About Us


Photo by Ashley Welling Photography

Our Philosophy

We have all heard the parable of the starving man who comes to the fishing village looking for food. Like the forward-thinking fisherman in that village, Northwest Educational Services believes in teaching our students to fish. We want our students to grow into empowered learners, becoming active agents in their own growth.

  • Our one-to-one tutoring is designed to meet an individual student’s needs. Coaches and students are matched based on both content expertise and personality fit.
  • We are passionate about teaching effective studying.
  • Some of the most important coaching happens when there isn’t current homework or urgent test prep.
  • Success comes from developing a growth mindset about abilities and embracing mistakes and failures as learning opportunities.
  • Everything counts. All homework assignments are opportunities to actively engage and prepare for future tests, and every step in the right direction is worthwhile.

Check out our blog to learn more!

Business Policies

  • New clients are invited to a free consult with Greg. Contact us today for scheduling.
  • No contract or long-term commitment. Most clients choose to set up regular weekly appointments, but you’re welcome to see us on a short-term or call-as-needed basis.  
  • Pay as you go service. Cash or check, payable to NWES.
  • 24 hours’ notice required for schedule changes and cancellations.

INTAKE FORM (pdf): If you are coming into the office for the first time, we will have you fill out our intake form. You can save time by clicking the “Intake Form” link above and bringing a completed form with you.

Our Coaches

Greg Smith

Greg is the owner of Northwest Educational Services. He graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont in 1985, majoring in African History and minoring in Physics and Computer Science. He also did a year of post-graduate study in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Vermont before earning a teaching credential from Lewis and Clark College.

Greg’s passion is teaching students how to become masters of learning so they can take charge of their own education. He emphasizes the use of proven strategies that help all types of students including those with learning differences. A dyslexic himself, Greg has been personally using these strategies for most of his life. He also works with parents on how to better support academic success at home.

With nearly three decades as an educator, Greg has extensive experience working with all types of students. He taught middle school English and History before founding NWES in 1995. Greg also runs the Learning Center at Billings Middle School and is frequently asked to speak at Seattle schools and educational conferences on topics ranging from test prep to executive function and parenting for academic success.

Originally from Portland, Oregon, Greg has lived in Seattle since 1995. As a young man, Greg was a serious tennis player, whitewater kayaker, and sports photographer. These days he enjoys skiing, bike riding, and rooting for the Mariners and the Seahawks. He lives in Queen Anne with his wife and two daughters.

Molly Robinson

Molly was born and raised in Alaska, but has always had family ties in western Washington. She attended Whitworth College in Spokane, earning a B.S. in Mathematics, with a minor in Computer Science.

While at Whitworth, she worked as an academic coach in the school’s Math Lab, a learning support center devoted specifically to math support. She has been coaching math ever since and has over ten years’ experience helping students gain confidence through building math skills.

When she moved to Seattle in 2009, she started working at NWES and, through Greg, at The Learning Center in Billings Middle School. It has been a wonderful fit. She works with students of all ages, from elementary students to adults returning to school. She also works with students who have learning differences on a regular basis.

In addition to math, Molly works with students in all content areas from elementary through high-school content. She helped Greg develop study skills curriculum for Billings Middle School, and regularly coaches students on study skills and learning strategies. She also coaches students on personal essay writing and standardized test prep, including SAT, ACT, and ISEE. She is passionate about helping students find their confidence and reach their goals.

In her free time, Molly enjoys exploring new places, whether through discovering a new neighborhood or park here in Seattle, or hopping in the car for a road trip. She loves cooking, learning about other cultures through food, and watching quirky foreign films.

Chris Loper

Chris grew up in Issaquah, WA, and graduated from Issaquah High School, where he earned over a year of college credit through AP classes. He attended Montana State University, where he majored in Sociology, minored in History, and earned a Baccalaureate Honors Degree with Distinction.

Chris is passionate about education because it is a direct way to make the world a better place. He loves teaching and helping students improve. Through independent study, Chris has used knowledge to greatly improve his own life. He wants to share that knowledge, inspire others to seek it, and empower them to retain it.

Chris has been with Northwest Educational Services since 2014. He works with students of all ages, covering all academic content. In addition to helping his students with curriculum, he provides his students with helpful information about the neuroscience of learning and the psychology of productivity. Chris is also the staff writer at NWES. His blog posts and lobby handouts are designed to help parents and students learn and apply successful student psychology. Please follow our blog to learn more.

Chris also has a wide variety of teaching and coaching experience outside of tutoring. He taught ski lessons for five years and has coached several tennis players. He was an assistant teacher for the freshman Honors seminar at MSU, and he taught Big History to gifted 5th graders while living in Bozeman, MT. He also spent a summer teaching English to teens in Peru. More recently, for four years, Chris taught a weekly seminar for adults on science, history, and psychology.

Through his own business, he offers behavioral change coaching for busy adults. He also writes a blog about the science and practice of self-improvement called Becoming Better. For fun, Chris skis, climbs, hikes, and plays table-top games.

Lauren Krevet

Originally an east-coaster, Lauren grew up in northern New Jersey. She graduated from the University of Maryland where she majored in Psychology, minored in French, and earned a citation in Women’s Studies.

