Success Prep Partners
Shari Steele works with college students and college graduates to help them implement successful job search strategies to secure internships and full-time employment. Her services include helping clients develop targeted job search plans, create compelling resumes, cover letters and social profiles, write clear and effective emails to potential employers, build a network of useful contacts, conduct industry and company research, and prepare for interviews. Shari also applies her writing expertise to assist current and prospective college and graduate students with job and school application essay editing.
Shari has been a human resources professional for the past 28 years. For the first 17 years of her career she was a human resources consultant for the Hay Group, an international consulting firm, developing recruiting, compensation, training, performance management, and organizational effectiveness solutions for companies across a broad range of industries. Following her work at Hay, Shari was the Chief Human Resources Officer at SRS Health, a medical software company, where she was responsible for all aspects of human resources including recruiting, training, employee relations, culture, compensation, benefits, and HR policies. During this time, Shari was a key member of the company's leadership team, helping the company grow from 20 to 180 employees.
For the past ten years, Shari has volunteered as an alumni interviewer for the University of Pennsylvania, helping the admissions team at her alma mater evaluate prospective students. Since 2015, Shari has applied her human resources expertise to help college students, new college grads, and adults with internship and job placement.
Shari received a BA from the University of Pennsylvania in 1988 and an MBA from New York University in 1996. She lives in Montvale, New Jersey with her husband Evan. Her daughter Madison graduated from Tufts University and her son Parker currently attends Northeastern University.
Ellen Hoffman has a passion for helping students reach their highest potential in middle school and high school. Through this support, Ellen can put students on a path to becoming better learners, more involved members of the community, and ultimately, stronger candidates for college admissions. Ellen’s passion began while working with her own two children, both of whom gained admission into the country’s top universities. Today, she works with middle school and high school students on improving organization and time management skills as well as work/study habits, determining and implementing meaningful community service projects, expanding vocabulary, and identifying contest, scholarship, extracurricular, employment, and summer opportunities. Ellen also assists students with high school and college applications, standardized test planning, and interview preparation.
Ellen has spent the past quarter century in the job placement/career services field. After practicing as a litigator in large law firms in both New York City and Connecticut, Ellen founded Ellen Hoffman Esq., LLC in 1993, an attorney placement firm which sources top legal talent for law firms and corporations throughout the Northeast. Ellen has advised hundreds of professionals over the years in connection with their job searches, including in the areas of resume preparation, interview counseling, and salary/benefits negotiations. She has also counseled numerous organizations on hiring strategy, the legal market, and attorney salaries.
In addition to her legal placement business, Ellen volunteers her time at Covenant Prep (a tuition-free, independent day school for boys in grades 5-8) and Capitol Squash (an after school program based out of Trinity College for elementary school students), providing assistance to students with applications to high school, interview prep, and time management and study skills.
Ellen received a BA from SUNY Binghamton in 1984 and a J.D. from Boston University School of Law in 1987. She lives in Farmington, Connecticut with her husband Hank. Her son Tyler is a recent graduate of Princeton University and her daughter Danielle currently attends Princeton University.
Cynthia Whipple is an educational consultant working with middle school and high school students. She assists middle school students in the secondary school process, maximizing their chances of acceptance to their top choice schools. Cynthia also works with high school students, guiding them in every aspect of college planning up to and through the application and essay process. Strong writing and finding one’s voice are the key to crafting competitive applications and essays in Cynthia's view. She spends time with her students brainstorming ideas, creating a solid structure for the writing piece, and encouraging their editing and revising of their writing. Cynthia has a true passion for writing and has pursued it in many different areas as a litigator, a children’s book author, and a college writing professor.
With her years of experience as a Secondary School Placement Director, Cynthia is committed to helping students find the ideal secondary day and/or boarding school which is the best fit for them. She is fully knowledgeable about the unique qualities of most secondary schools and understands what admissions officers are seeking in an applicant. Cynthia guides the student in every facet of the secondary school process from list development and testing strategies to application and essay completion.
Cynthia’s strong writing background as both an attorney and creative writer helps her guide the students in presenting their best application and essays to highlight their unique voice which will speak to the admissions officers.
She can also assist middle school and high school students with any aspect of the writing process, making them stronger and more articulate writers in their classroom assignments.
Cynthia received a BA from Trinity College in 1988 and her JD from New York Law School in 1991. She lives in Avon, Connecticut with her husband and three children. She has one son who currently attends Tufts University, another at the Carroll School of Management at Boston College, and a high school daughter.
Maricele Riemann is passionate about the unique education students receive when they enroll at private, independent schools. She is dedicated to helping students and their families navigate each stage of the secondary school application process. Whether they are in the early stages of exploring independent school options, considering a move from public to private, thinking about reclassifying or repeating years, playing a sport or contemplating a post-graduate year, Maricele builds genuine relationships with students and assists them with crafting targeted lists of schools, completing applications, writing and editing essays and managing decisions. Her focus is on helping students achieve their long-term educational goals by telling their stories to admissions counselors in a way that makes their applications come to life.
As a secondary school placement director, Maricele has developed a robust secondary school counseling program, worked with diverse populations and formed solid collaborative relationships with admissions and financial aid counselors at independent day and boarding schools throughout the Northeast. Maricele has first hand teaching experience at both the middle school and university levels, and this makes her adept at helping students identify personal strengths, future goals and individual needs while providing guidance through the application process. She works with her students to isolate that particular combination of variables that make a school their “best fit”, a place where they will thrive academically and socially and where they will be nurtured and challenged to become their best selves.
Maricele received a B.A. in Politics, with a minor in Fine Arts, from New York University in 1994 and her M.A. (1997) and M.Phil. (1999) in Political Science and Quantitative Methods from Columbia University, where she was a Ph.D. candidate. She lives in Cheshire, CT with her husband, Charles, and four children.
Lara LoBrutto loves helping students develop with a sustainable creative process and develop their authentic voice through their writing. For the past two years, she has served with College Advising Corps-BU at a BPS high school, Boston Arts Academy. In this role, she worked closely with high school juniors and seniors on all elements of the college application process with a particular focus on the personal and supplemental essays. During this time, she co-led a professional development workshop at a national conference for college advisors entitled “Advising on the College Essay: Cultivating Student Voice.” Bringing her work beyond the school, she also works as a Writing and Executive Function tutor for Lotus Learning, a Boston-based tutoring company, where she assists students with their college essays, the SAT essays, and academic research papers.
Before her college advising work, she dedicated three years to the Writing Fellowship Program at Tufts University, where she guided undergraduate students through their writing process as they wrote academic research papers in a wide variety of disciplines. It was here that she developed her pedagogy as a tutor, which includes guiding questions and active listening. In her sessions, Lara enjoys guiding students towards an “aha!” moment, in which an idea that they were struggling with finally clicks or they are inspired to take their writing in a new direction.
Lara graduated summa cum laude from Tufts University with a B.A. in International Relations with a minor in Chinese. She is currently pursuing her MPH at Boston University’s School of Public Health.