Luke’s current tutoring subjects are listed at the left. You
can read more about
Luke’s qualifications in specific subjects below.
I have played chess since learning the game from my nationally ranked roommate at the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth in 7th grade. At Harvard I received informal lessons from International Master Marc Esserman, recently featured in the New York Times for his work on the Smith-Morra Gambit. I achieved a Standard rating of 1800 on the Free Internet Chess Server (FICS). I have taught after school classes for the Torres Chess and Music Academy, and for Codebreakers Chess Club, as well as giving private lessons since 2006. My teaching approach emphasizes a conceptual grounding in the four elements of chess—force, space, time, and pawn structure—supplemented by problems, grandmaster games, and in-class play to build tactical strength, strategic awareness, and education in key opening and endgame patterns/theory.
I look forward to helping you or your student gain entrance into the college you've dreamed of. I feel this is an area of personal expertise for me, and I'm always excited at the opportunity to pass on to others the knowledge and experience I've been fortunate enough to gain.
In the academic year 2001-2002, my senior year of high school, I applied to only five schools: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, and Georgetown. I was accepted to all five. At the time, Harvard offered non-binding "Early Action" applications, so I applied early, and was accepted. Yale offered no such option—however, the admissions office contacted me prior to the official notification date to assure me a spot was available for me should I choose to attend Yale. Something in my applications must have stood out.
While I had strong grades (unweighted 3.9 GPA) and high test scores (9 scores of 5 on AP tests, 1580/1600 SAT I, and a number of strong SAT II Subject Test scores), the same is true of thousands of applicants to the top private schools every year. So, what distinguished my application from theirs?
I believe my advantage lay in the strength of my essays. This is the area where students can best separate themselves from the field, showing their unique abilities and perspectives, and giving admissions panelists the chance to hear the student's own voice. As a graduate of Stanford with a B.A. in English, and a longtime tutor of essay writing, I feel well-equipped to coach others to similar success in this crucial aspect of college applications.
Of course, all this is moot before we know which school we hope to attend. Having spent my first two years at Harvard before transferring to Stanford, I've experienced college on both coasts, in dramatically different cultural climates. Having faced my shares of struggles finding my way at both schools, before eventually learning how to shine in my own light, I know what it's like to be unsure of oneself, to have questions about the right path, and to second-guess previously solid ideals.
I hope I have the opportunity to work with many students through WyzAnt who are seeking the kind of insight and guidance I didn't find until halfway through my college career. Choosing the right college for YOU—not the college with the most prestige, or the one all your friends plan to attend—is the key to an enjoyable and fulfilling undergraduate experience.
With my help, you'll get all the tools you need to make an informed choice—and to floor the admissions committee once your mind is made up.
I have considerable experience tutoring students in the elementary grades. I've worked as a summer camp counselor for Foothills Day Camp and Foothills Fun Camp, as well as Baylands Camp and other local recreational/educational organizations for children. I've planned and taught courses in logic games and creative writing for 6th graders at Edendale Middle School in San Leandro, and taught similar classes as well as providing after-school homework support for students at the Making Waves Academy in Richmond. I am currently employed by Codebreakers Chess Club, teaching chess after school to students as young as 1st grade, a position I've held for over three years now. I have recently added the ISEE and SSAT to my areas of expertise, and tutored local students to prepare for these tests, with strong results.
I pride myself on being approachable, compassionate, and quick to highlight each student's strengths and weaknesses so that we may develop a personalized study plan that will ensure your child's success and build confidence.
Please don't hesitate to contact me with any further questions!
I have taught many students who speak English as a second language. Most recently, I worked at San Jose State University and Stanford University with graduate students from Russia, Japan, and China. In the past, I've designed and taught online courses in creative writing and English mastery for middle school students in Hong Kong. I speak Spanish well, and know some French and Italian, as well as a little Russian and Japanese. However, I feel my greatest strength as an ESL teacher is my deep understanding of the conventions of English language, grammar, spelling and style, which enables me to break down the often confusing rules of English in a manner that's easy for foreign-language learners to understand. I strive to keep lessons engaging and fun as well as informative.
I have tutored several students in both the ISEE and SSAT. My prior experience and training in test-taking methods for the ACT and SAT has helped me develop approaches for these tests as well. My students have shown improved results and confidence, and I can provide clients with testimonials upon request.