2 Greenwich Park, Suite 300 Greenwich, CT 06831

Our Tutors


Meet Our Tutors

Alliance Offers a variety of services to help students who are in transition, either going back to school, on to college, or into their professional lives.

Alexander Merrill
Founder / Tutor
Alexander has taught English, coached, and dorm-parented for nearly 20 years at Dartmouth College, The King School, Kingswood-Oxford, Philips Andover and The Taft School. He is an expert at the college application process, including college essay writing, standardized test preparation, and the recommendation process. He has tutored hundreds of adolescent teens and young adults from middle school through college level on all spectrums, behaviorally and academically. He attended Philips Exeter Academy and received an undergrad degree from Kenyon College and a Masters Degree from Dartmouth College.  He lives in Middlebury, CT with his three rug rats and wife, Alexa.
Neal Allar

Neal has taught English and French at Cornell University, Amherst College, Tsinghua University, the University of Burgundy in France, Tsinghua University in Beijing, and most recently at The Taft School. He has coached sports at the NCAA, secondary, and youth levels, has served as a live-in advisor to university and high school students, and has counseled students from various backgrounds on their college, graduate school, and career goals. He received his B.A. from Amherst College, where he was also a captain of the baseball team, and he received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Romance Studies and Comparative Literature from Cornell University.

Courses Available with Neal 
  • French 8th-12th grade, AP, post-AP
  • English 8th-12th grade
  • World Literature
  • Comparative Literature
Test Prep Available with Neal
  • SAT Reading, Writing, Language, and Essay
  • ACT English, Reading, and Writing
  • AP French Language and Culture
  • AP English Language and Composition
  • AP English Literature and Composition
Sierra Berkel

Sierra is a Penn Fellow at the Taft School, where she teaches English, coaches, and lives in the dorm as she works toward her Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. Before landing at Taft, Sierra was a 2018 graduate of Haverford College, where with a degree in English and minors in Education and Psychology. At Haverford, she served as a teaching fellow at Titagya Schools in Dalun, Ghana, and as a four-year member and captain of the varsity women’s basketball team. She also served with the school’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee as a liaison to the Office of Academic Resources, during which she brainstormed methods to improve students’ academic performance from teaching time management to reducing stress and anxiety. Her previous experience includes student-editor for publications such as The New York Literary Magazine as well as contributions to platforms such as the Newtown Literary Journal. Sierra currently volunteers as an editor at an online literary journal, the Awesome Sports Project, where she works with girls in the internship program to voice their own stories about identity and sports experiences.

Courses Available with Sierra:

English 8th – 12th Grade
Intro to Psychology
Literary Journalism
Sports Journalism
Post Civil Rights African American Literature

Test Prep Available with Sierra:

SAT: Reading, Writing and Language, and Essay Portions; ACT: English, Reading, and Writing Sections; AP Literature and AP Language.

Frank Cassano

Frank has taught Mathematics, coached, and dorm-parented for nine years at The Knox School, Poly Prep C.D.S and The Taft School. He is an experienced AP Calculus teacher, having attended multiple summer institutes and having taught both AB and BC for eight of his nine years teaching. He also has nine years experience teaching multiple levels of Geometry, Algebra II and Precalculus. Frank also has a strong background in Physics, where he taught both the AP and introductory levels. He has tutored a number of adolescent teens from high school through college level. He attended Union College where he received a degree in Applied Mathematics and minor in Physics, and he has a Masters Degree from St. Joseph’s University, PA. He has successfully tutored students in SAT, ACT, and SAT II Mathematics.

Courses available with Frank:

  • Algebra I
  • Algebra II
  • Geometry
  • Pre-calculus
  • Calculus AB
  • Calculus BC
  • AP Calculus AB
  • AP Calculus BC

Test Prep Available with Frank:

  • SAT, ACT, and SAT II Math
  • AP AB and BC Calculus
George McKibbens
George McKibbens graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design with a Master of Arts in Historic Preservation. Much of his work in education has been done in lockstep with the field of conservation and cultural resources, which can be seen in his TED Talk Finding a City in Museums.  McKibbens has also been a contributing writer for South China Morning Post and That’s Magazine. He taught AP US and World History from 2013-2018 and also tutored students in Academic Writing, SAT Reading and Writing and TOEFL. Currently George serves as a History and English teacher at Oxford Academy, a private boarding school in Westbrook, CT. He also tutors TOEFL and SAT Lexington Christian Academy.

Courses Available with George:

  • US History
  • World History
  • Civics
  • Ancient History
  • College Essay Writing
  • Academic Writing
  • Literature

Test Prep Available with George:

  • AP US History
  • AP World History
  • SAT Reading and Writing
Alison Frye

Alison has taught, coached, and advised for seven years at Connecticut boarding schools and is currently teaching Accelerated Biology and AP Environmental Science at The Taft School. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Bates College and a Master of Science in Marine Biology from Northeastern University. Alison’s teaching style is one that combines energy and patience with clear, comprehensible instruction. A structured and detail-oriented professional herself, Alison is well suited to help those students with anxiety by building organizational skills and academic confidence.

