Our Tutors

by | Jul 30, 2019

Jennifer Dannenfelser, M.Ed.

Jennifer Dannenfelser, M.Ed.

Founder

 

Jennifer was a Montessori elementary teacher for over a decade. She knew that each and every one of her students was learning in their own way, yet many could not show their knowledge or gain knowledge through the written word despite adequate instruction. Like most classroom teachers, she didn’t have the tools that one in five children need to master our language: systematic, multi-sensory direct instruction. In 2013, Jennifer took Orton-Gillingham training in with the intention to better serve these children in the classroom. She also studied different techniques to support children with specific learning disabilities in math  to better inform math instruction.  Her passion for helping these different learners turned into Mindguide Learning, and she has never looked back. 

Mindguide now serves elementary and middle school students who attend all kinds of schools in person and online throughout the Portland metro area and beyond. 

 

Anaïs Alexander

Anaïs Alexander

Math Tutor

 

 For the last two decades Anaïs has worked as an educator. For twelve of those years, she taught grades 1-8 at a Waldorf school.  In addition, she has also served communities and schools as a parent educator, a nutrition educator, educational consultant and teacher trainer for programs in the U.S., Mexico, and, as a Peace Corps Volunteer, in Southern Africa.

Curiosity has always been at the center of Anaïs relationship with students. She believes that each child has an innate desire to learn, and our task as educators is to find the key that enables them to find joy in learning. Creative and multisensory experiences have always been at the cornerstone of her teaching.

As a mother of a child with dyslexia, Anaïs has seen firsthand the tremendous impact that one on one, multisensory instruction can have on non-traditional learners. “It feels like such an incredible gift to be able to design and tailor lessons that truly meet him, allow him to understand all the ways he is smart and capitalize on his gifts.” 

 

Denise Peppers, Ph.D.

Denise Peppers, Ph.D.

Math Tutor

 

Dr. Denise Peppers is a retired math teacher from Alabama who has 22 years of classroom teaching experience and five years experience providing professional development to K-12 math teachers. She has taught a variety of math courses in grades 7-12, as well as at the community college level and is familiar with the challenges facing children who struggle to learn math. In addition, Dr. Peppers has taught mathematics courses for elementary teachers and math methods courses for middle grades teachers. She has presented numerous times at the local, state, and national levels at conferences for math educators. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, spending time with family & friends, and cooking.
Bryan Black, B.A. English

Bryan Black, B.A. English

Language Tutor

 

After graduating from the University of Oregon with a degree in English, I worked with children as an ice skating instructor and as a volunteer in my children’s schools. With over twenty years in production management positions, I decided to make a career change to a field that would appeal to my educational background and also make a direct and positive impact on the lives of young people learning to read. Last Summer, I completed the classroom educator series at the Blosser Center for Dyslexia Resources. Since then, I have been tutoring several students in Portland, while continuing my practicum and volunteer work.

Brittany Zurschmit, M.A.T.

Brittany Zurschmit, M.A.T.

Math Tutor

 

After completing a BA in Psychology, Brittany worked with puppies at a guide dog center. A fascination with behavior and development drove her to return to school and in 2015 she graduated with an M.A.T in Elementary Education. Since then, Brittany has gained experience working with children ages three through fourteen in a variety of environments including public schools, private schools, and outdoor education programs.

 

Brittany’s first step is always to build relationships with students so that she can understand their specific skills as learners. Once these skills are identified, Brittany guides students through engaging, multi-sensory math work to build meaningful connections with math concepts. She tailors her instruction to best fit each student’s pace, learning styles, and development so that each student’s unique learning path is supported.
Samantha Pisano

Samantha Pisano

Language Tutor

 

Samantha Pisano has worked in education both as a special education teacher and reading specialist.  She graduated from King’s College with certifications in elementary and special education.  After working for several years in a junior high public school, she realized that many students were still struggling to read at that level.  Samantha graduated from Kings College again with a Masters in Reading education and a reading specialist certification.  She also holds certifications in middle level math and a supervisor of special education certification in the state of Pennsylvania. Samantha is currently pursuing  an Ed.D. from Wilkes University and is anticipated to graduate in 2022. Samantha began tutoring privately in 2016 and likes the individualized attention and instruction she can provide during tutoring sessions.