Academic Coaching & Tutoring
If you are looking for coaching or tutoring from a qualified educator who has experience with adolescents in the USA and Central America, one of our qualified educators might be a fit for you. Most of our coaches speak English and Spanish and all have worked for years helping to support teens and their families through difficult stages of growth and change as the learn about their best learning styles and how to succeed academically. Please check their profiles and email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about who might be the best fit for you.
Martin Naffziger, M.Ed. - Virtual College Counseling
Content Areas: English, Creative Writing, College Counseling
Martin Naffziger is the Director of Learning at New Summit Academy. After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Creative Writing from Wittenberg University, he began teaching English as a second language as a means of traveling to and living in places such as Thailand, Nepal, South Korea, Mexico, Ecuador, Indonesia and Costa Rica.
Most recently before joining New Summit Academy, Martin was an Americorps volunteer in the Pacific Northwest, where he created a program that provided after-school tutoring in Math and Sciences for at-risk youth, as well as engaged them in healthy experiential education activities. Martin has earned his M.Ed. in Global Studies in Education from the University of Illinois, and earned his graduate certificate in college counseling from UCLA in 2012. Martin speaks both English and Spanish and is a master at coaching executive functioning development as well as college counseling guidance for nontraditional learners.
Peter Gottovi, MA - Virtual Teaching & Tutoring
Content Areas: U.S. History and Government, World History, Humanities, History of Political Thought and Government, Current National and Global Events, Election 2020, Media and News Literacy, Music Studio Technology, College Prep for History and Essay Writing, Life Skills
Peter Gottovi earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. After taking a break from academia while pursuing a career in music as a drummer/ percussionist recording artist and live performer in New York City, Peter went back to school in 2003, earning an Honors Master of Arts in Secondary English Education at The City University of New York (completed in 2006). During and for a few years after that degree, Peter joined the New York City Teaching Fellows Organization and Americorps program as a teacher teaching English, history, percussion, and music technology at a public school in one of New York City’s most troubled neighborhoods, located in the South Bronx. Peter left that position in 2008 when he relocated to Atenas, Costa Rica and began his work as a History, Humanities, and Music Studio Technology teacher at New Summit Academy.
Before teaching at NSA, JD worked as a volunteer for non-profit institutions, doing recreational activities with teenagers and children while studying Microbiology at University of Costa Rica. Juan Diego is a scientist at heart - and holds a BS in Science Education with an Emphasis on Biology - who loves genetics and cellular biology studies. However, JD’s passion for working with teenagers led him to pursue a degree in education. JD is particularly excited about the Biotechnology course he developed at NSA. NSA students respect and admire JD for his open and easy-going personality which makes him easy to approach. JD has 12 years of experience teaching high school science, and also has many interests to find in common with high school students. JD speaks both English & Spanish.
James Woody is a high school math teacher who believes in incorporating real-life applications of curricular materials into his classroom every day. He has extensive experience in electrical systems design, building design, construction, and engineering. He enjoys the art of creation, especially when working in the woodshop. Mr. Woody is highly respected by the students he teaches thanks to his consistent, structured expectations and his ability to make math and science come alive through hands-on activities and real-life applications. James is dedicated to his students, serving as an honorable and influential mentor both inside and outside of the classroom. James can make any math concept come to life in the "real world" and this is his gift. Students who "hated math" before learn to love it once James puts his magical, real world spin on the beauty of math. He is a native English speaker and speaks Spanish as well.
Stephen Kopels has been a working filmmaker, television director and educator for the past 51 years. His career started in 1968 as a combat photographer during the Vietnam war for major national publications. Upon completing his tour of duty, he attended Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California, earning a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree with an emphasis in Filmmaking. From 1972-1985 Stephen was a Senior Producer/Director for PBS creating hundreds of documentaries and original live television productions. In 1985, he became a Partner at Imagemaker Productions, Nashville producing commercials, music videos, corporate films, and documentaries.
- 1995, San Francisco, independent Producer/Director/Director of Photography
- 2005, Co-founded the San Francisco Film School, now in its 15th year.
- 2011, Stephen thought he retired and moved to Atenas, Costa Rica, but alas, he continues to live his passion for filmmaking and still photography by teaching part-time at New Summit Academy.
Vianney Medina, who is pursuing a BA in Teaching Spanish as a Second Language, is the Integrated Spanish Teacher at New Summit Academy. Vianney is certified to teach Spanish as a Second Language and also speaks English, which is helpful to clarify doubts. Vianney has worked as Spanish teacher developing many cross-cultural skills and communication techniques. She believes in the value of learning through cultural immersion and has respect for different cultures and beliefs. She also has experience providing online classes with the same enthusiasm as presence-based modality, adapting to student needs. If you want to improve your Spanish and learn more about Costa Rican music, cuisine, and culture in general, you are welcome to contact Vianney, who speaks both English and Spanish.
Daisy graduated from the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica as a Forest Engineer in 1988. She has worked in various forest programs in Costa Rica, working on monitoring sustainability of forest operations, reforestation, and environmental education. In addition, Daisy completed her license in education while working with a program for teen mothers, helping them complete their education as a teacher of math and sciences. She also completed (with honors) a technical degree in Teaching of Spanish as a Second Language through the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica. Daisy holds dear her spiritual beliefs, family values, and desire to serve her community. These have guided her work as a person, mother of two, wife, and professional educator. She is a loving person whose joy for life, unlimited hugs, and hope for the future make her a joy to work with and a person to admire.