Breakaway College
Test Prep
Remarkable Test Prep
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About Breakaway College Test Prep


Our Instructors


Ron Michalak
President and Founder, Breakaway Prep Minnesota
Lead Instructor

Ron is the founder of Breakaway College Test Prep and is the lead instructor in Minnesota. Ron earned a BA in Economics from Northwestern University and an MBA in Marketing and Finance from the Kellogg Graduate School at Northwestern University. After college, Ron enjoyed a 25-year career in finance, marketing and business development as an executive with firms including Arthur Andersen, Coopers & Lybrand, BellSouth and IBM/Internet Security Systems.


Ron got his start in test prep nearly two decades ago with the Princeton Review, where he provided classroom-style instruction to SAT and GMAT students. In 2006, he helped his twin brother, Rick, a former vice president of operations for the Princeton Review, launch a new test prep company called Breakaway that would take test prep in a new direction: customized test prep solutions to help students reach their potential.

In addition to working with hundreds of students privately each year, Ron is The Blake School's ACT instructor, provides in-school ACT and SAT prep at the Breck School, and started the ACT prep program at Groves Academy, which is designed specifically for students with learning disabilities and attention disorders.   

Ron lives in Edina, with his wife and two children.   

Chris Anderson
Groves Academy Upper School and ACT Instructor
Breakaway Prep Minnesota 

Chris Anderson is a Social Studies and Spanish teacher at Groves Academy.  He grew up in Wheaton, IL and attended Purdue University for his undergraduate degree.  He coaches Soccer and organizes a Running Club at Groves.  In their free time, Chris and his wife like to travel.  Chris has been tutoring with Breakaway for a year, and especially enjoys the Math sections of the ACT and SAT. 

Emily Anderson
English, Reading and Writing Instructor
Breakaway Prep Minnesota

Emily Anderson is currently completing her Ph.D. in English at the University of Minnesota where she teaches several different types of literature classes as well as writing. She holds an undergraduate degree in English from Susquehanna University, a master's degrees in English from the University of California and a master's degree in gender studies from Oxford University. She has been teaching in a variety of settings for eleven years. In her free time she enjoys reading, writing, film, travel, food, blogging about art, and theater.

Julie Connell
SAT and ACT Math Instructor
Breakaway Prep Minnesota

Julie is an experienced math instructor, with many years' experience working with middle and high school students on a wide range of math subjects.  Julie earned a bachelor's degree in math education from St. Olaf College and master's degree in math education from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls.  Along with the math section of the ACT and SAT, Julie provides instruction on the ACT science section.  

Anna Dinndorf
Math and Science Instructor
Breakaway Prep Minnesota

A math nerd at heart, Anna graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a BA in Psychology and Mathematics. After spending a year doing research on memory and learning in a 6th grade math classroom, she pursued her true calling - math education.  She spent three years working for an online math tutoring service, where she developed curriculum for courses ranging from middle school level math to Algebra 2 and oversaw content creation for the site.  She is currently in school working on a master's in education and obtaining her teaching license in for mathematics.  Even though math is her favorite subject, Anna is well-versed in all sections of the ACT, having scored a perfect 36 when she took the test in high school (she also scored a perfect 1600 on the SAT). When she's not in school or tutoring, Anna loves running, being outside, and being physically active.  She has run marathons and done triathlons, and is currently training for the New York City Marathon.

Jeffrey Druce
 
Breakaway Math and Science Instructor
Breakaway Prep Minnesota

Jeff is an experienced tutor and educator currently enrolled in the University of Minnesota’s Ph.D. program for civil engineering.  A former high school physics instructor and math teaching assistant at the University of Minnesota, Jeff developed his analytical, mathematical and communications skill sets through high-level teaching, research and publication writing.  Jeff obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, and is a Breakaway math and science instructor.


