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 and started the ACT prep program at Groves Academy, which is designed specifically for students with learning disabilities and attention disorders.  In the past year, seven Breakaway students scored 35s on the ACT and two scored perfect 36s!

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.
 
Brooke Barrett
English, Reading and Writing Instructor
Breakaway Prep Minnesota

Brooke graduated from Scripps College in Claremont, California with a dual BA in politics and international studies.  She went on to earn a master's degree in secondary education from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and later, she earned a second master's degree in urban policy and management from Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy in New York. She is an educational consultant with Edutelligentsia, and has a passion for English and language arts.  

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. 

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.   

Adam Iverson
Math and Science Instructor
Breakaway Test Prep Minnesota

Adam graduated from the  University of Minnesota with a degree in civil engineering.  He is currently pursuing a master's a degree in environmental engineering at the University of Minnesota. Adam has provided private instruction for high school and elementary aged students in the past, and has worked on eduction policy and reform throughout college. Adam provides instruction on the math and science sections of the ACT.


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, Reading and Writing Instructor
Breakaway Prep Minnesota
Rhonda is a graduate of Macalester College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Dramatic Arts and minors in Speech Communication and Sociology.  She went on to earn a Master of Arts and Ph.D. in Mass Communication from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota.  She has nine years of college teaching experience.  In addition to her academic qualifications, Rhonda has professional experience as a writer and editor.  

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.  

Ben Reid
Advance Science Instructor
Breakaway Prep Minnesota

Ben is a scientist at the University of Minnesota, and a Breakaway advanced science instructor. Ben's professional experience includes work at Ecolab, where he was a chemist conducting industry research focused on the physical and biochemical studies of commercial chemical cleaners.  Ben is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Madison, where he earned a Bachelor's of Science in Biochemistry. Ben provides private instruction on the biology, chemistry and physics subject tests for Breakaway.

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.

Erick Taggart
English, Math, Reading and Science Instructor
Breakaway Prep Minnesota
Erick found his interest in education during his undergraduate years at UC Berkeley in California, teaching courses to other Cal students on a variety of literary topics.  Since then, he has worked with a variety of educational institutions, including Kaplan and Capella University, and he has earned his Masters in Secondary Education at the University of Southern California.  Currently, he is working as a Social Studies and AVID teacher at South High School.  Outside of teaching, Erick's other interests include writing and editing, and he has worked on several comic book series.  He also enjoys traveling, having spent 3 years teaching English in South Korea and China, so while his areas of focus in ACT prep are Math and Science, he is also comfortable working on English, Reading, and Writing.

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.

Peter Weidner
Math and Science Instructor
Breakaway Prep Minnesota

After graduating from Edina High School, Peter went on to earn a BA in Mathematics from Northwestern University.  While in college, Peter tutored fellow college students in calculus and other advanced math topics, and, in the process, discovered his joy for teaching and mathematics.  In his spare time, Peter enjoys music, playing sports, and even reading math books! Born and raised in Minnesota, he has always been a huge Vikings and Timberwolves fan, and tries to go to as many T-wolves games as he can.  Peter plans to someday return to studying mathematics and become a professor.

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.


Edina Office

Phone No.:
612-216-5133
Email:
ron@breakawaytestprep.com

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