Meet Our Tutors

Camila Gabriel

Camila Gabriel

Camila is the original founder of Crest Educational (originally Knee-High Academy), and continues to lead the organization into the 2020s. Originally from Bogota, Colombia, Camila grew up in Florida before moving to Wallingford, Connecticut. She graduated from Sheehan High School and holds a BS in Psychology from Ursinus College and a Masters in Early Childhood Education from Quinnipiac University. Camila became a teacher at the International ‘I’ School in Kurume City, Japan, where she taught until returning to Wallingford to open her own educational center in 2010. As the owner of Knee-High Academy, and now Crest Educational, Camila has worked with hundreds of families from the Wallingford area, helping students of all ages overcome personal academic difficulties and seek out new challenges as they pursue their own passions in life.

Camila’s teaching philosophy is holistic; the mind and body must be balanced and in harmony. She is the driving force behind the Crest mission: to provide individualized, student-centered educational services that produce lasting outcomes – the goal is that students will live to learn and learn for life.

Dan Murphy

Dan Murphy

Dan Murphy, founder of Epic Test Prep, was born and raised in Wallingford, Connecticut. A graduate of Sheehan High School, Dan received a BS in History with a Teaching Certificate from SCSU in 2007. After teaching English Communication in Nanchiku High School in Kurume City, Japan for several years, Dan moved back to Wallingford to continue his career as an educator, founding Epic Test Prep in 2012.  Since then, he has been providing top level SAT and ACT test prep for local, national, and international students who have gone on to attend some of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the United States, including Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, and Yale.  He has also designed and implemented SSAT/ISEE/HSPT prep courses for students seeking admission to some of the nation’s most competitive private high schools.

In addition to providing test prep and regular one-on-one subject tutoring in a wide range of subjects (including AP courses), Dan is an experienced college advisor, helping families avoid overpaying for college while following proven strategies to make the best higher education choices for each individual student with whom he works.

“I don’t think that being good at things is the point of doing them. You gain wonderful experiences and different skills that make you an interesting person – no matter how well you do them.” – unknown (via Kurt Vonnegut)

Margaret Sorenson

Margaret Sorenson

Margaret is a retired research chemist who, after more than 25 years in the pharmaceutical industry, entered her career as a special educator.  She received her certification in Special Education in 2017 and was employed by the Glastonbury School District.  Her experiences include work with preschool through high school special education, and she has also taught in general education settings in Math, Language Arts, and Science.

Margaret joined Crest as a tutor in 2018 and has been invaluable as an elementary-level reading and math specialist, working with young students of all learning levels and styles.

Jerry Sands

Matt Sands

Jerry is a transplanted New Yorker, having been raised in Massapequa on Long Island. He graduated from Notre Dame HS in West Haven and received a BS-Ed as a math major from CCSU in New Britain.  He has over 35 years of experience, tutoring students of many levels and ranging in age from 10 to 75 years old.  Students must be met where they are; his philosophy is to focus on students’ individual needs and adapt to those needs in order to encourage students to overcome their fears, anxieties, and other difficulties.  He often uses light humor to achieve this.

Jerry has been a math tutor at Crest Educational since 2013, when it was known as Knee-High Academy.  He specializes in pre-algebra, algebra 1 &2, geometry, trigonometry, pre-calculus, calculus 1 and standardized test prep (ACT, SAT, GRE, Praxis).

One of Jerry’s biggest loves is algebra, and he derives great joy from students’ “Ah-ha!” moments when they finally understand a tough concept.  Jerry’s path and educational experience has taught him that math is learned by doing; as George Polya, a Hungarian mathematician, put it, “mathematics is not a spectator sport.” 

He likes the Chinese proverb:

I hear and I forget
I see and I remember
I do and I understand

So, to improve your math understanding and grades: practice, Practice, PRACTICE! Do 20 minutes of math each and every day.