Courses available with Alison:

  • Biology (Accelerated or Regular Levels)
  • AP Biology
  • AP Environmental Science
  • Marine Science

Test Prep Available with Alison:

  • AP Biology
  • AP Environmental Science
Kevin Danaher

Kevin has taught Mathematics for the past eight years in a public high school, private day school and for the last three years at The Taft School, a private boarding school. He has taught all levels of math through Calculus. In addition to math, Kevin also teaches AP Macroeconomics, AP Microeconomics and courses in Personal Finance. He believes in a student-centered approach to teaching and uses inquiry methods to help students explore and comprehend complex concepts. Kevin attended Roger Williams University where he received a degree in Mathematics and Secondary Education, and has a Masters Degree from the University of New Haven. He has experience tutoring students in many math courses as well for the SAT and ACT.

Courses available with Kevin: 

  • Algebra I
  • Geometry
  • Algebra II
  • Precalculus
  • Calculus
  • AP Macroeconomics
  • AP Microeconomics
  • Personal Finance

Test Prep available with Kevin: 

SAT, ACT, SAT II Math, AP AB Calculus, AP Macroeconomics, AP Microeconomics

Jillian Danaher
Jillian has taught, coached, dorm parented and advised for eight years at Connecticut public and boarding schools and is currently teaching Spanish at The Taft School. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Salve Regina University and a Master of Arts in Spanish from Middlebury College. Throughout her Spanish studies she has spent time living in Seville, Spain and Buenos Aires, Argentina. In Spanish class, Jillian focuses on comprehensible input and communication based instruction and learning. As Class Dean, she has experience working with students outside of the classroom to oversee their school experience and academic performance. This role makes her well qualified to support students with anxiety and other learning challenges as they navigate the challenges of developing both their academic habits and performance.

Courses Available with Jill:

Spanish 8-12th grade, Levels 1-4

Test Prep Available with Jill:

AP Spanish Language and Culture

SAT II Spanish

Daniel Per Villiers
Mental Health Consultant

One of the nation’s leading interventionists, Dr. Dan Villiers has education, motivated, and inspired more than 700 families to pursue treatment for their children with acute anxiety, OCD and Trauma.  In the spirit of entrepreneurism Dan has founded four anxiety treatment programs for school-aged children; most notably The Anxiety Institute in 2016, an intensive day program in Greenwich, CT, and Mountain Valley Treatment Center in 2010, the first non-hospital residential anxiety program in the United States.  He has published articles, appeared on radio and TV, and given over 100 presentations in the US and in Europe on the nature, experience, and impact of Anxiety; and ways to address the epidemic individually and systematically.

Parker Washburn
Parker has taught physics and math at boarding schools in Massachusetts and Connecticut for five years.  He has worked at Phillips Academy, Choate Rosemary Hall and at Taft School, where he currently teaches an introductory physics course to 9th and 10th graders.  Parker attended Phillips Academy, studied physics and astrophysics at Harvard University and is pursuing a master’s of science degree in applied physics from Johns Hopkins University.  What Parker enjoys most about teaching physics is helping students connect with the physical world and develop problem solving skills that can be applied beyond the classroom. He can tutor students in AP physics 1 and 2, SAT II physics, SAT math and ACT science and math.  In addition, Parker was a member of the rowing team at Harvard and pursued rowing after graduation for a couple of years. Using a structured and student-focused approach, Parker connects with young, motivated students on many different fronts and allows students to tap into their potential through hard work and persistence.  As Albert Einstein said, “education is the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks.”

Courses available with Parker:

  • Physics (Accelerated or Regular Levels)
  • AP Physics 1 and 2

Test Prep Available with Parker:

  • AP Physics
  • ACT Science
  • SAT Math
Amanda Benedict
Amanda has taught, coached, and dorm-parented for eight years at the Taft School. She is an experienced AP Biology teacher as she has taught AP Biology for nine years, served as a Reader for the AP Biology exam, and taught AP Biology summer institutes for teachers for many summers. She also has taught two levels of Chemistry for eight years at Taft. She has mentored many students in independent science projects over the years, as well. Prior to Taft, Amanda earned her undergraduate degree in Chemistry with a Biochemistry concentration, Dance Performance double major and Biology minor from Skidmore College and her Masters and Doctorate degrees from University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. During her doctoral work, Amanda worked at the University of Rochester Life Science Learning Center helping students understand connections of science to every day life. Amanda’s teaching style aims to inspire understanding and mastery of science and establish strong critical thinking skills in her students. She has ample experience supporting students with test anxiety, and she often uses her yoga teacher training to guide students to greater test confidence.
Courses available with Amanda: 
Biology (all levels)
AP Biology
Chemistry (all levels)
Test Prep Available with Amanda: 
ACT Science
AP Biology
AP Chemistry
SAT II Biology E/M
SAT II Chemistry