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Sometimes I wonder if wisdom is nothing more than shortening the time before you realize how ignorant you are about something.

Our Team

The Leadership Team at Prestige Prep has decades of extensive experience in tutoring, educational consulting, building schools, and developing educational programs. We are leaders in our communities in business, philanthropy, education, and psychology.

Phil Cohen

Founder and CEO

“Challenge students to push themselves while building their confidence and sense of self.”

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Phil has dedicated his life’s work to children. He has spent more than 30 years mentoring, teaching, and building social and academic organizations. Through this vast experience, he honed his methodologies and approach to education: “Challenge students to push themselves while building their confidence and sense of self.” To date, Phil has worked with thousands of students and families, creating and maintaining lasting relationships along the way.

The pursuit of knowledge and a love of education have been central to Phil’s life from an early age. Phil first cultivated the desire to share his knowledge in high school, as an assistant teacher in an after-school youth program and also as a Hebrew School teacher. While a student at the University of Wisconsin, he became a regional youth advisor in a community program and was a counselor at Camp Ramah Wisconsin Summer Camp. This passion for engaging kids, teaching, and youth activities, ultimately led to his career of working with children.

From 1994 to 1996, after leading a Wisconsin-based international summer program, Phil had the opportunity to become the National Director of a large international travel program for teens in NYC. He then worked, from 1996 to 2002, as the National Year-Round Director of an important youth organization, managing and overseeing 13 regional offices throughout the United States. During that period, he taught, guided, and cared for thousands of children who traveled internationally with the program; in addition, Phil managed the national educational programs for more than 10,000 youth.

In 2002, aiming to limit his travel, and focus his skillset on one community, Phil started the predecessor company to Prestige Prep, which focused on academics. Simultaneously, he attained his Master’s in Administration, with an emphasis on training and resource development, from the New School’s Milano School of Management. Today, our various educational programs employ more than 60+ full- and part-time team members who, together, serve as mentors, educators, and role models.

Phil lives in NYC with his wife and their two boys.

Ilana Gorelik

Director of Operations

“Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.” – Miles Kington

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Ilana has been with Prestige Prep since December of 2013. She is responsible for ensuring that all the employees of Prestige are equipped with the tools to support their students. She manages the schedules, billing, and priorities of 300+ tutors and students per year with meticulous attention to detail. In addition to her client-facing work, she supports the company’s marketing efforts and oversees its back office.

Prior to joining Prestige Prep, Ilana lent her organizational talents to the marketing and branding world, and briefly waded into the legal arena. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from New York University and a JD from Brooklyn Law School, and is a Certified Bikram Yoga Instructor.

Ilana lives in Brooklyn with her spousal equivalent and their miniature dachshund.

Chris Hanley

Director of Education and Curriculum

“The acquisition of knowledge is always of use to the intellect, because it may thus drive out useless things and retain the good. For nothing can be loved or hated unless it is first known.” – Leonardo Da Vinci

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Growing up in Southern California, Chris spent many years rushing between the classroom and the theatre, newspaper, and learning center. In the latter, Chris would volunteer to coach other students through study sessions, especially for AP Exams. This is where he discovered the importance of working together and the power and long-term effects on learning of simply talking out a problem or concept with another person. When he left for college, Chris took this communal learning perspective with him. It came in handy during all-night cram sessions in the dining halls and an effective tool in everything from his theatre pursuits to his volunteer work with the philanthropic Phillips Brooks House.

After graduating in 2008, Chris headed west to Los Angeles and found work in reality television. Yet, before he found consistent production work, Chris supported himself by tutoring in the many AP, SAT, and SAT Subject Tests he’d himself prepped for years prior. Even as the production work began to take off, Chris continued to tutor because he found it a nice break from the pressures of show business and loved seeing real-time progress in his students.

By 2011, Chris had decided to move back east. In New York, he continued to pursue artistic endeavors but sought flexible work through tutoring and mentorship. It’s now 10 years later, and Chris has become the Director of Education and Curriculum at Prestige Prep. He teaches across the gamut of subjects, from Biology, Chemistry, and Calculus to History, Spanish, and Writing. He’s prepared dozens of students for their college entrance exams, mentored others over the years in academic and personal development, and designed programs for hundreds of students in minority neighborhoods across the city.

 Chris lives in Connecticut with his fiancé and an entertaining assortment of woodland creatures.

Molly Heller

Director of Strategy and Learning

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

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Molly is a multi-talented tutor, leader, and artist with nearly a decade of experience inspiring Prestige Prep students and families. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with Departmental Honors from Columbia University. Simultaneously, she graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

Hailing from the sunny suburbs of Los Angeles, Molly attended Chadwick School, a prestigious prep school in the area. She understands the variety of challenges, concerns, and demands of the college prep environment, and is eager to share her knowledge and expertise with students and families to ensure a successful experience. Molly’s educational philosophy is to activate students’ curiosity and ultimately inspire students to take responsibility for their intellectual and personal growth.

Molly is also an award-winning theatre artist, director, and writer. She lives in New York City with her cat, Babadook.

Our Tutors

Who were your favorite teachers — the ones you worked hardest for? What were the qualities that set them apart from other teachers? The teachers who most motivated us were passionate about what they taught, and that passion inspired us.

At Prestige Prep, we’ve studied what makes great tutors.

We’ve found what it takes to move students past anxiety and self-limiting beliefs to give them the confidence, motivation, and desire to succeed. Great tutors possess the following traits:







With these traits, our tutors connect with and inspire their students to want to succeed. Our tutors understand their student’s world. They ask questions and provide a safe environment where students can admit where they need help and be open to learning.

Our tutors also keep strong lines of communication with parents, so everyone is clear on how a student is performing and the next steps for continued success.

There are a lot of smart people in New York City, but we are very selective of who we bring into our family. We select and train the best tutors, and we are confident that you and your child will agree.

To learn more about in-person and remote tutoring, contact us today.

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