Alexis is our Director of Marketing & Visual Communication and teacher at The Right Approach to Education.  He is a graduate of Carlmont High School in Belmont, CA and graduated from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in Radio and Television and a minor in Counseling Psychology. He also has a passion for teaching the social sciences (history, US government, economics, and psychology) and English.  Alexis integrates a real world application in his lessons and curriculum. Alexis teaches the relevancy and mastery of the subject material to a student's "scholarly toolbox."  He incorporates a “growth mindset” approach, having students learn from their mistakes and shortcomings into teaching opportunities and positive learning experiences. 

He has also received additional certificates and associate degrees in human services, digital media, psychosocial rehabilitation and peer mentoring from the College of San Mateo. Currently, he is pursuing a Career Technical Education teaching credential from UC Berkeley.  Alexis also is a certified tutor completing 300+ tutoring hours and designated as a CRLA (College Reading and Learning Association) Level I & II Tutor. The certification is given by the International Tutoring Training Program Certification.  As well as a teacher, he is a jack-of-all-trades (DJ, photographer, artist, educator, mental wellness advocate, mentor) and adept in digital media programs. When he's not tutoring or completing administrative duties, he pursues his passion in the arts through photography, mixed media art, DJ music mixing and composition, and volunteers his time at local non-profits.

K-8 All Subjects, Health Education, Art & Organizational Skills


B.S. Health Education & Minor in Art, San Francisco State University

Joseph was born in Milwaukee, WI and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas where he attended Little Rock Central High School (Class of 2007).  He then attended Stanford University and earned a Bachelor's of Science in Mechanical Engineering (Class of 2011).  In 2013, Joseph earned his Engineer-In-Training certification.

Joseph's specialties include high school English, algebra, geometry, trigonometry/pre-calculus, calculus AB/BC, differential equations, statistics, physics, chemistry, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, mechanics of materials, statics, dynamics, kinematics, heat transfer, and manufacturing/design.

Over the past several years, Joseph has developed a highly focused teaching style intended to emphasize repeatability of process and conceptual understanding.  He has worked with students ranging from middle schoolers to workforce-seasoned veterans, but specializes in high-school age students and subject matter.  

Mae Linh Blake

Jamie Govoni-Hobe

Stephanie O'Brien

Stephanie was born and raised in Belmont. She graduated from Carlmont High School in 2010 and then began her studies at San Francisco State University in the fall. While attending San Francisco State, Stephanie followed her passions for helping people and doing art by graduating in 2016 with a Bachelors of Science in health education and a minor in art. 

In her free time Stephanie enjoys doing ceramics, camping, and getting out into nature with her dog, Ziggy. Stephanie also loves working with children and helping other succeed, which is why she is so happy to be part of the TRA family, helping enrich young minds and foster their future success. 

"Thank you for the things you have taught me, Stephanie, and your kindness."

- Peyton L, TRA student

Andrea Sajuthi

Tiffany Lopez

Ciara grew up on the East Coast and has lived in many states throughout her career. She recently moved to the Bay Area and is happy to call it her new home. Ciara was inspired by her high school biology teacher to pursue higher education in the sciences. In 2008, she studied environmental science during her undergraduate experience at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. Shortly after, she earned her master’s degree in Earth and Environmental Science from Tulane University in 2014. Upon graduation, she has gained invaluable experience in sustainable permaculture, environmental consulting, and environmental education.

In 2016, Ciara began teaching and tutoring science and math to middle and high school students. She has found helping students achieve their academic goals to be an incredibly rewarding and exciting career. Her teaching style is collaborative and engaging, and she is driven to continue learning new teaching methodologies in order to be the most helpful to her students. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, hiking, surfing, and playing guitar.


Math: Algebra 1 & 2, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, Calculus
Science: Biology, Chemistry, 
Test Prep: SAT/ACT Math, ACT Science, ISEE/HSPT Math


B.S. Biology, University of San Francisco
M.S. Biology, University of the Pacific

Justin Hartford


Operations Manager & Teacher


Math (All Levels)
Physics (All levels, including AP)

B.S in Mathematics and Physics, University of San Francisco
M.S. in Education, University of San Francisco
CA Credentialed Secondary teacher in math and physics.

Director of Operations, Teacher

Joseph Anda

A Bay Area local, Tiffany graduated from Burlingame High School before attending Sonoma State University in 2013. She graduated college in the fall of 2016 with a Bachelors of Arts in Liberal Studies.  Tiffany spent many years playing sports, participating in school plays and learning all there is to know about baking the perfect chocolate chip cookies. When she was in high school, she found herself volunteering at a Spanish immersion preschool where her passion for teaching had begun. From there, she has worked in many classroom and after-school environments, focusing primarily on early elementary and middle school ages. 

Tiffany specializes in teaching students how to learn from their resources, including note-taking styles, organizing their work, and time management skills. She shows students how to learn from their strengths and apply those strengths to becoming a better, more organized student. In her free time, Tiffany loves baking, shopping, and watching Friends reruns on Netflix. She is currently in the process of continuing her education and hopes to receive a teaching credential in the near future.

The Right Approach was founded in 2010 by Jamie Govoni. Jamie is a graduate from the University of Vermont's prestigious child education program. She was named Student Teacher of the Year in 2002 by university faculty. Jamie moved to California in 2003 and taught middle school for four years. Becoming disenchanted with the state's insistence of teaching children based on standardized testing, Jamie sought alternative teaching methods. Combining her training from a Bay Area Waldorf teacher program with her knowledge of traditional teaching styles, Jamie's teaching methods form The Right Approach to Education. She specializes in all subject areas from K-8, students with learning disabilities and SAT/ACT English and writing.

