Our tutors and directors are professionals selected for their expertise and enthusiasm for teaching. All of our tutors have years of experience teaching or tutoring and undergo extensive training by Heather Forgione in the company’s test preparation curriculum and methods.
Staff: tutor with a Bachelor’s degree or working towards a Bachelors: $60-$70/hr
Lead Staff: tutor with a Masters degree, possibly a teaching certification and multiple specialties, $80/hr
Director or Assistant Director, $90/hr
Heather Forgione, Executive Director and Owner, $100/hr
Since 2000, Heather has worked with thousands of students, helping them feel prepared and confident with standardized tests, college application essays, and other academic subjects. Heather takes the SAT and ACT frequently and scored a 2390 out of 2400 on the SAT and a 35 on the ACT. Heather tutors exclusively in the Merton Dr. Raleigh office.
In 1999, Heather graduated summa cum laude from Union College in NY with a BA in English and a minor in Biology. As a pre-med student and biology major for three years, she studied math and science extensively, including courses in calculus, biology, organic chemistry, and physics. Eventually, her passion for English led her to focus her studies on literature. Heather completed an honors creative writing thesis and was selected to tutor in the college’s Writing Center. She graduated as Valedictorian of the Humanities Department and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. After college, Heather was drawn to teaching and mentoring students and became the director of Score At The Top Learning Center in Boca Raton, FL in 2000. She managed the growing center, taught SAT and ACT lessons and group workshops, trained tutors, and contributed to the center’s SAT and ACT strategy workbooks. Heather’s extensive training was guided by the center’s owner, a major contributor to the College Board’s SAT prep software and test preparation books. Heather also assisted with the college counseling at the learning center and at a local private high school.
With years of experience behind her, she founded Forgione Tutoring in 2007. The same year, she taught a year-long test prep course at a private school in Florida that covered math, reading, and writing test-taking strategies. In 2010, she relocated her family and the business to Raleigh and in 2013 hired Forgione Tutoring’s first staff members. The Cary center was opened in 2015 and expanded in 2017. The North Raleigh center was opened in 2018, and our midtown Raleigh office was expanded in 2021. Most recently, she taught a 10-week test prep course at St. Mary’s School as part of their junior seminar. In life outside of work, Heather dedicates her time to her husband, son, and daughter, and she looks forward to working with your son or daughter.
Charles Vander Zwagg, Cary Director
After graduating from Columbia, Charles was one of the first Peace Corps volunteers in Poland, where he taught American Studies and Composition in a teacher training college. He stayed in Poland for nine years, during which he earned a Master’s in English Philology from Opole University and a Ph.D in Cultural Studies from the University of Silesia. His research focused on contemporary approaches to textual analysis, and he published several journal articles. He returned to the United States and was English Department Chair at Delbarton School (NJ) before devoting himself to teaching English in urban public schools in Massachusetts and New York, where he also began working as a test prep tutor. Charles has been active as a tutor for fourteen years in New York City and North Carolina, specializing in both ESL and SAT/ACT prep. Charles sees himself as an academic coach and draws from his extensive experience playing and coaching competitive sports. His other interests include choral singing and languages, having studied Polish, Spanish, French, Arabic, and Ancient Greek. Most importantly to him, he is the father of an adult daughter and a middle schooler, with whom he lives in Chapel Hill. He can often be found at UNC sporting events, live music performances, the Chelsea Theater, or independent bookstores. Charles directs our Cary center, and tutors all subjects of the SAT and ACT.
