showcase-team

The ASCC Team

Amy Simon, Founder and President

Amy Simon is an experienced, intuitive educational and college consultant who is committed to understanding and meeting each client's individual needs. She has an extensive knowledge of high school and college counseling, and prides herself on offering every client the highest level of attention and service.

Amy has a meticulous, results-oriented philosophy. Families look to Amy to advise them throughout their students’ high school years, culminating in her expertly shepherding them through their college process. Amy is dedicated to giving all ASCC students caring, nurturing support while bringing their application materials to life.

Before transitioning full time into college consulting, Amy taught history and social sciences for eleven years at Deerfield High School. She also helmed a successful freelance writing business through which she wrote websites and corporate materials for businesses and business executives nationwide.

Amy has a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from the University of Illinois where she earned a 5.0 G.P.A. and graduated as Valedictorian of her college in only three years. Amy was a William Chandler Bagley Scholar, a James Scholar, and a Bronze Tablet graduate, and was named the Kappa Delta Pi Outstanding Senior in Teacher Education. Amy also has a Master of Arts in History from DePaul University, conferred with highest honors.

Amy now devotes her professional career to guiding and inspiring students to enjoy a positive, successful college application experience. She continually furthers her professional development through visiting colleges and universities, attending professional conferences, and staying current on the latest trends in college admissions.

Paul Haack, Executive Director

Paul Haack is a committed, expert member of the Amy Simon College Consulting team who works with students on all elements of the college process including consulting, essay coaching, and application work. In addition, Paul provides critical logistical support to all ASCC team members and client families while ensuring that the ASCC office adheres to the highest professional standards of service and productivity.

Paul contributes his technological and managerial expertise to ASCC in order to bring maximum precision and efficiency to each student’s college process. Paul’s extensive knowledge of database construction and data management allows the ASCC Team to meticulously track and manage all of our student’s application information and deadlines in our custom built system. Paul leads our team in making certain that each student’s process is impeccably organized and skilfully executed, and he is continually creating innovative systems to take our capabilities to the next level.

Paul has a Bachelor of Arts in History from Northern Illinois University where he graduated Suma Cum Laude in the Honors Program on a full scholarship.

Prior to joining Amy Simon College Consulting Inc., Paul began his work in the field of college admissions as a recruiter for Westwood Technical College. For 10 years he served as a year-round member of the Leadership Team at Banner Day Camp as the Transportation Director and Summer Office Manager. At Banner, Paul helped train and supervise a transportation and summer office staff of over 80 individuals, routed and oversaw all camp transportation, and provided premier customer service to camp parents.

Paul is dedicated to applying his college consulting and managerial skills toward helping our families have a highly professional, enjoyable, and low-stress college application process.

Glenn Simon, Vice President SIMON Test Prep

Glenn Simon’s thirteen years of experience in high school and post-secondary education make him uniquely situated to maximize ASCC students’ potential and to help them to secure prestigious college admissions opportunities.

Glenn is a veteran high school teacher and Associate Principal who has also served as an Adjunct Professor of Education at National-Louis University and as a test item writer for ACT, Inc. Glenn has a sophisticated understanding of factors that lead to student achievement and college admissions success. He uses this knowledge to assist a wide range of students with their college and graduate school applications and essays.

Leading SIMON Test Prep, Glenn brings our families a comprehensive understanding of the  ACT testing framework and of the role standardized assessments play in the college admission process. In his most recent professional experience, Glenn improved and expanded the ACT and Advanced Placement programs in a high school serving 2,000 college-bound students. Glenn utilizes his knowledge of curriculum and instruction, and his experience with teacher training, to ensure that our SIMON Test Prep students receive the highest quality ACT tutoring experience.

Glenn earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Illinois and a Juris Doctorate from the Northwestern University School of Law. After a brief legal career in Chicago, Glenn returned to Northwestern University to earn his Master of Science in Education and Social Policy.  In addition, Glenn holds a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Roosevelt University.

