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.

When I recommend Dara to a family, I know they are in very good hands. I’ve never had an unhappy family or student! We have worked together for ten years now, and I consider her the consummate professional - knowledgeable, intuitive and a great sense of the wider academic world. A wonderful investment in lifelong learning skills!

— Portland Area Learning Specialist