Maureen Cecchino, Assistant Program Director
Maureen has over 20 years experience teaching and tutoring English, reading, writing, test prep, Algebra, ACT Science, and college application essays. Originally from New Jersey, Maureen received her B.A. from the University of Notre Dame. She worked for some time in the publishing field and received a M.A. in Creative Writing from California State University (Northridge) and her teaching certificate as part of the New York City Teaching Fellow’s program. Her teaching career began in New York City, where she taught high school English. Later, she taught English as a Second Language (ESL) and taught SAT, ACT, and ISEE/SSAT prep for a national test prep company. Upon relocating to Raleigh, she taught ESL classes through Wake Tech’s Adult Education program for many years and joined Forgione Tutoring in 2015. In 2022, Maureen was promoted to our full-time Assistant Program Director and contributes to the company’s curriculum by helping to write and revise our strategy guides. In her free time, Maureen loves hiking, doing pottery, and (of course!) reading and writing. Maureen tutors all test prep subjects in our midtown Raleigh office and virtually.
Andrew M., Math and Science Specialist
A former pupil of some of the most brilliant minds in mathematics, including Dr. Evguenii Rakhmanov and Dr. Seung-Yeop Lee, Andrew received his B.A. in Mathematics from the University of South Florida in 2017. He has always had an affinity for numbers and problem solving, and—following his graduation—worked as a tutor at the Academic Success Center of Hillsborough Community College for several years. While there, he tutored students in a wide range of mathematics courses and subjects such as Calculus, Trigonometry, and Differential Equations. Andrew has also taught at the high-school level and was a teacher at East Bay High School in Tampa, FL from 2017-2018 where he formally instructed students in Algebra and Trigonometry. Andrew is a steadfast advocate that human intelligence is infinite, all experiences are lessons, and that everyone is capable of learning new skills. In his free time, he enjoys studying world history, exploring the outdoors, reading, playing guitar, and honing his web developer expertise. Andrew tutors math and science prep for SAT and ACT as well as all high school level mathematics at our Midtown Raleigh office.
Daniel B., Reading and Writing Specialist, Virtual
Daniel earned his BA in English from Furman University in 2013, and then his Master’s of Arts in Teaching from Winthrop University in 2018. He went on to teach English at Nation Ford High School in SC for three years. During that time, he taught grades 9-12, working extensively with incoming Freshmen and outgoing Seniors. In 2021, he began tutoring grades 2-12 in a variety of subjects, including English, Math, Advanced Reading Skills, and Study Skills. He loves stories of all kinds, especially fantasy and science fiction. Daniel’s passion is to inspire and encourage his students to excel and find confidence in themselves. Daniel tutors the Reading and English portions of the SAT and ACT, as well as college application essay writing, via Zoom only.
James G., Math and Science Specialist
James graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from the University of Florida, while there he tutored students in college physics. He also obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Central Florida in Computer Engineering Technology. His first career was in the aerospace and telecommunications industries as a software engineer. James’ second career was as a teacher in middle school and high school. He taught math and science, including high school Physics and AP Physics. James is a patient tutor who encourages students to work towards their goals and to change tactics as necessary to ensure success. He encourages people to be lifelong learners and to obtain new skills all their lives. In his free time, he enjoys reading, walking for exercise, small engine repair and the outdoors. James tutors middle school Math, some levels of high school math, and test prep math and Science at our North Raleigh offices and online.
Jeanna S., Reading and Writing Specialist
After graduating from high school as Valedictorian, Jeanna went on to obtain a BA in History from NC State and an MA in History from Sam Houston State University. Utilizing her passion for history and education, she taught for the past five years at the high school level. She has taught various social studies subjects as well as college prep and readiness courses. She enjoys challenging students to develop critical thinking skills along with content knowledge for a more balanced education. Currently, she is pursuing a PhD in History at the UNC Greensboro. In her off time, she reads historical nonfiction particularly focused on Colonial America and the Age of Exploration or escapes into the fictional world of Harry Potter. Jeanna uses the skills honed throughout her academic and professional careers to tutor students in reading, writing, and history at the Cary office and virtually.
Laura F., Math and Science Specialist
Laura taught Mathematics (grades 6-12) and Science (grades 6-9) in North Carolina Public Schools for 30 years, recently retiring from Wake Forest High School. She graduated from Skidmore College, NY in 1985 with a B.A. in Economics and Computer Science. Laura initially worked as a programmer in New York before moving to North Carolina in 1986, at which time she became interested in teaching and became certified to teach through UNC-CH. Teaching became her passion, and she found working with young people to be rewarding. She is excited about working at Forgione Tutoring and using her skills as a mathematics teacher in a tutoring setting. She works mainly in our North Raleigh office.
