Chariot Learning offers unparalleled individualized SAT & ACT instruction, academic coaching, and college vocabulary development in-home for students in Rochester, NY and live online everywhere else. Since 2009, we’ve been helping our students earn scores that amaze their parents and impress their target colleges.

Why Chariot Learning?

When you work with Chariot Learning, you can be confident that you’ll be benefiting from massive experience. Mike Bergin, our founder, is recognized nationally as a leader in test preparation. Tens of thousands of students around the United States receive instruction every year in programs he’s developed, directed, or arranged.

Our amazing team of passionate educators, which includes certified teachers and college professors, brings phenomenal test knowledge and instructional insight to every session. Another reason why Chariot Learning is different from any other organization you’ve worked with is our unique methodology, specially designed for individual instruction and focused not just on strategies but on the enduring reading, writing, and reasoning skills your child will need to thrive in college. We couple the Chariot Learning curriculum with official practice tests to ensure that your teen has every advantage in earning his or her very best score on test day. No wonder our students tend to earn such stupendous score increases.

Our depth of experience means that we can also consult with schools and libraries to provide valuable tools and information to their students. Get in touch to find out how we might work together.

Our History

Chariot Learning was founded in 2009 in Rochester, NY by Mike Bergin, a twenty-year veteran in education. Mike started in test preparation as a teacher for Kaplan, eventually rising through the ranks to become Director of Kaplan’s White Plains center, overseeing programs across seven counties. In 2000, Huntington Learning Centers recruited Mike to revamp the company’s SAT program; over nine years as Director of Exam Prep, Mike created, among other things, Huntington’s SAT & ACT curriculum, operations, and training materials and helped manage their implementation nationally.

After so many years in retail test prep, Mike launched Chariot Learning as a response to the limitations and frustrations of most existing programs. Although we started in a new city with no contacts, families we worked with couldn’t help but rave about our powerful, highly personalized preparation. Today, our large and growing team of professional educators is thrilled to work with students, parents, and educational partners in Rochester and beyond.

Our Team

Mike Bergin

Tens of thousands of students a year prep for the SAT & ACT through programs Mike Bergin created or organized. After nearly 20 years of intensive experience in the industry, he knows what works in test prep and what doesn’t. Mike founded Chariot Learning in 2009 to deliver on the promise of what truly transformative, individualized education can and should be.

Born and raised in the Bronx, Mike is thrilled to be bringing his two kids up in Rochester, but brings them back to NYC often so they don’t lose their edge!

MOONLIGHTS AS: Nature writer and publisher of 10,000 Birds, the world’s favorite birding blog.
ALSO LOVES: Traveling the world and exploring new places and food; unlocking eloquence.

Kaeti Stoss

Kaeti Stoss combines her interest in science with her passion for education. When not teaching students, she helps develop Chariot Learning’s research-based curriculum. Kaeti loves seeing the moment when things “click” in students minds, so they can reach their academic goals.

Kaeti is a native Rochesterian who attended School of the Arts and the University of Rochester. After working as an archaeologist in New York State, she switched fields and has been with Chariot Learning since earning her teaching degree in Earth Science and Special Education at SUNY Brockport.

MOONLIGHTS AS: Environmental educator with her work as the Program Director of Delta Laboratories.
ALSO LOVES: Trivia (both competing and reading questions for MasterMinds) and the visual arts.

Dave Holtzman

Dave Holtzman loves to help students learn. When he isn’t teaching or doing research, he enjoys teaching Chariot Learning students skills that will help them succeed after high school in addition to doing well on the ACT and SAT.

Dave is a trained neuroscientist that has been teaching at the college level for over 25 years. He received a BS in Biology from Cornell University and a PhD in Neural and Behavioral Sciences from Downstate Medical Center. Currently teaching in the Biology Dept at SUNY Geneseo, Dave teaches a wide varied of courses ranging from Animal Behavior to Neural Development.

MOONLIGHTS AS: Coach for the Geneseo Wrestling Club
ALSO LOVES: Spending time with his two wonderful daughters, traveling to tropical areas (sometimes with college students), and playing and listening to music.

Amy Johnson

Amy Johnson engages students of all abilities to maximize their successes and prepare them for their future. She shares her enthusiasm for the world with her Chariot Learning students and her 6th grade science students at St. Joseph’s Catholic School.

