Meet the Team

Neal Schwartz


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.

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 board of the Northern Westchester Business Network. Neal also volunteers 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 two college graduates, and a son who is a college senior.

HECA logo

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



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. 

Jim Johnson


Science ACT

Jim is a long time middle school and high school math teacher of Algebra 2 and Trigonometry.  He has been on our staff for over eight years, putting hundreds of students at ease as they succeed in their math and SAT/ACT work.


Stacy Wilder College Applications


Assistant Director
College Application Advisor; Essays

Stacy has been part of the the CPW team since 2011. She has worked with students to capture and devleop their unique stories into memorable and distinctive college essays. Her 30 years of writing and editing experience, both in the corporate and private sector, make her uniquely qualified to help advise students through the writing elements of the college process.

Additionally, Stacy volunteers in the Yonkers high schools, mentoring students in the college counseling center to help guide them through the college application and essay writing experience. She is a co-chair of the Armonk Outdoor Art Show and Director of Communications for the Armonk Chamber of Commerce.


David Hut ACT tutor



David is a premier ACT tutor with 15 years of experience with this test. David teaches an ACT class at two Westchester County schools: Irvington High School and Iona Prep. Prior to these roles, he worked as an ACT/SAT consultant at Summit School in Nyack and was an SAT tutor in Paris for a top tier U.S. University. Previously, David was a counselor at Bronx High School of Science for 10 years. David holds a bachelors degree from Northwestern University in Sociology and a Masters degree from Columbia Teachers College.


Janel O'Brien SAT Tutor


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.


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Ruth Kraus, CFA

Algebra, Geometry

Ruth is a Chartered Financial Analyst who graduated from SUNY-Albany with a BS in Economics and a minor in Mathematics.  After a career in the financial industry, Ruth joined College Planning of Westchester to specialize in tutoring Algebra and Geometry. She is a Byram Hills alumna.


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. 



ISEE and SSAT,  Language Arts and Social Studies

Ariel earned her MA in teaching and is New York state certified in early childhood education. She has extensive experience as a student teacher and substitute teacher in elementary schools. Ariel is a qualified reading, writing, and math tutor for younger students.


Rosalind Dempsey

SAT/ACT, Math and Science, Physics, Pre-Calc, Calc

Rosalind is a graduate of the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University with a BS in Electrical Engineering and a minor in Economics.   Rosalind is from the area and went to the Ursuline School.


Lauren Racano

SAT/ACT, English and Reading, Spanish

Lauren graduated from Fairfield University with both her undergraduate and graduate degrees.  She currently teaches a public school in nearby Connecticut.  Lauren grew up in Mount Kisco and went to the Bedford Schools.



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SAT/ACT, Math and Science, Physics, Geometry, Pre-Calc, Calc

Justin is a graduate of Hamilton College and earned a BS in Physics, with a minor in both Art and Math.  His main area of expertise is math from pre-algebra  through calculus and Physics.  He has a broad range of knowledge and tutors the Math and Science portions of the SAT and ACT.  Justin grew up in Dobbs Ferry and resides there today. 


College Planning of Westchester

Providing Guidance & Preparation for the Pre-College Years

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