Glenn’s career in public education was centered on expanding opportunities for students by designing specialized curricula and delivering targeted academic support. Glenn now applies his skills and vision to help ASCC students convey their potential for success to prospective colleges.

Andrea Goodman, Associate Consultant and Essay Writing Coach

Andrea Goodman is an enthusiastic, motivated professional committed to helping students navigate the college process with confidence, independence and a readiness to enter the college arena. Andrea believes that students thrive when they have the necessary tools and support to accomplish their goals. Her ability to connect with students and her strong knowledge base help her to meet each student's individual needs in a warm, productive and energizing environment.

Andrea specializes in helping students identify pre-college experiences that support their individual strengths while enhancing their interests and admissions opportunities. Andrea offers a range of consulting services including advising on summer college programs, international programs, community service opportunities, college selection, and transition to college preparation. She also works with ASCC students throughout their college application process.

Andrea has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Business from the University of Iowa and a Masters in Social Work from Loyola University, Chicago. She spent eight years as a school social worker in the Buffalo Grove/Long Grove area, where she created and implemented the district’s character education program and supported students, staff and the parent community.

For the past 8 years, Andrea has worked with the Schuler Scholar Program which offers high- achieving, under-resourced students four years of support to prepare for admission to and success within highly selective colleges. Andrea served as Director of Summer Programs, working with students to identify beneficial summer and community service opportunities. In addition, she implemented transition to college programs to help students successfully navigate college life. Andrea continues to consult with the Schuler Scholar Program in the areas of social emotional support and program development.

Andrea’s college consulting experience, paired with her passion for student success, make her a natural fit for ASCC. Her belief in the “whole child” guides her in developing student’s skills and confidence while offering expert navigation of supplemental programs that will enhance each student’s application profile.

Beth Kraemer, Associate Consultant and Essay Writing Coach

Beth Kraemer is an experienced professional who serves on the ASCC team as an associate college consultant and essay writing coach. Beth works individually with students to manage the college admissions process efficiently and effectively. She endeavors to create a supportive, comfortable, and stress-free environment that enables students to showcase their very best selves. Beth strives to enable her students to develop confidence and independence as they prepare for the next stage of their lives.

By guiding students through every step of the writing process, she helps them to create authentic, interesting, and well-developed college essays.

Beth works hard to forge a personal connection with each student in order to make the essay-writing and college application process both productive and enjoyable. Beth believes every student has a unique story to tell, and she enjoys helping them find their own distinctive voices.  She relishes seeing her students' excitement when they successfully articulate their thoughts in their writing and throughout their applications.

In addition to working with ASCC, Beth is part of the SIMON Test Prep team, where she tutors students for the English and Reading sections of the ACT. She enjoys working individually with students to develop their analytic test-taking skills. Beth has also developed ACT English curriculum and presented strategies for writing curriculum to other educators. Her experience with the standardized testing process has deepened her understanding of its extensive role in college admissions.

Beth is also currently an adjunct professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where she teaches a Legal Writing course for first year law students. She has also taught writing courses at the John Marshall Law School. In addition, she works as an independent writing coach and academic tutor for law and high school students.

After graduating from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Beth earned a Master’s Degree in Labor and Human Resources from The Ohio State University.  She then earned a Juris Doctorate degree from UCLA School of Law. After graduating from law school, Beth practiced law in the Chicago office of Latham & Watkins, specializing in litigation. She eventually left the practice of law to pursue her passion for teaching.

Laura Lew, Executive Administrator

Laura’s commitment to providing professional, ongoing, and responsive communication with our ASCC families is instrumental to the smooth functioning of our program. Laura is responsible for all of the billing and bookkeeping for the ASCC office, in addition to other important office tasks. She brings the highest level of commitment and dedication to these critical logistical functions, making certain we take the best care of our families.

