We offer a unique learning environment of highly qualified teachers whose rigorous teaching methods and high standards have proven effective in helping students of all levels attain their academic goals.
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Eric Cohen graduated from Phillips Academy (Andover) and later earned a B.A in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University as well as a post-baccalaureate certificate in Teaching ESL from Seattle University. While at Harvard and studying in Taiwan, Eric discovered his passion for teaching and helping others work through their language barriers.
After having taught English as a Second Language, language arts and SAT test prep for over thirteen years in New York City, Taipei, Paris, San Francisco, and Seattle, Eric established Mercer Education in 1999. Drawing upon his own educational experiences, Eric has helped hundreds of students with college counseling and admissions essays, both in private and small group classes, and in 2008 Eric became a member of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC).
As the president and principal instructor of Mercer Education, Eric leads a team of highly qualified teachers who all share the same passion for the pedagogy of English, literature, and math. Together they are committed to presenting a fresh, unique enrichment education service of exceptional quality and scope helping students at all levels to achieve their educational goals, whether with school work, test prep, school admissions and more.
Lorelei Arzaga graduated with distinction earning a B.A. degree in English from California State University, Fullerton, and a M.A. degree in English Literature from California State University, Long Beach. Committed to the field of education, Lorelei has created curriculum for and taught courses in several venues ranging from Language Arts courses for middle-to-high school students, to Literature and Composition coursework at colleges and universities in California and Washington. She has done extensive volunteer work offering ESL classes at community centers and in school and library programs.
Lorelei has held managerial positions in primarily not-for-profit environments that support the arts and social services. Promoting poetry is one of her passions in life toward which end she has conducted and participated in numerous events that showcase the power of language art and the spoken word.
Lorelei joined ME in 2001 and wears many hats including school administration, curriculum development, and program management. She finds her work at Mercer extremely rewarding in that it offers a creative milieu in which to explore and build unique educational programs and enriching relationships in the teaching and learning community.
During her free time, Lorelei kayaks, plays tennis, and tries her hand at DIY projects come rain or shine.
Brian Goedde has a B.A. in English from New York University and an M.F.A. in Nonfiction from the University of Iowa. He has written for a variety of publications: academic journals including Writing on the Edge (UC Davis Press), Popular Music (Cambridge University Press, UK), and Pop When the World Falls Apart (Duke University Press); literary journals including The Seattle Review, Resonance, and The Huron River Review; and newspapers including The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Chicago Tribune, and The New York Times. In addition to joining Mercer Education in 2003, he has taught college composition since 2004.
George Herland joined Mercer Education in 2003. He earned a B.A. from the College of William and Mary in Virginia and a Master’s degree from New York University where he was also a candidate for the Ph.D. Most recently, George taught at Lakeside School in Seattle where he was also the Upper School Director.
Prior to coming to Seattle to take up the upper school directorship at Lakeside, he was for ten years the principal at the Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn Heights, New York. He has also taught at Trinity School in Manhattan. For one year George was a guest curator for the New York Historical Society and for one term, a school teaching fellow at the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland. He is married and has three children.
Michael Lloyd graduated from the University of Leeds, a member of the Russell Group (the British Ivy League) where he earned a PhD in Materials Science, along with a Bachelor of Engineering degree and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education in Physics and General Science. He is an experienced educator, having taught both in the United Kingdom and in the USA, and has taught a wide range of students and subjects varying from elementary school science, middle school and high school English and math, to college-level Calculus and Physics.
During his teaching career, Michael has pioneered the use of online teaching in Physics at the college level, developed the Gifted and Talented Student scheme in Leeds, UK, and has been awarded a British government Investors in People designation. Michael joined the faculty at ME in 2007 and finds the environment a perfect match for his teaching goals: providing an upbeat, friendly learning experience for his students to help them fulfill their potentials and maximize their academic achievements. When not teaching, Michael can be found writing; he is a published short story writer and reviewer, or he may be studying music, theology or just simply following the Seahawks, Mariners, and Liverpool FC.
Eric Flesher earned his D.M.A. degree in music composition from the University of Washington, and additionally holds degrees from the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” Berlin (Artistic Continuing Studies Diploma), University of Cambridge (M. Phil.), and California State University, Northridge (B.M). Eric has over 15 years of teaching experience, having held faculty positions at both the University of Washington and Central Washington University.
As a university instructor, he has spent many years advising and editing master’s theses and senior capstone projects and has authored numerous academic research articles. His published writings include art reviews for the University of Washington Daily, and a book chapter published jointly by Perspectives of New Music and University of Washington Press. He has also taught pre-college students at the Academy of Music Northwest since 1998, and has additionally served as the Academy’s provost.
