We collaborate closely to provide a comprehensive, seamless experience for each of our students. Laura meets with students to focus on her areas of expertise, which include English, Reading, Science, and Writing for the ACT and/or Reading, Writing and Language, and Essay for the SAT. Lorie meets with students to focus on Math for both tests.
My goal is to empower students to realize their full potential and achieve acceptance to their ideal colleges, and I have been pursuing this passion for over 10 years. My ability to connect with young adults and my first-hand knowledge of the parameters by which schools evaluate applicants make me ideally suited to partner with students as they navigate their college application journeys.
My services include taking a student from day one of ACT or SAT test prep through to submitting polished, introspective college application essays that will resonate with admissions officers. I truly get to know students so that I can customize the entire test prep and essay development process for them. The ability for students to bond with one trusted individual who can guide them through this process is invaluable. By partnering with me to reach their full potential on the ACT or SAT and craft the most genuine, revealing application essays, students can be confident that I have helped position them in the best possible manner on their college applications.
I graduated from Duke University cum laude and with distinction with a B.A. in psychology, and I later earned an MBA with a concentration in marketing from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. I served as a member of the Admissions Committee during my two years as a full-time student at Kellogg and read and reviewed hundreds of applications throughout my tenure.
I am, therefore, very well informed about the qualities colleges are seeking in top candidates and highly skilled in advising students on how to craft excellent essays and develop solid applications. I have found that the college application process fundamentally aligns with the MBA process, and thus I have successfully transferred these insights to my college admissions clients.
I am an experienced writer with professional training, and I have a background in copywriting, marketing, brand management, and advertising. My psychology studies and career as a brand/marketing manager enable me to relate well with students and help them develop their own unique “brand” as they craft their college essays and complete other application materials.
In addition, I have received professional training as an ACT/SAT tutor. I taught group prep courses in a high school in the Northern Chicago suburbs prior to moving to an individual-based tutoring model over 10 years ago.
I am also honored to be the mother of four incredibly wonderful boys, and I cherish this role every day. I draw from my experiences as a parent to build rapport with students and help them identify and articulate their unique stories as I guide them through the admissions process.
Lorie Blickhan draws from her nearly 20 years of experience as a high school math teacher and her background in developing ACT-aligned curriculum to provide students with an unparalleled level of expertise as they prepare for ACT and/or SAT math. Lorie also equips students with an excellent working knowledge of the various functions and apps on their calculators that can both save time on the math sections of standardized tests and enable students to solve challenging problems with greater ease. Her goal is to help students build their self-confidence and achieve their best. Lorie holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Benedictine University and an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from Olivet Nazarene University. She has also completed a C.A.S. in Educational Leadership through National Louis University.
Dimitra Buckingham tutors students in the English and Reading sections of the ACT and SAT. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from DePaul University and a Masters of Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and is certified to teach regular and special education.
Dimitra has had many years of experience teaching students of all ages with a wide range of abilities, including elementary, high school, and special education. She especially enjoys working one-on-one with each student. This setting allows Dimitra to focus on the strengths and needs of each student, making the most effective use of a student’s time and energy.
Her approach includes the following methods, among others:
- review of all subject-matter skills and exam concepts;
- provide additional support where needed;
- implement effective and tailored test-taking strategies;
- develop timing and pacing skills given exam time limits;
- assign home study to ensure mastery of material;
- improve test-taking focus and stamina with “live” practice exams;
- review and analyze mistakes and difficult questions; and
- provide real exams for home study.
Dimitra’s primary objective is to enable each student to approach test day as a skilled and confident test-taker, ready to achieve his or her exam goals and realize his or her full potential.
Jessi Aguilar joined Laura George Consulting in February 2018. He grew up in Waukegan so he is very familiar with the northern suburbs of Chicago. He graduated from Waukegan High School in 2013 and Bucknell University in 2017. At Bucknell, He obtained a B.S. in Mathematics and Psychology. Currently Jessi works for the Schuler Scholar, which is a college access program for highly motivated and high achieving students. His current role is at Waukegan High School where he is a STEM coach for their students. He supports students in math ranging from Algebra 1 to Calculus B/C along with science classes. In his free time, he tutors part-time at Beyond Sports Foundation. BSF is an organization that works with exceptional high school athletes from the Chicago land area who come from under resourced backgrounds and use sports as a vehicle to obtain college admissions along with scholarships. There he tutors math, science and Spanish. Jessi is a native Spanish speaker and learned to speak Italian during his time in college. Other interests include keeping up/watching Premiere league soccer and exercising. He ran the Des Plaines River trail Marathon in October 2017.
Mike was born and grew up in Holyoke, MA. He studied undergraduate chemistry at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and Connecticut College, where he finished Summa Cum Laude. He earned his Ph.D. in Inorganic and Solid State Chemistry at Northwestern University. After graduating he spent three years as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Aurora University. There he taught General Chemistry and Physics. Mike currently directs the Chemistry and Physical Sciences Division of the Product Management Department at Flinn Scientific, a publisher of K-12 Science curricula and supplier of laboratory chemicals and equipment.
Mike sincerely enjoys helping students achieve the highest score possible on the ACT exam, so that they might go on to study at one of their top-choice colleges. Mike’s passion for helping students stems in part from his days as a high school student, which were filled with their fair share of anxiety related to standardized exams and college admissions!
Mike lives in Northbrook, IL with his wife, Carlie; son Austin; and daughter Emilia. He enjoys relaxing and laughing with his family as well as any kind of exercise or activity that he can do outdoors, including jogging and tennis.
Kate Pedigo joined Laura George Consulting in February 2018. As Parent Liaison, Kate assists families with registering for services, scheduling tutoring sessions, and arranging practice exams. She is available to address questions and concerns for students and parents during and outside of business hours. Kate holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, and a Master of Education degree in School Counseling. She is a certified marriage preparation and parenting facilitator. She has experience as a Professional School Counselor and as a Local Coordinator for international exchange students and their host families. Kate is an active volunteer- she is a board member of Caring Women’s Connection, and serves on the Boosters committee for Stevenson High School. She and her husband have two sons and live in Hawthorn Woods.