Laura has over twenty years of experience as a bookkeeper and customer service representative at a variety of companies including Simplesse, UreSil, Consumer Surveys, Digital Currency Systems, Imada, Financial Clearings, and Data Managers. She earned a degree in Sociology from the University of Iowa.

Laura’s superior organizational abilities and detail-oriented approach to bookkeeping and her many office responsibilities are essential to the efficiency of the ASCC office.

Lisa Aronson, Project Manager

Lisa has over twenty-five years of leadership experience teaching and mentoring young adults in educational and recreational settings. She brings her passion for providing young people with exceptional opportunities for success to her work with Amy Simon College Consulting.

Lisa advances the ASCC mission by offering critical support on our office staff and customer communications teams. Her commitment to client satisfaction, and her impeccable organization and project management skills, allow ASCC to give all of our clients the attention and highly professional experience they deserve.

Lisa earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Illinois and a Master’s in Elementary Education from National-Louis University. She taught second grade for seven years at Romona School in Wilmette, was a substitute teacher in Deerfield District 109 for two years, and has served on the Leadership Team at Banner Day Camp for a total of 20 years.

Lisa’s effusive energy and commitment to 100% customer satisfaction help to create an exceptional college admissions experience for each client.

Michael Curtin, Independent Essay Writing Coach

Michael Curtin received his Bachelor of Arts in English with a Writing Concentration from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Columbia College in Chicago. As a graduate student in the renowned John Schultz Story Workshop, he learned about the many aspects of narrative craft and won the Associated Writers’ Program “Intro Award” for Non-Fiction.  

Michael’s decade of experience teaching English, Creative Writing, Critical Thinking, Composition and English as a Second Language courses has prepared him for the challenges that each writing project presents. In that time, he has tutored students from over 30 countries and has become attuned to the strengths and needs of each individual. Currently a Visiting Professor at DeVry University and a Senior Instructor at Solex College, Michael finds being a teacher and mentor to be an enriching experience both for him and his students.

Working one-on-one, Michael fosters a creative, dynamic environment in which teacher and student are collaborators. He finds that students exceed their own expectations when freed of pre-judgments about their work. In doing so, students begin to think about writing as a process they better understand and enjoy. He believes that the specific, sensory details of his students’ experiences are the key to getting their compelling stories on the page, and this realization helps students build confidence and authority.

As a working fiction writer and essayist, Michael understands how voice, structure, tone, and audience interact and how essays need to be more than the sum of their parts. For Michael, teaching is about helping students find their voice and the platform to best express it. His ultimate goal is for his students to convey to college admissions departments who they are and where they are headed.

Lori Harris, Independent Essay Writing Coach

Lori Harris has over 20 years of experience as a writing instructor. She taught English for 11 years at Deerfield High School, where she also served as the sponsor for the award-winning school newspaper. She is now a writing tutor in the school’s Academic Resource Center. Lori has also worked as a private tutor for the past 10 years, assisting students with college essays as well as assignments for English and Social Studies classes.

With a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in English from the University of Illinois, Lori has always loved writing; she also enjoys the writing process: the evolution of a single idea that grows into a powerful essay. From brainstorming to editing a polished draft, Lori guides students in transforming their ideas and experiences into essays that make an impact.

In addition to working one-on-one with high school students, Lori also supervises student teachers for National-Louis University and has helped many new educators hone their writing instruction. She is knowledgeable about strategies that motivate both the reluctant and skilled writer. Offering expert advice, support, and encouragement, Lori helps students write effective college essays that are a unique representation of who a student is beyond his or her GPA.

Alice Moody, Independent Essay Writing Coach

Alice Moody, a former high school English teacher in Redding, CT and San Francisco, CA, has always loved teaching writing. For the past three years, she has been a writing instructor for New Trier Extension. Her popular “Just Write” classes encourage students to discover their voice by exploring traditional stylistic conventions such as use of specific detail, strong verbs, dialogue, figurative language, and more.