Eric joined the faculty at Mercer Education in 2012 where his expertise and passion for curricular development and teaching are put to excellent use as he conducts a variety of classes in Language Arts, English, SAT Prep, and College Admissions. Eric lives in Seattle with his wife Harumi, who is a concert pianist, and spends his free time cooking, learning Japanese, and making music.
Chung-Hee Lee graduated from the University of Washington with double degrees in French Language and Literature and Psychology. Pursuing her avid interests in other cultures, especially French, Chung-Hee lived and worked in Paris for several years, followed by stints in Seoul, London, Singapore, DC, New Jersey, and New York.
After earning her Master’s Degree in education with ESL specialization from Fairleigh Dickinson University in NJ, Chung-Hee taught in both the US and UK public school systems, as well as core college English, business English, and adult language courses in various institutions. Upon her return to the Seattle area in 2014, Chung-Hee joined Mercer Education where she brings over 13 years of wide-ranging teaching experience.
As a devoted, enthusiastic educator who is committed to helping students realize their potentials, Chung-Hee finds teaching ME’s private and small group classes in English, Language Arts, standardized test preparation, ESL, and College Admissions Prep both personally and professionally rewarding. When she is not in the classroom, Chung-Hee can be spotted power-walking on the streets of Bellevue or indulging in her favorite pastimes of eating and reading about good food.
Rachel Phillips earned both a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and a Master’s Degree in Adult Education, Communications, and Sociology from Oregon State University, where she graduated magna cum laude. While at Oregon State, Rachel worked as a tutor and study facilitator for the university’s athletics department and taught communications and academic success courses as a graduate student. After graduation, Rachel continued to teach courses at local community colleges.
Rachel joined Mercer Education’s teaching staff in 2015 where she teaches English, Language Arts, and standardized testing to private, group, and summer camp classes. Rachel enjoys her work at ME in that the unique environment is one that offers her opportunities in small-class settings to creatively, effectively utilize her knowledge, experience, and teaching methodologies to produce meaningful, positive results with her students.
In addition to teaching at ME, Rachel teaches English college-transition classes and computer basics classes at Edmonds Community College in Lynnwood. When she is not working, Rachel enjoys cooking, travelling, and spending time outdoors.
Julia Sweet earned her B.A. in English from Linfield College in 2004 and her M.A. in English from Iowa State University in 2006. During her time at Iowa State University, she taught English to incoming freshmen. After graduating from ISU, she moved to Seoul to teach English for YBM ECC for one year. Upon her return, she earned a certificate in TESOL from S-TESL, which is accredited through Seattle University. She has continued to teach ESL privately and for local companies since then.
Julia currently teaches English Composition for City University for Seattle, where she has also designed courses, including their writing lab. While at City U, she received the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching for her curriculum development and dedication to promoting student success.
Julia joined Mercer Education in 2015 where she teaches a wide-range of both private and small group classes in English, ESL, Language Arts, standardized test prep, intensive Summer Camp, and College Admissions Prep. Julia shares a deep commitment to each of her students’ academic well-being and finds the environment at ME an excellent setting to promote her philosophy and goals as a teacher. In her spare time, Julia enjoys reading and writing poetry and fiction, cooking and baking, studying French, and knitting.
Amado Toribio graduated magna cum laude with a fine arts degree from California State University in Los Angeles. He discovered his love for teaching two years afterwards while volunteering to teach ceramics in an after school program in New York City. Eventually, he taught all four core subjects of English, math, the sciences, and social studies in two exceptional New York City public and private schools while earning a Master’s degree in Adolescent Education at Bank Street College and a Master’s in Educational Administration at Teachers’ College, Columbia University.
Soon after moving to Seattle in 2005, Amado began working at University Prep in a number of capacities and where he currently teaches Middle school math. Amado joined Mercer Education in 2015 where he has unique opportunities to put to use his 20+ years of experience committed to helping students find and achieve their highest potential. At ME, Amado draws from a broad range of expertise to teach private and group classes in math, English, ESL, Language Arts, and standardized test preparation.
When he’s not in the classroom, Amado devotes time to his own children’s academic and sports pursuits while adding to his portfolio of oil pastel works on paper.
Mat Yunker earned his PhD in Philosophy at the University of California, Irvine with the defense of his dissertation entitled “The Preconditional Value of Understanding,” which advances a theory of the value of knowledge. People meeting Mat for the first time recognize immediately his passion for teaching and education.
Mat has many years teaching a wide range of subjects at both high school and college levels. He has taught classes in composition, humanities, philosophy, logic, and SAT and ACT prep, and has tutored Spanish, Ancient Greek, English (grammar, writing, and literature), Chemistry, Biology, and math subjects from Geometry to Calculus. He is a veteran of Mercer Education’s highly successful and popular intensive summer programs and brings a dynamic mix of enthusiasm, dedication, and professionalism as a skilled educator into each classroom.
