher of the Year for Rancho Bernardo High School in 2008 where he taught for six years and previously taught at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino for eight years. Tom earned his B.A. in Political Science from UCLA and his Masters in Education from Stanford. He considers himself lucky to have been able to instruct so many amazing students over his sixteen years in education.
LINDA SULLIVAN, Reading, Writing and Math
Linda has more than 23 years of experience in education as a teacher and principal. Most recently she worked in Yuma, Arizona as principal of an elementary school of approximately 800 students, where she implemented research-based programs that significantly improved Benchmark test scores in her school. Linda works hard to develop programs and curricula that are engaging and incorporate technology into K-8 classrooms. Linda has an M.A. from Cal Poly Pomona University and has undertaken coursework toward a doctoral program. She considers herself a lifelong learner who encourages students to stretch their minds to reach their true potential.
RACHEL TENENBAUM, AP Biology
Rachel teaches AP Biology and Advanced Biology at La Jolla High School. She received her Bachelor's degree in Cell Biology and Biochemistry from UCSD in 1989 and worked at a pharmaceutical company as a chemist for a year before deciding to become a teacher. Rachel began her teaching career at Marston Middle School as a sixth and eighth grade science teacher. Rachel was selected as an ASCB research fellow as a first year teacher and worked in the research lab of Velia Fowler at The Scripps Research Institute. She developed lessons for the sixth grade science program that integrated an interdisciplinary approach in science teaching. In the middle of her second year, Rachel was offered a teaching position at Clairemont High School where she stepped into the AP Biology program. She latter took a position at Scripps Ranch High School where she taught AP Biology and Biology for four years. While at Scripps Ranch, Rachel won the Amgen Award for Excellence in Science Teaching in 2002. Rachel completed a Master's in Biology at Point Loma Nazarene University in 2008. Rachel was selected to attend MIT for the Science and Engineering for Teachers (SEPT) program in 2009. She is a workshop consultant for the College Board and has been a table leader and reader for the AP Biology exam since 2000.
STEVE WASZAK, Critical Reading
Steve graduated Summa Cum Laude in Literature and Writing from the University of California, San Diego, after which he spent several years living and teaching in Japan. Following his return, Steve completed his M.A. in Literatures in English at UCSD. Since then, he has designed and taught courses in English, Literature, Sociology, and Writing at a number of universities in colleges in the San Diego area, including UCSD, USD, National University and Palomar College. For almost ten years, Steve taught in the Dimensions of Culture Writing Program at UCSD's Thurgood Marshall College. He also taught SAT prep courses in both Writing and Critical Reading for two years before joining Summa in 2012.