Students of the Month

Congratulations to Alex Perez and Joseph Rojo! You are Tutor Zone’s Students of the Month!

Alex Perez: “1780: Hurdling the SAT, Pursuing Law”

Alex Perez, April Student of the Month

Every month Tutor Zone proudly announces outstanding students from the local community that are role models of both work ethic and high academic achievement. For the month of April, Tutor Zone has chosen Alex Perez and Joseph Rojo as our “students of the month.”

Alex Perez, a California High School junior, recently took Tutor Zone’s SAT Preparation Course and, after taking the March 10th SAT, scored a 1780 on his SAT. By applying both his high school knowledge, the skills acquired during the Tutor Zone Prep sessions, and his already astute intellectual framework, Alex excelled on a test that challenges nearly every prospective college student.

Asked how he did it, Alex credits both his hard work and the course instructors Danielle Tolmastoff and Mario Obando. Alex asserts that the course was “very personalized [and] both instructors did what, at times is difficult to find at school, the breaking down of material step-by-step.” However, course instructor, Danielle, who has tutored students in advanced math at Tutor Zone for over 2 years, credits Alex’s active participation–“Alex simply applied himself, and tried to do better.”


Danielle and Alex: “Alex attacks the material!”

More importantly, she adds “Alex did not have a sit-and-wait attitude [but] instead really attacked the material.” Crediting his thorough engagement, Danielle also asserts that Alex’s applied his academic skills within the course sessions and as a result, picked up on important testing techniques necessary to succeed on the test.

Alex is a prime example of how active and engaged participation in class settings creates success in test-taking situations. Alex agrees, stating that the Tutor Zone SAT Course provided a “small, compact class setting that, although a class, still felt like a personalized and one-on-one style.” In terms of the Critical Reading and Writing section, his course instructor, Mario Obando attributes Alex’s success to a process of nurturing a natural talent; “Alex possess a capacity to think critically, what is more important then, is to provide the right feedback so that Alex can properly and precisely articulate his thoughts.”

Mario Obando, TZ SAT Critical Reading and Writing Instructor

However, Mario does add that instructor feedback is only effective if “the student becomes an active agent in the writing process, and Alex did just that.” Moreover, Alex, by analyzing feedback, stopped writing passive voice sentence, and then, by consciously implementing the course strategies, begin to construct active voice sentences.

Here at Tutor Zone, we are sure that this “student of the month” award is merely a stepping stone to Alex’s main objective–becoming a lawyer to serve “everyday people through the legal process.” To do so, he hopes to attend Columbia University; with this recent accomplishment, Alex is certainly putting the odds in his favor.


Joseph Rojo: “1760: not the year, but the fruits of his hard-work”


Joseph Rojo, April Student of the Month

After taking Tutor Zone’s SAT Preparation Course, Joseph Rojo scored a 1760 on his March 10th SAT test. Joseph, a junior at Sonora High School, excelled by combining his intellectual faculties with the TZ SAT course curriculum.

Joseph, who also swims and tutors elementary students at the La Habra Library, has definintely increased his chances of being admitted to his dream schools–LMU and/or UC San Diego. Joseph states that “after school I want to go to college [at LMU or UCSD] to pursue a Biology or Medicine degree.”

To achieve such an objective, students must take and succeed on the SAT. For most students, the SAT may stress and overwhelm them. Joseph was not one of those students. In sharp contrast, Joseph states that “taking the SAT was not as terrifying as I thought it was going to be” and he attributes this to the preparation the Tutor Zone SAT Preparation course provided.

Mario and Joseph: “Joseph’s intellectual capacity is limitless.”

Joseph asserts that “in the English part of the course definitely having Mario [providing feedback] on our thesis statements” created tangible results. Mario Obando, the course instructor, suggests that Joseph developed an “awareness” of his strengths and areas of improvements and thus, could implement “a writing style suited to his intellectual rigor.” Joseph, Mario continued, “has great ideas, and so, we worked on articulating them in simple, active sentences.” The purpose of the course, he went on, is to facilitate the test-taking process and encourage student improvement; Joseph is “the prime example of a student he took constructive criticism seriously and applied it on the test.”

Hinting at a formula of success, Danielle Tolmastoff, the SAT Math Instructor, claims that “like Alex, Joseph attacked the material, applied previous knowledge to sessions, and adapted new test-taking techniques” to succeed.

Danielle, TZ’s SAT Math Instructor

Exemplifying his witty and fun personality, Joseph asserts that the Tutor Zone SAT Preparation Course was “a fun experience [where] I did learn a lot in preparation for the test [however,] the only thing is that I never got enough TZ bucks to get anything.” At the rate Joseph is going, in no time, he will not have to worry about real currency.