In addition to teaching writing classes, Alice works as a private tutor with local secondary students, focusing on everything from History and English assignments to college essays. She especially loves the challenge of assisting teenagers who have something to say but feel stymied because their written words and inner thoughts do not mirror one another. Alice subscribes to the belief that anyone, with proper guidance, can create strong essays. With her abundant enthusiasm, energy, and dedication, she helps students create impactful and authentic pieces.

Originally from St. Louis, Alice holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Johns Hopkins University. After a brief stint in the publishing industry, she attended The University of Chicago and graduated with a Master of Arts in Teaching English. In addition, Alice spent several years volunteering with students in North Chicago as part of Reading Power, a literacy intervention program for students with limited access to resources. She currently leads book group discussions focused on contemporary fiction at The Bookstall in Winnetka.

Alice understands that the college essay is an integral component of the application process. She strives to help ASCC students create essays that showcase how they think, what they have to say and, most importantly, who they really are beyond their grades and test scores.

Meg Murphy, Independent Essay Writing Coach

Meg Murphy has worked as an English teacher for her entire career, specializing in the teaching of writing. After receiving her Master of Arts degree in English from Northwestern University, Meg taught American literature, writing, and journalism at Hinsdale Central, where she also served as the Academic Advisor for the school’s award-winning yearbook. While at Hinsdale, Meg worked with students in her American Literature and Senior Honors Rhetoric courses to craft coherent and unified essays.

As a Visiting Professor of English at DeVry University for the past eight years, Meg has honed her craft of teaching rhetoric in English, critical thinking, and humanities courses. There, she engages her students to understand the power of persuasive strategies and to employ them in their own writing.  Through a flipped-classroom approach, Meg facilitates student-led discussions on literature and critical thinking and empowers her students to take ownership of their work. In addition, Meg leads workshops in rhetoric, mentoring DeVry instructors in the Toulmin Model of Argumentation.

Meg values the connections she forges with her students as an English teacher, tutor, and college essay coach. Through her personal approach, she collaborates with students through all stages of the writing process—from brainstorming specific and meaningful academic and personal experiences to determining a unique angle in their writing and deepening purpose in the final revision.  This results in essays that express her students’ stories through a distinct and personal lens, allowing them to stand out to college admissions departments. Meg looks forward to working with ASCC students and helping them discover their ideal fit for higher education.

Jenny Newman, Independent Essay Writing Coach

Jenny Newman is an independent writing instructor with over thirteen years of experience working with students on their college essays.  With an emphasis on the writing process, Jenny has had much success helping college-bound students brainstorm, strategize, organize and write their college application essays. 

Jenny graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a strong emphasis in English.  Jenny furthered her education at National-Louis University in Evanston, IL, where she received her Master’s in Teaching with an endorsement in middle school. Jenny then worked as a teacher aide at Wood Oaks Junior High School in Northbrook and later served as a full-time teacher at The Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School in Chicago.  After leaving the classroom in 1998, Jenny has spent nearly two decades tutoring both middle school and high school age students in writing, reading, and study skills, in addition to assisting students from across the North Shore in writing their college admissions essays.

With Jenny’s expertise in the college essay writing process, as well as her dedication to each individual student, the stress in the daunting task of writing all-important college essays is greatly reduced.  Though Jenny understands that a blank piece of paper can be a scary thing, she believes that with the proper guidance, as well as a clear idea of what colleges are interested in learning about an applicant, the process can be painless. Jenny strives to partner with each student to create a positive and successful essay writing experience.

Eileen O’Halloran, Independent Essay Writing Coach

Eileen O’Halloran currently teaches English and Writing at DePaul University in Chicago where she strives to develop her students’ love of literature and writing skills. In addition to teaching in the Honors Program, English Department, and First Year Program at DePaul, Eileen has also taught at the University of Michigan/University of Wisconsin study abroad program at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.

