About Us

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 Levels

Staff: tutors working towards a Bachelor’s degree are $50/hr

Lead Staff: tutors who have completed a Bachelor’s degree, $60/hr

Specialist: tutor with a Masters degree and multiple specialties, $70/hr

  • Eric Salmon: all test prep subjects
  • Maureen Cecchino: Reading/Writing, test prep Math & Science, college essays
  • Tiffany Long: Reading/Writing, College Essays
  • Marco Passarelli: Reading/Writing, college essays


April Koch, Cary Director, $70/hr

Heather Forgione, Executive Director and Owner, $90/hr

Heather ForgioneHeather Forgione, Owner and Executive Director

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 Schenectady, 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 and writing. 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. There 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. In life outside of work, Heather dedicates her time to her husband, son, and daughter. She is excited to be a part of the community of Raleigh and looks forward to working with your son or daughter.

April Koch, Cary Director

April has been tutoring high school math and science since 2007. A Delaware native, she earned her B.S. in Biology from the University of North Carolina before beginning her teaching career as an environmental educator. She holds an M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction, and has taught high school biology, biomedical science, and plant science. Between teaching, April has also recorded lessons for Study.com, taught SAT/ACT prep courses for Princeton Review and other test prep companies, and explored the forest with campers at Piedmont Wildlife Center. She lives in Chapel Hill with her husband Arthur, three cats, and a starling. She manages our Cary office, contributes to our strategy guides and test prep curriculum, and tutors all test prep subjects.

Eric Salmon, Specialist

Adept at teaching all test prep subject areas, Eric’s first love is biology. During his tenure as a graduate student at Middle Tennessee State University, he researched fish parasites and even discovered and named a new species. His graduate research allowed him to conduct fieldwork in freshwater rivers and streams, salt marshes of Louisiana, and within the Gulf of Mexico aboard research vessels. He taught general biology labs and oversaw research projects in high school biology classes. After graduating with a Masters degree in Biology, he taught high school biology and middle school science and spent several semesters as an adjunct professor teaching biology and human anatomy and physiology at the college level. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, reading, and fishing. He is married with two children, Sarah (16 yo) and Marcus (2 yo).

Carrie W., Lead Staff

Carrie graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and is finishing her M.A. thesis in American Literature with a concentration in comparative frameworks. Her history with the mentoring profession goes back as far as high school when she tutored her peers at the Wade Edwards Learning Lab for the National Honors Society. When she joined the team at Appalachian State University Tutorial Services, she quickly progressed from being a math, English, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Spanish tutor to being a lab manager within her first year of work. These experiences, along with teaching college-level Rhetoric & Composition and working for the Writing Center at Appalachian State, provide her a solid foundation in Reading and Writing pedagogy. When Carrie isn’t nerd-ing out about information and media literacy, she is studying Japanese and Dutch, reading too many books at once, learning new cooking techniques, or spending time outdoors with her partner and her dog. She tutors Reading and Writing test prep and some levels of math in our North Raleigh location.

Julia M., Lead Staff

Julia graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and a minor in Neuroscience. While attending UNC, she was inducted into Tri Beta, the National Biology Honors Society. During her time at UNC, she worked as a tutor for high school students studying Biology, Chemistry, Algebra, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, and AP and IB curriculum courses. She is currently obtaining her Master’s Degree in Physiology from North Carolina State University. Julia tutors fall test prep subjects at our Cary and midtown Raleigh offices.

Marco P., 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 fascinating species of aquatic plants and animals.  He is also an avid DIYer and loves spending time building in his workshop, playing basketball, and gardening. He tutors Reading and Writing in our North Raleigh office.

Maureen C., Specialist

Maureen has over 17 years experience teaching and tutoring English, reading, and writing. In recent years, her repertoire has grown to include test prep Math, Algebra 1, 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). Later, she received 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. Prior to moving to Raleigh, she taught English as a Second Language (ESL) and tutored the reading, English, and essay portions of the SAT, ACT, and ISEE/SSAT for a national test prep company. She currently teaches ESL classes through Wake Tech’s Adult Education program. A talented writer, Maureen contributes to the company’s curriculum by helping to create and write some of our strategy guides. In her free time, Maureen loves hiking, doing pottery, and (of course!) reading and writing. Maureen tutors in our Merton Dr. Raleigh office.

Michelle B., Staff

Michelle is a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill pursuing degrees in Mathematics 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, she is excited to be able to continue to teach and hopefully spread her love of math to the students at Forgione Tutoring while also helping them achieve their SAT, ACT, and college goals. Michelle tutors all test prep subjects in our Cary office.

Russell M., Lead Staff

Russell graduated with the highest distinction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2018 with a B.S. in Mathematics, a second major in Philosophy, and a minor in Physics. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 2017, and his work in philosophical writing, reading, and analysis led the Philosophy Department to present him with the Worth Award for excellence in philosophy, the oldest academic award at UNC-Chapel Hill, in 2018.  Russell has been tutoring since 2011, helping students deepen their understanding of Algebra, Geometry, Statistics, Calculus, Physics, Chemistry, History, and Latin. His approach to academic tutoring aims to give students the tools they need to ultimately solve problems themselves, while offering strategies and insights that classroom teachers often neglect or gloss over. In mathematics and physics, Russell wants students to walk away from a concept believing it to be something they could have discovered on their own. He has also been teaching guitar lessons since 2015 and playing guitar since 2005. Russell welcomes the challenge of education in a musical context, meeting students where they are and balancing their individual needs for the development of craft, technique, theoretical knowledge, aesthetic appreciation, and the confidence required to perform their best work.  In his free time, Russell enjoys reading, writing, and spending time outdoors. Russell tutors in our Cary office.

Tiffany L., Specialist

Originally from Canada, Tiffany moved to the Triangle in 2014. She received her B.A. in English from Wilfrid Laurier University and received her M.A. in Education at D’Youville College in New York as well as edTPA honors for teaching. She taught at Broughton High School for five years in AP Language and Composition, English IV, and English III (Academic and Honors).  As a National Board Certified teacher, she has mentored NC State students in teaching and has experience tutoring SAT and ACT preparation. She is highly versed in AP test writing in areas such as synthesis, argumentative, and rhetorical analysis. Currently, she is enrolled at NCSU for her M.A. in Administration. She is a part of Principal Fellowship Cohort 26 and active in her DKG community as President supporting women educators and education in Wake County. When Tiffany is not busy with her studies, she can be found reading a book or spending time with her husband and three cats. She tutors Reading and Writing test prep in our Merton Dr. Raleigh location.

Cherie Warren, Administrative Assistant

Cherie handles bookkeeping and other administrative tasks. Originally from New Jersey, she graduated 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. Cherie regularly substitute teaches at local schools, which also provides her the opportunity to be more directly involved in the educational life of her three children.

About Our Tutors

Our tutors have a wide range of skills and experiences. Our tutors have:

  • Taught or tutored for anywhere from 5 – 16 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