Lindsay R., Reading and Writing Specialist
Lindsay received a BA in English with a teaching certification in 2009 from Eastern Illinois University, and in 2020 she completed her MA in English at Wayne State University. Part of her education included preparing students to take ACTs, SATs, and other state examinations. In the first part of her career, she taught English, journalism, and special education classes in public high schools in Illinois and Michigan for six years. In 2018, she began working as a graduate student assistant at Wayne State University’s Writing Center. She is currently working toward her PhD in English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where she is teaching English 105, an undergraduate introductory composition course. She enjoys working with high school aged students and having the opportunity to help them prepare for the SAT and ACT. In her free time, Lindsay enjoys researching Medieval Studies, particularly through the lenses of Disability Studies, Food Studies, and Queer Studies. She tutors mainly in our Cary office and virtually.
Lucas O., All SAT/ACT Subjects Tutor
Lucas has been an educator for over 15 years. He has an MFA from Florida State University and a BFA from the University of Pittsburgh. He was a master’s level tutor for The Princeton Review for 9 years, teaching all sections of the SAT, ACT, and GRE. He has also worked at a few elite private tutoring centers teaching high school math from Algebra I to AP Calculus. As a college admissions expert, he helps students optimize their college applications and write compelling essays. He has seen thousands of students get accepted into their dream schools. He has an outgoing personality, and he encourages a friendly relationship with his students. He incorporates life coaching and mind management into his sessions. This has had a profound impact on students’ lives both academically and personally. He hopes to alleviate teenage stressors and cater to different teaching and learning preferences. An open dialogue with students and parents is crucial. Whether it’s to pass a class or get accepted into a dream college, Lucas would love to be your cheerleader. Lucas tutors all levels of Math and all subjects of the SAT and ACT in our North Raleigh office.
Marco P., Reading and Writing Specialist
Since his childhood days in Toronto, Marco has long appreciated the written word. A voracious reader, he committed himself to the formal study of English at the University of Toronto, earning a B.A. in the field. As an undergraduate, Marco worked as a Tutor for his institution’s “Transitional Year Program”, and it was here that Marco was able to unite his passion for reading and writing with the deep fulfillment that follows from helping struggling students succeed. In 2008, Marco relocated to Tokyo, Japan to pursue his professional ambitions. As an instructor for the premiere Japanese test prep company in Tokyo, Marco taught strategy classes for multiple test formats including TOEFL, SAT, and GMAT. Over the years, Marco broadened his capabilities by conducting regular lectures at some of Japan’s finest universities and gained valuable experience designing study guides and a host of other materials. After a decade of helping students succeed in their academic endeavors, Marco relocated to Raleigh. The change prompted a return to study, and in 2019 he graduated summa cum laude from East Carolina University with a Master’s degree in English. Out of the office, Marco is an enthusiastic aquarist who keeps hundreds of species of aquatic plants and animals. He is also an avid DIYer and loves building in his workshop, playing basketball, and gardening. He tutors Reading, Writing, and college application essays in both our Raleigh offices and virtually.
Michelle B., All SAT/ACT Subjects Tutor
Michelle has completed all undergraduate coursework at UNC-Chapel Hill in pursuit of degrees in Mathematics Education and Music Theory. Throughout high school, she tutored her peers in various levels of math, which lead to her first official tutoring job. As a freshman at UNC, she tutored math at Culbreth Middle School in Carrboro, where she worked both in classrooms and with individual students with ADHD and/or ASD. She worked at Sylvan Learning Center of Jacksonville for almost two years, where she tutored K-12 levels of math and reading comprehension, as well as test prep for the ACT, SAT, and ASVAB. Through her work at Sylvan, she realized that she truly loved her time tutoring and decided to pursue a career as a math teacher. Able to teach all test-prep subjects and math through Calculus III, Michelle has continued to spread her love of math to the students at Forgione Tutoring and has helped them achieve their SAT, ACT, and college goals since joining us in 2017. Michelle tutors all test prep subjects in our Cary office and virtually.
