Meet the Team

Neal 2019


Certified College Counselor

Neal has been providing academic and college planning services to Westchester County students since 2004. He earned his College Counseling Certification, with distinction, from UCLA Extension and His CEP (Certified Educational Planner) from the AICEP (American Institute of Certified Educational Planners). 

College Planning of Westchester provides a holistic approach to the academic, college prep and search process. By addressing and assisting with all academic, college planning, application and financial needs, students are supported every step of the way through their pre-college years.

Neal is president of the Armonk Chamber of Commerce and is on the Union College Alumni Council. Neal also volunteers with YPIE at Yonkers High School advising students through the college process. He graduated from Union College in Schenectady. His wife is an optometrist in Westchester County.   He has three college graduates who all live and work in NYC.

Neal is a member of NYSACAC and the Higher Education Consultant Association and subscribes to HECA standards of good practice





SAT and ACT, Math/Science

Lauren is a History and Science major at Harvard University (May 2025).  At Harvard, she participates in Crimson EMB, Harvard MEDLIFE, and Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business. She graduated from Arlington High School (Arlington, MA) as the valedictorian.  


Math SAT/ACT, Science ACT
Pre-Algebra to AP Calculus

Lester has been tutoring in both Westchester and Fairfield Counties for the past seven years.  In addition to tutoring students for the SAT and ACT math/science, he also tutors Pre-Algebra through to AP Calculus. Lester is a math teacher in a Connecticut school when he is not at College Planning of Westchester, which helps him stay current on changes to curriculum.  Lester worked in Banking prior to his educational career.  A graduate of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and Carnegie Mellon, Lester brings a broad background of experience to CPW and our students


Jonathan Rubinstein

SAT/ACT, Math and Science, Biology, Chemistry

Jonathan holds a B.S. in Biology from Stony Brook University. Growing up in a family of educators, he admittedly learned how to teach and tutor from a very early age.  Jonathan is extremely thorough and in combination with his ability to connect with so many students, he is still able to get the results students/parents are looking for.


Andrea Coady

SAT/ACT Math; Algebra/Geometry/Trig;  Special Education

Andrea holds a Master of Science in both Mathematics Education and Students with Disabilities from Mercy College.  She currently teaches High School Math at a public school in Northern Westchester.  We are thrilled to have her on board!


SAT/ACT, English and History

Janel is a New York state-certified social studies teacher with her Master's in history and education. She has been the lead tutor at College Planning of Westchester for SAT/ACT prep, reading, writing, and English since 2004.



SAT and ACT,  English

Laura is a graduate of the University of Texas Law School and most recently received her Masters in English Education from Manhattanville.  She has been tutoring SAT/ACT and high school English since 2012 in Westchester County. She has a number of published books and essays. 


Tama Bernstein

SAT and ACT,  English

Tama is a lover of books, language and writing, with a BA from Connecticut College and graduate studies in Latin, English and business.  She taught English and Latin for nine years, before changing paths to run a small business.  She has since returned to her passion for preparing high school students for their college entrance exams and mentoring their path to winning essays and scores.

Tama brings a fresh and collaborative style to working with students.  She is flexible yet focused in her approach, tailoring each session to the individual student's needs and interests. 

Lori Cooper

Interview Specialist

Lori is passionate about preparing high school students for their college interviews, which she has been doing for the past ten years. Before becoming an independent interview specialist, she conducted alumni interviews for her alma mater for over twenty years.  She works with students to create a confident, successful interview experience.  Lori has a BA from Middlebury College and a Master of Health Services Administration degree from the University of Michigan.  Prior to her work as an interview specialist, Lori was a senior consultant for a health care think tank in Washington, DC.  

Nichole Shortman cropped

nichole shortman

SAT/ACT, English and Reading; English, English Literature; U.S. History; Special Education

Nichole holds a B.A. from Western Connecticut and is finishing up her Masters in Professional Studies at Manhattanville College.  Nichole's expertise and interests are in literature and writing, specifically twentieth century fiction and poetry, as well as creative and essay writing. 


College Funding Expert
Since 2006, Dan has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate their way through every aspect of the college funding maze. As a former Financial Planner, Dan knows the ins and outs of how colleges count income and assets against families when it comes to awarding their Merit and Financial Aid. With his guidance, parents get the facts they need to have the College Money Talk and map out how they are going to pay for college and students learn where to look for and apply for college scholarships so they pursue to the right colleges at the right price! Dan is a member of the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA) and the Kentucky Association for College Admission Counseling (KYACAC).




Jessie, a software engineer and data scientist, received a broad and in-depth education in science and engineering.  After completing a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering in China, she received a master’s degree in mathematics from Fordham University, a master’s degree in computer science from Caltech, and a Ph.D. in computer science from the Courant Institute at NYU.  She raised two children (both STEM majors) and gained an intimate knowledge of the STEM curriculum and how to effectively prepare students for standardized tests. Her students have achieved remarkable results within short time periods.  She is most proud of the confidence that her students gain through enhancing their understanding and skills in the tests and subject areas.




Listen to this recent podcast where Neal was interviewed by Jill Nicolini 

Listen to this recent podcast where Neal was interviewed by Mike Muldoon. 

Or view the video interview: 

Get to hear Neal's perspective on college counseling at 13:28 into the podcast/video.


Recently Featured in Inside Armonk, Neal's work with the Armonk Chamber of Commerce


Parade Announcer for Armonk's Frosty Day:

Neal announcing Frosty Parade 2021 cropped and highlighted



New Frontiers Pic

Executive Function Coaching Delivered through New Frontiers: Click on Picture to get started


College Planning of Westchester


Contact us today for more information on giving your child the edge in college acceptance