A graduate of both the University of Virginia and Harvard University, Ali Stoner is passionate about providing rigorous, entertaining education. As a private tutor she specializes in standardized test preparation and has helped over 100 high schoolers reach their score goals, coaching multiple students to perfect ACT scores or 98th percentile scores on the SAT.
In her sessions, Ali guides students through timing strategies and test-specific techniques, and then takes great care to ensure that students have mastered a test’s fundamental content areas. She tailors her lessons to each student’s individual needs, whether working with high-achieving, self-motivated learners to create independent study plans, or taking a more hands-on approach to assist those who may have fallen behind in particular subjects. For students struggling with test anxiety, Ali teaches a range of mindfulness and breathing exercises to help manage stress and improve focus; her relaxed, positive attitude puts otherwise discouraged students at ease and helps them to address the pressures of academic performance. She has tutored many teenagers with learning disabilities and has assisted parents in navigating almost every possible testing accommodation for both the SAT and ACT. Ultimately, she uses test preparation as an excuse to teach students to become more organized, more curious, and more confident lifelong learners.
Extremely interested in mathematics and inspired by arts-focused extracurricular activities, Ali graduated with honors from UVa, where she created her own interdisciplinary course of study with concentrations in theatre, arts business, and non-profit management. In her fourth year, her academic performance and service to the university community earned her a prestigious room on the UVa Lawn, and she was one of ten students from her 3700-person class to be highlighted as an “Amazing Grad of 2013.” While pursuing work in the entertainment industry, Ali began teaching SAT, ACT, SSAT, and ISEE classes for a nationally ranked test-prep company. She took a two-and-a-half year hiatus to complete her MFA in Acting from Harvard, and began work as a private tutor and educational consultant upon her return to New York City.
In addition to test preparation, many of Ali’s students choose to continue on with her as their college advisor, where she guides applicants through the process of crafting competitive personal statements and supplemental essays. Ali also draws upon her voice and speech training at Harvard to assist ESL students and professionals alike with English pronunciation. She is the author of ELK Academy’s accent reduction curriculum, currently trains the school’s pronunciation coaches, and is developing ELK’s online course in English Pronunciation for native speakers of Slavic languages.
While not tutoring, Ali moonlights as an actor and theatre-maker. She has worked with Tony, Obie, Drama Desk, and Grammy winners, and has collaborated on productions/workshops at The American Repertory Theatre, The Moscow Art Theatre, and The Williamstown Theatre Festival, among others. She loves seeing shows, taking dance classes, hiking, cooking desserts, and spending time with her friends and family.