Theo C., Math and Science Specialist
Theo earned his BS in Physics with general and departmental honors from Johns Hopkins University in 2019, and went on to receive his MS in Physics from NC State University in 2021. He has conducted astrophysics and computational physics research, and is passionate about learning and teaching the endless mysteries of the universe and the natural world. Theo has taught as a university teaching assistant for mathematics and physics classes and tutored many students over the years. Theo works to help his students understand concepts from a fundamental level using what they already know, building foundations for students to reason out further problems. In his spare time, Theo enjoys cycling, singing a cappella, and playing Pokémon GO. He tutors all levels of Math and Physics and the Math and Science sections of the SAT and ACT in our Midtown Raleigh office
Tom Langan, Full-time Math and Science Specialist
Tom earned two degrees from SUNY Cortland College, a BA in Physics and a MAT in Science Education. He then spent time teaching high school physics and math and coaching lacrosse at the high school and college levels. Deciding to combine academics and athletics, he transitioned to working as an academic advisor, tutor and tutor coordinator in three college athletic departments (NC State, University of Alabama-Birmingham and Syracuse University). He worked with student-athletes, preparing them for success during and after their athletic careers. While at Syracuse, Tom also tutored students from the general student body as well as through the Office of Disability Services, assisting students with learning and physical differences. His focus was on Calculus and Statistics, but he often worked with students on numerous subjects, many including a math or technology component. In a full-time role here at the “Forge”, Tom contributes to developing and improving our test prep curriculum and strategy guides and our in-house math worksheets. When he’s not doing math, he continues to enjoy playing lacrosse, competing in local leagues and traveling to tournaments across the country and internationally.
Victor C., All SAT/ACT Subjects Tutor
Victor is a junior at Duke University where he is pursuing a degree in Psychology and a minor in Spanish. Throughout high school, Victor spent significant time tutoring his fellow peers and classmates in various subjects from AP Calculus to Spanish. While in college, he has mentored students in younger classes in an attempt to help them not only become better students but better people while going through college. Ever since tutoring his peers in high school, Victor knew education and helping others has a special place in his heart and is why he is working for Forgione Tutoring. His goal is to help all of his students prepare for the ACT and SAT and help them accomplish their goals. Victor tutors all test prep subjects in our Cary and Raleigh offices and virtually.
Cherie Warren, Administrative Assistant
Cherie handles bookkeeping and other administrative tasks. Originally from New Jersey, she graduated from Virginia Tech in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing Management and a Global Business Concentration. Her professional work experience ranged from careers in Marketing, Human Resources, and Office and Financial Administration. Through these variety of experiences in accounting, payroll and general office duties, Cherie has gained the skills necessary to keep track of the books for small businesses.
About Our Tutors
Our tutors have a wide range of skills and experiences. Our tutors have:
- Taught or tutored for anywhere from 5 – 30 years
- Passed a background screening and reference check
- Scored over a 700 out of an 800 on an SAT screening test in their areas of specialty
- Undergone an initial 10 – 20 hours of training on our curriculum
- Demonstrated that they are dynamic and motivating educators dedicated to helping students succeed
The skills and techniques I teach have a far-reaching and long-lasting impact on a student’s general knowledge and confidence. Incorporated into my lessons are reading, writing, and math fundamentals that provide review and enrichment. Taken into consideration are each child’s unique strengths and abilities, which are used as a foundation for further learning. It is my goal to create a fun and dynamic learning experience that can motivate any child and enhance his or her love of learning. I believe that through the combination of positive thinking and consistent practice, a student can achieve his or her goals.
– Heather Forgione, President of Forgione Tutoring