Eileen enjoys working with students to craft their college essays, and specializes in being attuned to the unique story each student has to share. She believes in working together to find and develop a student’s voice. Eileen’s goal is to build confidence within each of her students so they are inspired about their future college plans.

Eileen was awarded a Ph.D. in English with a minor in Composition Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Wisconsin and a Master of Philosophy in Literature from Trinity College, Dublin. In addition, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Illinois. Eileen’s Ph.D. dissertation earned a rare “honors” distinction, and she has been awarded several fellowships and honors throughout her undergraduate and graduate academic career.

Eileen has had work published in Contemporary Literature and a variety of newspapers and has edited a book on Leopold Bloom (from James Joyce's Ulysses).

Mimi Saks, Independent Essay Writing Coach

Mimi Saks has taught high school and college level English for fifteen years in Hinsdale, Lake Forest, and Chicago. She thrives on getting to know each student’s strengths and interests. In addition to teaching literature and writing, Mimi enjoys working with students in a one-on-one environment where she has the opportunity to guide them individually through each stage of the writing process and to help them find their distinctive voices.

Mimi holds a Bachelor of Science in Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. After working in advertising and public relations, Mimi returned to school at DePaul University where she was awarded a Master of Arts in Teaching for Secondary English. Mimi also completed additional coursework in Journalism, Reading, and English as a Second Language. In addition, Mimi is an accomplished tutor for the English, Reading, and Writing sections of the ACT test and helps facilitate her students’ analytic test-taking skills. She currently works with students at Deerfield High School on Reading and Writing mastery, learning strategies, and organizational skills.

By engaging students in the learning process, Mimi motivates her students to set high expectations. She uses encouragement and enthusiasm to assist college applicants in writing winning entrance essays.

Debby Shulman, Independent Essay Writing Coach

Debby Shulman has been an academic tutor for over fifteen years, concentrating on English, grammar, writing strategies, and college essay development. She is deeply committed to fostering social and emotional growth within her students, focusing on their individual academic strengths and needs.

Debby works hard to create a work environment that is warm, engaging, and rewarding. Her philosophy of teaching encourages competence and confidence and she works closely with each student to create beautifully crafted essays that set them apart from other candidates.

Debby is a graduate of the University of Illinois where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences. Shortly after earning a secondary education teaching certificate, she taught sixth and seventh grade and later served as a writer and research assistant at the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Debby has most recently created coursework and written curriculum for Northwestern University’s Saturday Enrichment Program. She has also taught high school honors English to students across the country through Northwestern’s Center for Talent Development.

Debby is currently a columnist for The Northbrook Patch, an online community newspaper. She also serves as a Community Ambassador for Autism Speaks.

Michele Wilk, Independent Essay Writing Coach

Michele Wilk has taught writing in a variety of contexts. She currently serves as an adjunct professor of Legal Writing at Loyola University School of Law where she prepares first year law students to write legal briefs, memoranda and other related documents. Michele also works with SIMON Test Prep as an ACT English and reading tutor. In this role, helps students to reach their potential by teaching test-taking strategies and ACT content, and through building confidence and skills. Michele also works independently with high school and college students writing English essays, resumes, personal statements, and scholarship applications.

Michele strives to provide each student with the best opportunity for a successful college admissions process, helping them demonstrate their individuality while highlighting their academic and extracurricular achievements. Michele believes that each student has many talents and gifts to share and stories to be told. She aims to encourage the telling of these stories in the most vibrant and effective way.

Michele graduated from Chicago-Kent College of Law and spent several years at D’Ancona & Pflaum, where she focused on labor and employment law and commercial litigation. She later joined Allstate Insurance Company where she managed nationwide class action litigation and internal employment litigation. Michele continues her legal work as outside counsel for both corporations and law firms, but primarily focuses on tutoring and essay writing.

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2525 Waukegan Road
Suite 280
Bannockburn, IL 60015
847.267.0630

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