Lauren subsequently joined Teach for America, an organization that recruits high-achieving college students to teach in low-income schools across the country. Through the process of learning to create the conditions in which all students can learn, and developing strong relationships with children and their families, Lauren discovered her passion: helping kids realize and cultivate their own interests in order to expand their opportunities in life.

For the past decade, Lauren did just that while teaching first and second grades in New York City public, charter, and independent schools. After teaching and leading grade level teams of teachers in three distinct settings, she has established deep content knowledge of reading, writing, and mathematics in the early elementary grades, as well techniques for incorporating mindfulness into her work with children. Grounded in a strong early literacy foundation, Lauren is poised to support more developed readers and writers as well.

Lauren moved to Seattle in the summer of 2017 with her husband and has since been exploring the parks, lakes, restaurants, and coffee shops that abound. Recently, their family expanded to include a puppy, Sakura, who is a delightfully curious, adventurous, and fluffy companion. In her free time, Lauren enjoys practicing yoga and meditation, reading, writing, cooking, and spending lots of time outdoors.

Jeff Levy

Jeff grew up in New Jersey and attended the University of Delaware, graduating with a degree in Chemical Engineering. This was followed by a Master’s degree in Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, where he found his duties as a teaching assistant to be his favorite part of being a graduate student.

Jeff then worked for Unilever for a few years making toothpaste (yes, toothpaste) until he was inspired to go into education and earned his teaching credentials from the University of Pittsburgh. He has 10 years’ of experience teaching chemistry and physics in public and private high schools and more than that tutoring science, math, and standardized test preparation.

Jeff has lived in Pittsburgh, Detroit, New York City, London, and Singapore, where he and his wife raised their two children who are now in college. They enjoy traveling (obviously), hiking, kayaking, cooking, and spoiling their two cats and are happy to make Seattle their new home.

Avery Downing

Hailing from the Washington, DC metro region, Avery grew up visiting the museums downtown every weekend. These prized pieces of culture sparked his interest in art history, literature, philosophy, and technology.

Fast forward a few years. Avery went on to study English Literature and Language at the University of Maryland at the undergraduate level while also earning a Master’s degree in Secondary English Education. From there, he moved to West Virginia and taught across the Potomac River in Williamsport, MD. He taught 9th – 12th grade and specialized in American and British Literature along with AP Literature and Language.

After four years in a public school in western Maryland, Avery moved to an independent school in Washington, DC for four years where he honed his craft for writing instruction and seminar-style class discussions in 9th – 12th grade. Approaching literature and writing with an eye toward interdisciplinary approaches, he brought in cross-curricular content to engage his students in knowledge building across disciplines. While teaching in the independent school, Avery also gained crucial pedagogical experience in college essay writing, SAT, SAT II, and ACT testing platforms, helping students gain access to their goals in higher education.

After many years of courting Seattle, Avery and his wife moved to the city this summer. Before taking on a job at Highline College for the Fall quarter, Avery and his wife could be seen gallivanting around Snoqualmie, plunging into its many alpine lakes, and scrambling around its rocky ridge lines.

Shoshi Bieler

Shoshi grew up in Ohio and graduated from Yale University, where she studied American Studies and Fine Art. Shoshi is passionate about learning, and first discovered her passion for teaching as an art educator, working with undergraduates and elementary school students alike to develop their skills in scenic design, painting, and drawing.

Shoshi delights in sharing her love of learning with students of all ages. Most recently, she taught for the school district in Sitka, Alaska, where she ran a mobile maker space and helped to develop the K-12 STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) curriculum. Some of her favorite maker projects included creating interactive graphic novels, turning a classroom into a giant musical instrument, and programming robots to travel through mazes. Shoshi also has experience editing a literary magazine, tutoring elementary school students in reading, and working as a residential assistant for college freshmen.

In her free time, Shoshi enjoys experimenting with new art techniques, rock climbing, hiking, learning new programming languages, and exploring her new hometown of Seattle.

Gavin Mackay

Gavin was born and raised in Seattle where he attended the Art Institute of Seattle, earning a BA in media arts and animation. He lived in Japan for the past four years, teaching in high schools, elementary schools, and preschools. Since coming back to Seattle, he has been coaching Japanese here at NWES.

Gavin is well acquainted with the rigors of studying Japanese. Although the task of learning Japanese can feel daunting, he knows smart strategies that make the challenge manageable. He also knows that discovering what makes the study of Japanese fun encourages students to put in the necessary time and energy. His approach helps dissolve the fear many students develop around learning Japanese.

Specifically, Gavin can help students with grammar and vocabulary, hiragana and katakana – the phonetic script of Japanese – and remembering, reading, and correctly writing kanji – the Chinese characters used in Japanese. He coaches students on the necessity of spaced repetition when it comes to tackling the formidable task of remember the 2000 kanji needed to function in daily life. He can also recommend some software to help with this exercise.

Gavin also has experience tutoring Chinese students in ESL and teaching the Brazilian art of Capoeira. Having worked with a wide range of age groups, Gavin is comfortable with all students and has a warm, kind, and energetic approach that focuses on starting with building the belief that the task can be accomplished, finding the tools necessary to do so, and then providing the continual support and encouragement that helps foster a genuine love of learning and self- confidence that can be applied beyond the study of Japanese.

In his free time, Gavin enjoys continuing his Japanese studies, hiking, camping, and reading. He also participates in a group at the Atlantic Street Family Resource Center, cooking monthly dinners for underprivileged and homeless Seattle youth.