Our Instructors

Dr. Art Ricciardi


As a home-schooling couple in the late 1970’s and early 80’s, Art Ricciardi and his wife Rosemarie pioneered the home education lifestyle in Plano, TX. Before being called to teach, Art worked as a field biologist for a very large electronics firm in Dallas. He continued his education by obtaining a M.Ed. at Regent University and an Ed.D. at Whitefield Theological Seminary. In addition to founding a school, he served elsewhere as a Middle School Principal, as Vice President of Educational Services for a nationally renowned Christian educational foundation, and as adjunct professor at Regent University. He is the proud parent of two married children and five grandchildren! [email protected]

Dr. Paul Jessen

Dr Jessen

B.A., M.Div., M.A., Ph.D.

Over the years, Paul Jessen has had a varied career with years of practical experience in academics, business, politics, and ministry. In education he has taught in Junior High and High School. Paul and his wife also homeschooled their three children in the 1980’s and 1990’s. In higher education Paul has taught numerous courses involving communication-thinking-reasoning-speaking-writing on ground and on line – and has taught at Penn State University, Portland State University, Pikes Peak Community College, Colorado Technical University, Collin College, Indiana Wesleyan University, Long Beach Bible College, and The Kings University Gateway. In ministry Paul has been a campus pastor and a local church Pastor. He has also been active in his community, serving in such capacities as precinct co-chairman, volunteer chaplain with the Police Department, and an elder in his local church (non-denominational). Paul and his wife have three grown children, are grandparents, and are celebrating 38 years of marriage. [email protected]

Jill Hamilton


Jill Hamilton is a homeschooling mom of three teenagers and an eight year-old daughter adopted from China in 2005. She has been married to her husband David for almost twenty years and resides in Jamestown, North Carolina. Jill graduated from Bryant College in RI with a degree in Marketing and has used this degree over the years with careers in sales, promotion, and entrepreneurship. She currently teaches four College Prep Genius SAT-Prep homeschool co-ops in addition to two-day SAT-Prep courses in the North/South Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee areas. Jill enjoys reading, gardening, scrapbooking and drinking Diet Dr.Pepper. [email protected]

Donna Steir


With over 25 years of classroom and homeschool teaching experience, Donna Stier loves challenging teens to excel. As a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a B.S. in Botany, Donna taught science and math in South Florida Christian middle and high schools for over ten years. Passionate about classical education, she has directed Classical Conversations programs in Challenge B, Challenge 2 and Challenge 3. She and George, her husband of nearly 25 years, have been involved with homeschooling their two sons from kindergarten through high school. After witnessing dramatic improvements in the SAT scores of her son and other students, Donna enthusiastically desires to share the College Prep Genius program with teens and their parents so that they can also achieve PSAT and SAT success! [email protected]

Fayee Czarnik


Fayee Czarnik is a homeschooling mother of two daughters. She married her college sweetheart, Richard, and has been married for over 25 years. Fayee resides in Kingwood, Texas. After graduating from Texas A&M University with a degree in Psychology, Fayee went on to earn a Master of Social Work from the University of Houston.

Through the twist and turns of life Fayee fell in love with teaching. She has taught in both private school and home schooling settings for over 10 years. Fayee is enthusiastic about helping students find their passion and fulfill their dreams through education. [email protected]

Michele Conte


Michele, her husband Ralph, and their daughter Natalie, live in the Syracuse area. Michele is a home school mom and is completing her 35th year as an independent financial advisor. She received her B.S. in Finance in 1979 and her Certified Financial Planner Designation in 1984.

Michele loves teaching and has led workshops and classes throughout her career on various topics from money management to leadership skills. Over the past few years, she had researched several popular SAT training programs for her daughter, the home school community, and her clients’ children. In 2012, Michele attended several of Jean Burk’s seminars. The program was just what Michele was looking for and it works! She is now part of the College Prep Genius Family! [email protected]

Joanne Mastronicola

J Mastronicola_Small

Joanne comes to College Prep Genius as an experienced teacher and high school guidance counselor. Joanne has been involved in the homeschooling movement and has been providing home school counseling to families with high school students since the late 1990s. In 2004, she authored Piecing Together the High School Puzzle. She is a conference speaker and continues to update families on high school topics via her blog at

Joanne has a passion for seeing high school students succeed and as such has been a big fan of College Prep Genius for many years. She is excited to be teaching the Master the SAT classes. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida and currently resides in Jacksonville, FL where she loves to squeeze in some reading at the beach and a little quilting when she can. [email protected]

Katie Petersen


Katie is an undergraduate at Princeton University, majoring in Philosophy, with 3 years’ experience in test prep tutoring. Her love for the English language has taken her to invest time in reading and writing outside of the classroom as a writer and editor with The Daily Princetonian. During her time at Princeton, she has also volunteered as a tutor at a New Jersey state correctional facility and advised high school juniors and seniors on the college application process. After taking the College Prep Genius program when she was in high school in Charlotte, North Carolina, she went on to earn a SuperScore of 2340 out of 2400 on her SAT. She looks forward to sharing CPG’s test-taking strategies with students and empowering them to achieve their own SAT and PSAT success! [email protected]