About Chevy Chase Prep

Chevy Chase Prep provides exemplary academic guidance to navigate competitive secondary and post-secondary school admissions, improving outcomes for students and their families. Our lead coaches hold advanced degrees in their fields and have decades of experience in teaching and mentoring students in grades 5 to 12, and at top-tier colleges and universities. We keep current on Common Core, Eureka Math, IB, and AP curricula. Also, in meticulously researching and recommending educational placements, we draw on extensive expertise on high school, college, and university admissions.

Chevy Chase Prep’s custom-designed services include school subject tutoring, standardized test preparation, support in drafting and polishing the Common Application, Coalition Application, and supplementary essays, and steering successful educational placements. We partner with families and schools in northwest Washington, DC and Montgomery County, Maryland, and we are accessible by Zoom worldwide. Being small enables us to leverage best practices to achieve optimal outcomes, innovate to deliver in-demand and cutting edge services, and minimize the overhead expenses that pass to clients.

We are committed to offering our full suite of services safely while education is disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chevy Chase Prep Team

Maggie Ronkin

Maggie Ronkin studied sociocultural anthropology, South Asian studies, and, ultimately, discourse analytic linguistics at Georgetown University. As a student, she trained to teach rhetoric and composition and assisted Georgetown’s Languages and Linguistics Dean in administering ESOL teacher certification and world language programs. She taught in South Asia, at Oberlin College, and in interdisciplinary and multi-site classroom seminar initiatives that she launched at Georgetown and Harvard Universities. Since 2008, she has consulted in Chevy Chase, focusing on English language proficiency, modes of academic discourse, and an array of educational planning services.

Elaine Cooperman

Elaine Cooperman studied mathematics education and computer systems management at the University of Maryland. She pursued careers as a mathematics teacher in Charles County, and, during the IT boom, as a computer programmer and analyst. Since 2002, she has tutored privately, while also teaching periodically at Montgomery College. Her courses cover the content of secondary school Pre-algebra, Algebra 1, and Algebra 2 and Trigonometry. Elaine’s passion is preparing students for competitive college and university admissions by tutoring them in these subjects and in Pre-calculus, Calculus, and AP Calculus, as well as for the SAT and other standardized exams.

Patricia Balestra

Patricia Balestra grew up in a Spanish-English bilingual home. She studied Spanish and French in college, and French language and civilization at New York University. She then taught both languages at a selective independent high school in Washington, DC for ten years. She began tutoring privately in 2006. Since 2010, Patricia has balanced bilingual parenting with tutoring Spanish and French at all levels. She actively supports students who are challenged by classroom language learning, guiding them to build confidence and engage with authentic language experiences. Recently, Patricia branched out to teach accelerated French as a third language at Georgetown University.

Brendan Smith

Brendan Smith is a biology major at the University of Rochester and our junior specialist in mathematics and science. Brendan attended Lafayette, Deal, and Wilson, where he developed interests in STEM subjects. At Deal, he tutored science, assisted with labs, and coached the Science Olympiad team. At Wilson, he excelled in mathematics and science, earned summer research awards at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Carnegie Academy for Science Education, captained the squash team, and completed Outward Bound leadership training. Brendan looks forward to sharing his knowledge of STEM and passion for research with the next generation of DC students.

Coming soon: more expert coaching in commonly spoken world languages

Simon Gigli

Simon Gigli interned as our first Eureka/EngageNY mathematics tutor. He was a mathematics major at Wesleyan University with interests in modular arithmetic and algebra. Earlier, at Lafayette, Deal, Walls, and Wilson, he participated in scores of cross-country events and the annual Harvard Model Congress U.S. Government simulation conference. For the past four years, Simon worked for the Lafayette Tennis Association in after school tennis camps and as a private instructor of children, teens, and adults. Through these community-based activities, he discovered keen insights and interests in human development and lifelong learning processes.