In his free time, Mat enjoys cooking, board games, and playing with his cats. Mat joined Mercer Education in 2015.
Cynthia Good earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois and an MS in Clinical Psychology from Illinois State University. After graduation, Cynthia’s interests led her into the field of education where she has an extensive and varied background.
She formerly served as faculty of Parkland College where she taught abnormal psychology and statistics to socially and globally diverse undergraduate students; as Education Manager at the International Lactation Consultant Association where she developed educational programming for a global membership; as Supervisor of the Illinois State University Center for Learning Assistance; and as faculty in the Midwifery Department at Bastyr University where she taught counseling skills. Cynthia is also an internationally recognized speaker and has authored and contributed to numerous publications.
Since joining the faculty at Mercer Education in 2018, Cynthia has enjoyed teaching small Language Arts group classes, SAT Verbal test preparation classes, college admissions preparation, and private tutorials. She is committed to meeting the educational needs of Mercer Education’s diverse student population and learning styles and strives to create an engaging learning environment that is both challenging and fun.
In her free time, Cynthia enjoys gardening, hiking, Taekwondo, creative writing, and spending time with her family.
Lukas Untersteiner earned a B.S. degree in Psychoacoustics from the University of Washington and continued to advance his technical education in audio engineering while attending SAE Institute in San Francisco. Lukas has spent many years using his background in acoustics and his talents as a musician playing in bands, engineering recordings, and supervising audio for corporate media projects. But it was his passion for science and technology that also led Lukas into the field of education.
During the past several years Lukas has divided his time between his music interests and teaching math and science. He has worked at several tutoring centers around the Seattle area, helping middle and high school students excel in their STEM classes and prepare themselves for standardized tests.
Lukas describes his pedagogical style as easygoing and conversational, and, as such, is a proven and popular addition to the ME faculty: “I try to keep the student talking as much as possible to keep them engaged. I get my students to analyze their own thinking in order to optimize their problem-solving skills.” Students immediately find his classes engaging and their teacher easy to relate to. Lukas pursues teaching with a passion and commitment because he believes “being a small part of a young person’s intellectual development is very meaningful, and I am grateful for the opportunity.”
When Lukas is not teaching or working on music projects, you can find him working on his car, playing tennis, or bird watching.
Andrew Jansen earned his B.S. in engineering and B.A. in economics from Swarthmore College. He completed his masters in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the University of Washington where he is currently a PhD candidate. While at Swarthmore College and the University of Washington, Andrew pursued his interest in teaching and worked as a teaching assistant for various courses including statics, thermodynamics, and physics.
Early in 2019, Andrew joined Mercer Education where he particularly enjoys the small class environment and the emphasis on recognizing individual learning styles. At ME Andrew teaches private classes, primarily in math and physics, and group classes in SAT Math and ACT Math and Science. Andrew also teaches ME’s intensive summer learning camps in Math and Robotics, SAT Math, and Advanced SAT Math.
In his free time, Andrew enjoys talking about planes, rockets, and other things that go fast. He also enjoys cooking and basketball.
Emily Goedde has a PhD in comparative literature from the University of Michigan and an MFA in literary translation from the University of Iowa. A translator, writer, and editor, her work has appeared in, among other publications, The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to World Literature, Nimrod’s Collected Works and Jade Mirror: Women Poets of China, as well as in Pathlight: New Chinese Writing, The Iowa Review, Translation Review and The Asian American’s Writers Workshop Transpacific Literary Project.
Training in writing-center pedagogy and tutoring as well as in translation, she has taught at Princeton University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Iowa.
Balazs Dibuz has been an educator for three decades and has worked with students of all ages in a variety of settings and cultures. Before completing his Masters in Comparative Literature and earning a certificate to teach secondary English language arts from Indiana University, Bloomington, he taught high school English and ESL and retrained Russian language teachers to teach English in Hungary. As a grad student, he evaluated IU’s advanced college writing program in high schools across Indiana. After completing his student teaching at the high school level, Balazs worked at a school for gifted children in Palatine, IL, where he taught integrated language arts and social studies at the middle school level for ten years. More recently, Balazs has been an academic administrator in independent schools in Chicago and Seattle. In this capacity, he has helped other educators develop curriculum, grow professionally, and refine their teaching skills.
At Mercer Education Balazs finds much reward working with small groups and individual students in the language arts and in preparing for standardized tests and applying for college. In his free time, Balazs loves to travel and hike, as well as to write poetry and nonfiction. Balazs is currently working on his first novel.