When she is not leading her students in scientific inquiry, she enjoys raising her children with her husband in Penfield, NY. She has built off of her academic foundation from Siena College and St. John Fisher College by being a teacher certified in Childhood and Special Education

MOONLIGHTS AS: Chauffeur for her busy sports-playing sons; also enjoys the local professional sports (Go Red Wings/Buffalo Bills!)
AS LOVES: The great outdoors: Amy travels throughout New York State, hiking and camping as often as she can

Jeff Sommers

During his 25 years teaching high school, Jeff Sommers has helped students of all ability levels achieve their academic goals. He has taught biology, chemistry, and physics at every level from general to Advanced Placement. His enthusiasm for what he teaches is infectious and makes any topic accessible to his students.

Jeff grew up in Webster — Where Life is Worth Living — and attended R. L. Thomas High School. He has degrees from the University of Notre Dame and Purdue University. Jeff is married to a wonderful woman, and has two great kids and two great (moderately well behaved) dogs.

MOONLIGHTS AS: Science teacher at Honeoye Falls-Lima HS.
ALSO LOVES: Grilling, baking, and college sports – Go Irish!

Amanda Beeson

As a tutor for Chariot Learning and math professor at SUNY Geneseo, Amanda Beeson strives to inspire future generations to get excited about how fun and useful math can be! She loves working one-on-one with students and seeing them gain the curiosity, insight, and confidence needed to enjoy math. Amanda is the founder of Flower City Math Girls.

Born in Holland and raised in California, Amanda went to school at MIT and then earned her Ph.D. in math at UC San Diego. She was a post doc at the University of Rochester and has become a loyal Rochesterian.

MOONLIGHTS AS: Finger Lakes wine aficionado.
ALSO LOVES: Exploring all the wonderful vineyards and restaurants upstate New York has to offer.

Hilarie Lloyd

Hilarie Lloyd is a professor and tutor with a passion for teaching law, literature, college writing, and international relations at University of Rochester and Alfred State College. She loves being part of the Chariot Learning team because she likes seeing students improve their scores, open up college admissions choices, and pursue their dreams.

Hilarie grew up in Alfred, NY and attended Duke University and Cornell Law School, working as an attorney for almost a year before deciding to follow her love for teaching and academia by starting her PhD in English at University of Rochester.

MOONLIGHTS AS: Jewelry designer for The Enchanted Cabin.
ALSO LOVES: Rescuing cats! Hilarie volunteers on the Board of Directors at Only Maine Coons Rescue.

Heidi Spitzig

With a passion for empowering people to realize their full potential, Heidi Spitzig combines her training in psychology and education as a tutor for Chariot Learning. When she is not tutoring, she also works as an adjunct faculty teaching sociology and psychology at both an undergraduate and graduate level where she practices experiential and transformative education techniques in the classroom.

Born on Long Island, Heidi has also lived in Georgia, Minnesota, and Florida, but feels she has found her home surrounded by the beauty of the Finger Lakes.

MOONLIGHTS AS: Professional photographer.
ALSO LOVES: Art, music, food, and adventures.

David Park

David Park started teaching standardized testing in a classroom setting. As a highly sought-after instructor at several prestigious institutions throughout greater Los Angeles, David quickly realized that the most effective method of instruction was 1-1 tutoring, which he’s enjoyed for over 8 years.

David was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. He left home at the tender age of 14 to attend Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. The tides carried David to Rochester where he works remotely as an Equities Trader for a private hedge fund.

MOONLIGHTS AS: Hedge Fund Equities Trader.
ALSO LOVES: Music composition, travel, and fine cuisine (Meat Lover’s Pizza).

Jennifer Zaffuts

With the majority of her career spent as a school counselor at Avon High School, Jennifer Zaffuts inspires and empowers students to perform as their best selves. Jennifer created Begin from Within to provide personalized, private assistance for students and families in the navigation of the college planning and application process. She also serves as Chariot Learning’s Performance Coach.

Jennifer received a B.A. in both Spanish and Psychology from SUNY Geneseo, followed by a M.S. Ed. in Counselor Education (School Counseling) from SUNY Brockport. Additionally, Jennifer is a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher.

MOONLIGHTS AS: Wife and mom, College Planning Counselor, and yoga teacher.
ALSO LOVES: Being active and outdoors, practicing yoga, and visiting upstate NY’s beauty, from waterfalls to farmers markets!