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.

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 CEP (Certified Educational Planner) and a member of NYSACAC and the Higher Education Consultant Association and subscribes to HECA standards of good practice



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





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. 

Lester Steinberg cropped


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


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 also a co-chair of the Armonk Outdoor Art Show.


Kaila Allison edited

kaila allison

College Applications, SAT and ACT, English; French

Kaila is an English and French tutor.  In addition to working with students on their SAT and ACT test prep, she also helps to read and edit college application essays. She has worked as a translator for English/French and has taught in France.  A graduate of NYU’s Gallatin School, her broad background in languages is enhanced by her background in music.  We are delighted to have Kaila on our team..


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.


Jonathan Rubinstein cropped

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.


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.

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. 

Andrea Coady Official


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!



Lauren Buttimer


lauren buttimer

College Applications, SAT and ACT, English

Lauren graduated from Syracuse University with a BA in English (Secondary) Education and went on to earn her MA in English Curriculum & Instruction from Teachers College, Columbia University. Lauren worked with Neal previously and recently reconnected with him because of their shared interest in education consulting.

Lauren currently resides in Saratoga Springs where she spent the last 8 years teaching English at the public high school in Clifton Park. Her greatest joy was providing support for students as they planned for their lives after graduation: She has written hundreds of recommendation letters, provided lessons for SAT/ACT Prep, and held writing conferences for the college essay.

Lori Cooper Black and White

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.  

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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