Our Team

Who We Are

We build on students’ educations as well as fill in the gaps. We prepare students for lifelong success where schools alone cannot. We cultivate students for success on and beyond grades and tests and position them to get the most out of their school years.

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Our Team


Founding CEO, Director of English, Admissions Consultant
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Shawn Berger has over 10 years of experience working as a teacher, dorm parent, Admissions Committee member, Professional Development Committee chair, lacrosse and cross country coach, and student advisor. The intimate connections with whole families that he made as Dean of Student Life at an independent k-8 in Princeton, NJ, motivated him to pursue a career as an educational consultant where helping students overcome their fears and break new ground are daily occurrences. Education has always been the context in which Shawn has made the strongest relations as well as been of the greatest service to others, especially regarding coaching families to maximally navigate their children’s school experiences. Shawn previously served as an executive board member for the New Jersey Council of Teachers English and is an associate member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA).  Founder of The Lyceum Institute, an educational services company, Shawn has a bachelor’s degree in English Language Arts and a master’s degree in Adolescence Education, as well as a diploma in Spanish as a Foreign Language. He is a New York State Certified Teacher who has a broad range of experience working with 4th through 12th graders in both urban and rural settings:  public, radical, and private schools from the Bronx to Princeton.  


SSAT/SAT/ACT/PSAT English, Remote Public Speaking

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Alexandra has her B.A. in English Literature and her Ed.M. in Secondary English Language Arts Education, both from Rutgers University. Alexandra has had over 16 years of experience teaching English literature at the high school level, as well as 15 years tutoring students in SAT/ACT test prep and language arts/writing skills. She currently continues to tutor, in addition to providing writing assessment services for private test companies. Alexandra has also written two resource books for classroom teachers: Teaching Reading, Analyzing and Writing in 10 Lessons and Fight the Fake News Invasion.


Director of Math, MOM 4-12, SSAT/SAT/ACT/PSAT Math

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Jim has his BS in Chemical Engineering from The New Jersey Institute of Technology and an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University. After retiring from his career at Hewlett-Packard Company, he taught high school math for 11 years before becoming a tutor. Jim’s professional experience has prepared him well for both his work as a Lyceum Tutor and Director of Lyceum’s Math Department. Jim specializes in all of Lyceum’s Math offerings—MOM, subject tutoring, and Test Prep (SAT, ACT, AP Exams, SSAT, and ISEE)—and Lyceum’s Physics offering.


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Leyla Tonak is an award-winning artist, writer and researcher.  Leyla holds a BFA from Boston University, where they graduated Summa Cum Laude as a Presidential Scholar, a member of the Kilachand Honors College and a recipient of the Dean Elsbeth Melville Scholarship. Leyla has mentored students from elementary to college level as a teaching assistant and counselor for BU’s Visual Arts Summer Institute and the MFA Boston’s Studio Classes.  Leyla grew up traveling between Nova Scotia, Canada, and Istanbul, Turkey, and completed part of their education in Turkey and Europe.  They continue to find this cross-cultural perspective an informative and enriching point of connection in their work with young people from different contexts and backgrounds, particularly those who are new to the US education system.  Leyla has always been deeply invested in writing and storytelling, particularly in the service of social good.  They have taught creative workshops in US prisons, worked with NGO’s to write grant proposals for disaster funding, and recently completed a Fullbright research project on Turkey’s femicide crisis.  At The Lyceum Institite, Leyla specializes in English Tutoring and Application Essay Writing and Support.

 Linda Ziamanesh is an undergraduate at the University of Virginia majoring in Chemistry and minoring in German


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Femia is a current pre-law senior at Villanova University. She was on the Dean’s Academic Reform Committee, which assists Villanova College of Art and Science design and implement programs that reform the college. She will be graduating this spring receiving honors in philosophy, with minors in sociology, ethics, and theology. She will attend law school in the fall. Femia grew up in Princeton, NJ, and attended The Peddie School for high school where she was very active in theater. At The Lyceum Institute, she specializes in all of our English offerings—MOTEL, subject tutoring, and Test Prep (SAT, ACT, AP Exams, SSAT, and ISEE). 


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