Rachel Erickson
Groves Academy Upper School and ACT Instructor
Breakaway Prep Minnesota

A Minnesota girl born and raised, Rachel graduated from St. Olaf College with a BA in Political Science and Management concentration. After working in business for a few years, she left to earn her teaching license in Specific Learning Disabilities from the University of St. Thomas. Rachel works at Groves Academy as an Upper School Literature and Writing teacher. She has tutored students in reading, writing, math, study skills, and of course ACT prep! Rachel lives in St. Paul with plants she is never home to water because she is either tutoring, at a yoga class, or up north at the lake. 

Kimi Gomez-Smith
English and Reading Instructor
Breakaway Prep Minnesota

Kimi is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering at the University of Minnesota, as well as wrapping up Master’s degrees in both Water Resources Science and Environmental Engineering. She has tutored and worked as a teaching assistant while pursuing both her undergraduate and graduate degrees. Additionally, before deciding to pursue her doctorate, Kimi taught microbiology and chemistry classes at Tulsa Community College (Tulsa, Oklahoma) for two years. Kimi was also an associate editor and writer for her weekly undergraduate school newspaper and is currently the assistant technical editor for American Water Works Association's widely used Manuals of Practice. When a free moment rears its head, Kimi can be found biking, crafting, designing a tiny house, or reading anything from Dostoyevsky to Terry Pratchett.

Natalie Gomez
Math and Science Instructor
Breakaway Test Prep Minnesota

Natalie earned a BA in chemistry and biomedical studies from Saint Olaf College.  During college, she tutored both elementary and college students.  Natalie has developed a strong proficiency in both mathematics and science throughout her education, and is currently working towards completion of her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry.   

Matt Hadley
English and Reading Instructor
Breakaway Prep Minnesota

Matt earned a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in Comparative Literature, with a minor in English.  Prior to that, Matt earned a bachelor's degree in English and Spanish from the University of Iowa.  Matt has taught comparative literature classes at the college level for several years now, and has extensive experience working with students and helping them develop their grammar and writing skills.

Abby Hagel

English, Reading and Writing Instructor
Breakaway Prep Minnesota
Abby earned her Master of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota in Sociology, with a minor in Psychology. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in Sociology and honors in French from Grinnell College. Prior to college, Abby excelled on the SAT, SAT Subject Tests, and the GRE, and was a National Merit Scholar finalist.  In addition to her academic qualifications, Abby has significant experience in facilitating educational experiences, both in and out of the classroom. She has worked with diverse groups of students, always striving to create the best possible learning experience for each individual. 

Andy Hardt
Math and Science Instructor
Breakaway Prep Minnesota

Andy is a graduate of Carleton College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in math and graduated magna cum laude.  He has a depth of experience working with students on a wide range of subjects, including calculus, trigonometry, pre-calc and discrete mathematics.  In his spare time, Andy is the assistant swimming coach at the University of St. Thomas and is an avid biker.

John Kingsbury
Math and Science Instructor
Breakaway Prep Minnesota

John is a very talented and experienced math and science instructor, who earned a Ph.D. in psychology from Dartmouth College.  He was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University's School for Public Health, and was a graduate teaching assistant and guest lecturer at Dartmouth.  Prior to that, John graduated magna cum laude from the University of St. Thomas and began his doctoral program in social psychology at Iowa State University.
 

Adam Lindberg
English and Reading Instructor
Breakaway Test Prep Minnesota

Adam is currently completing his Ph.D. candidate in English at the University of Minnesota.  Adam also earned a master of arts degree in English from the University of Minnesota.  He is currently an adjunct instructor of English at Hamline University, and has taught a range of writing and literature classes at the University of Minnesota and Hamline University.  Adam is a Breakaway English, reading and writing instructor.

Rhonda Loverude
English and Reading Instructor
Breakaway Test Prep Minnesota

Rhonda 
earned her bachelor's degree speech communication from Macalester College, then went on to earn a master's degree and a Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Minnesota.  Rhonda has taught a range of courses at the college level, including a writing course for new undergraduates.  Rhonda provides instruction for the grammar, reading and writing portions of the ACT and SAT.