"Jamie knew I would required more unconventional methods to retain the information, so she came up with a more interactive and fun way to teach me. I really appreciated that she tailored her teaching style to fit my learning style, and it helped me
become a better student.”

- Samantha Perez
TRA Student & ASSC Executive Vice President, Santa Clara University

Manuel grew up in Switzerland before moving to the United States at the age of twelve. As a result, in addition to English, Manuel is fluent in Swiss-German, German and French. He attended San Mateo High School before earning a Master's in Global Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) as well as a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of California at Berkeley.

Manuel has experience working with a wide range of students and grade levels. He has worked with children in special education and taught at-risk youth students for the San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE). He also co-taught a class on international issues at the University of California at Santa Cruz and co-taught seminars during his time at LSE and UCB. He volunteered in Tanzania and recently worked as an intern for an International Non-Governmental Organization (INGO) in London where he conducted research on third-party mediation practices. 

"My son Matthew has been working with Manuel for over a year with amazing results. Manuel helped Matt with the entire college application process, helped him to prepare and significantly improve his ACT scores and guided him through the essay and completion of every form necessary to get into a highly respectable college.  My son got into every college he applied and he also was accepted at his reach college.  I cannot say enough great things about Manuel and The Right Approach's system. "

- Denise L., TRA Parent


K-8 All Subjects 
Languages: Beginner Spanish, High school Spanish and Upper level Spanish
Study Skills: Executive Functioning, Student Organization and Note taking 
Test Prep: ISEE/SSAT/HSPT (Math & English)


California Teaching Credential (in progress), University of San Francisco
B.A. in Liberal Studies, Sonoma State University
CA Credentialed Substitute Teacher

Social Sciences, Political Science, Special Education,

Test Prep:  HSPT/ISEE/SSAT/ACT/SAT, College Preparation,
Conflict Resolution, Mentoring


B.S. Peace and Conflict Studies, UC Berkeley
M.S. Global Politics, London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

The Right Approach to Education Staff

College Applications Specialist, Data Analyst, Teacher


Manuel Kernen

Alexis Madayag

All Subjects (K-8), Writing & Literature (High School Level)

B.A. Education, University of Vermont

Waldorf Teacher Training & CA Certified Teaching Credential


Business, Marketing, Sales, Math (K-8)


B.S. Business & Marketing, Loyola Marymount University


"My son, Dylan, felt empowered to manage his schoolwork , tests and term papers.  He formed a partnership w/his tutors and felt he could trust their advice and help.   I am happy to recommend your 'approach.' " - Michelle, Parent

TRA Founder & CEO, Teacher

Ciara Chambers

Director of Marketing & Visual Communications, Teacher




English: All Levels including AP

Math: All Levels including AP

Science: Chemistry, Physics (All levels including AP)

Test Prep: SAT/ACT/SSAT/ISEE/HSPT (Math & English)

B.S. Electrical Engineering, Stanford University

Justin has deep roots in the San Mateo/Belmont area, attending Merry Moppet preschool and public school at Fox Elementary and Ralston Middle School. He then attended Bellarmine in San Jose for high school, graduating in 2000.  That decision had a significant influence on him.  Always used to being one of the top students, he had never been in such a competitive environment before, but the Jesuit’s taught him many skills that he still uses to this day, such as processing a lot of information in a short amount of time and successfully managing his time.  He was on the wrestling team for a couple of years and on the debate team all four years, specifically Team-Policy debate. After graduating, Justin attended Loyola Marymount University, majoring in business/marketing. He also took as many psychology and cinema classes that were eligible as electives for his major.  When he graduated, he took a sales rep position at Hartford Sales Group in the Bay Area.

In his downtime, Justin also attended community college at CSM to finish all of the prerequisites needed to apply to a master’s program in psychology. In the meantime, Justin enjoys spending time with his family and friends, watching football, basketball, baseball, playing poker, and is a huge movie buff! He and his wife have a little Daschund/mix rescue puppy named Jameson, who only plays with pinecones and nothing else! ​

Math:  Algebra 1 & 2, Geometry, Pre-Calculus
Science: Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Environmental Science
Test Prep: SAT/ACT Math and Reading, ACT Science


B.S. Environmental Science, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
M.S. Earth & Environmental Science, Tulane University

Andrea grew up in the Bay Area and graduated from San Mateo High School. Her passion for the sciences led her to earn a Master of Science degree in Biology, researching the genetic mechanisms involved in the evolution of different crustacean species.

Andrea has worked with middle and high school students in California and Illinois teaching students about science, mathematics, piano, and dance. As a former varsity high school athlete and AP student, she understands the pressures and challenges students face in today's stressful high school atmospheres. She focuses on student's academic and personal strengths in order to develop an individualized learning plan catered to each student.

Mae Linh has been teaching math and science in the Bay Area for the last ten years and loving every minute of it. She has taught all levels of physics (conceptual through AP Physics 1), algebra I, and geometry.  She has taught in both public and private schools, including both Saint Ignatius and Notre Dame High School.  

When she is not in the classroom or tutoring, Mae Linh likes to take to the stage and perform with a local theater group, or kick back with her family and five cats.


World History, US History, Government, Psychology, Economics, English, Digital Media, Study Skills, Mentoring

​Test Prep: ACT/SAT/ISEE/HSPT (English), AP Psychology, AP US History,
and AP Government


Career Technical Education Credential, UC Berkeley (in-progress)
B.A. Broadcasting & Electronic Communication Arts, SFSU

A.A. Human Services & Digital Media, College of San Mateo