Dara Berger, MA

Academic and Executive Functioning Coach

With over three decades of rich experience, I have had the privilege of working alongside students at every stage of their educational journey.

As both a classroom teacher and academic coach, my commitment to fostering a compassionate and productive learning environment has been unwavering. My educational background includes earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Spanish from Vanderbilt University, complemented by a secondary school teaching certificate. Furthering my academic pursuits, I earned a Master's degree in Reading and Educational Psychology from Columbia University’s Teachers College.

I provide tailored support to students with diverse learning differences and executive functioning challenges. My approach emphasizes a keen ability to listen, assess, and implement effective skills and strategies, ensuring that each student receives the individualized support they need to succeed.

Whether working with middle school, high school or college students, my commitment lies in empowering them to not only navigate academic challenges but also to persevere and flourish as they strive towards their long-term academic aspirations. I firmly believe in the inherent potential of every student to thrive when approached with a teaching style that resonates with them.

Through personalized support, I help students navigate the college application journey with care and attention. This includes assisting them in crafting compelling Common Application and supplemental essays, as well as developing a thoughtful list of schools to consider. I derive profound fulfillment from guiding them through the complex college application process. My passion for working with children, teens, and young adults is not just a profession; it's a genuine love. I take pride in my ability to connect with them on a meaningful level, recognizing and leveraging their individual strengths. A cornerstone of my approach is to motivate reluctant learners, and foster an environment where each young person feels valued and understood.

I am originally from the east coast, but have lived in Oregon for the past eighteen years. Here I have immersed myself in outdoor activities that allow me to take in the spectacular natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. When I am not seeking adventure through travel, I love being in my home cooking, flower arranging, watching movies, reading and spending time with my husband of 32 years and our three adult children.

I highly recommend Dara Berger as an excellent College Admission Essay Coach. Dara assisted our daughter with crafting her college application essay and was an invaluable resource during this six month process. The hardest part of the college admission essay process is knowing how to get started and Dara put my daughter on the right path. She was stumped as to what subject to write about, had some thoughts but no clear idea which topics would help reveal who she was or what was important to her. Using skilled and insightful questions, Dara helped her identify subjects to determine her best material for the essay. She helped her take very rough written ideas, through multiple drafts which resulted in a final polished essay (skills that served her well in college.) Dara is friendly, warm, collaborative, and was a master at motivating in order for work to be completed in a timely fashion to meet deadlines. She was encouraging and carefully helped our daughter discover her own strengths. She did not write her essay — it all came from our daughter, inspired by Dara’s calm and thoughtful support.

— Parent