Matt McManus
Math and Science Instructor
Breakway Prep Minnesota

Matt was born and raised in the Twin Cities, and attended Armstrong High School. After graduation, he went on to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During his tenure, he tutored classmates in both advanced calculus and statistics. Matt is the owner of a company that has been featured in th Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, and on Kare11. In his free time, you can find him on his bicycle (probably trying to draft cars), enjoying a good movie, or playing with his two Boston Terriers.

Christopher Moore
English, Reading and Writing Instructor
Breakaway Prep Minnesota

Christopher Moore has over 30 years of experience in the classroom, teaching a wide range of courses including Humanities, Theater Arts, Mass Media, general English classes and Advanced Placement Language and Composition. His expertise is in the English, Critical Reading and Writing sections of the ACT and SAT. A Master of English Education graduate of the University of Minnesota, Chris's students have won several national writing prizes. His own writing has been published in educational journals and essay collections. In his leisure time, he reads, runs, golfs and enjoys the home cooking of his wife, LaVonne. They live in Belle Plaine with Arlo and Guthrie, two cockapoos.

Tracy Olson
English, Reading and Writing Instructor
Breakaway Prep Minnesota

Tracy is graduate of Cornell University, where she earned a bachelor of arts degree in music.  She is also a recent graduate of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, where she earned a bachelor of fine art in illustration.  Tracy has considerable experience working with students, having been a literacy tutor at MERC Alternative High School in Minneapolis and a teaching assistant at The Blake School.  

Trent Rhodes
Math and Science Instructor
Breakaway Test Prep Minnesota

Trent earned his BA from from Carleton College, where he graduated magna cum laude, and was the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholar.  He has an extensive background in tutoring students of all ages, from elementary school through high school.  Trent provides instruction on SAT math and ACT math and science.

Brett Daniele Van Slyke
English and Reading Instructor
Breakaway Test Prep Minnesota

Brett graduated from Saint Thomas University where he received his degree in English and made the Dean's List for Academic Excellence. As an undergrad, he volunteered in the writing lab, where he helped his peers with composition and editing. He is currently pursuing a master's of arts in teaching at Hamline University, where he will earn his license and degree in Secondary Communication Arts and Literature. Brett is a known lexophile (a word-lover), and in his spare time enjoys running, documentaries, international news, and, of course, reading.

Lance Witzig
English, Reading and Writing Instructor
Breakaway Test Prep Minnesota

Lance graduated summa cum laude with distinction from the University of Minnesota where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.  He has a depth of experience working with young adults in a range of settings, from providing instruction at the High Mountain Institute in Colorado, to leading Outward Bound expeditions, to assistant teaching at the University of Minnesota. 

Alan Yang
English and Reading Instructor
Breakaway Prep Minnesota

Alan is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, where he majored in developmental psychology.  He also completed an undergraduate honors thesis program at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo, Japan.  He is currently pursuing a master's degree in occupational therapy at St. Catherine's University in St. Paul.  Since the time he was an undergraduate at Berkeley, Alan has provided private instruction for the SAT and ACT.  Alan is fluent in Japanese and conversationally fluent in Korean.

Cynthia Yuen
Math and Science Instructor
Breakaway Prep Minnesota

Cynthia is a graduate of Emory University in Atlanta, where she earned her BA in environmental science.  A few years later, Cynthia earned a master's degree in urban planning from the Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.  Prior to her career in urban planning, Cynthia was a math teacher at a Canadian Montessori school, taught AP Biology at a high school in Louisville, Kentucky, and worked with young students with autism at the Emory Autism Center in Atlanta.

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To learn more about Breakaway College Test Prep or to schedule a free introductory meeting in the comfort of your home, give us a call or send us an email.  We'd love to hear from you.


Breakaway's Address

Breakaway Education Minnesota
3440 Beltline Blvd. Suite 102
St. Louis Park, MN  55416
Phone No.:
612-216-5133
Email:
ron@breakawaytestprep.com

 

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