Specialties
K-5 all subjects
Biology, Yoga

Test Prep

​SAT/ACT Math

Justin has deep roots in the San Mateo and Belmont area through attending school in the area from preschool to high school. He then attended Bellarmine in San Jose for high school, graduating in 2000. Going to a private Jesuit school brought a more competitive feel to his schooling, which in turn helped in getting better at time management and remembering information. He was on the wrestling team for a few 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 enjoyed taking coursework in psychology and cinema during his degree. After he graduated college, he took a sales rep position at Hartford Sales Group in the Bay Area. Justin is currently attending the Pacifica Graduate Institute, majoring in Counseling Psychology, and hoping to one day become a licensed marriage and family therapist.

In his downtime, 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! ​

Education

​B.A. Marketing, Sales, Communications, University of Paris

Manuel grew up in Switzerland before moving to the United States at the age of 12. Manuel is fluent in Swiss-German, German, French, and English. He attended San Mateo High School before going on to study Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of California Berkeley and then earn his Master's in Global Politics from the LSE. He is currently teaching remotely while pursuing his PhD overseas.


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. 

Education

​B.S. Business & Marketing, Loyola Marymount University

M.S. Counseling Psychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute (In Progress)

Eric Elsea

Education

B.A. English, UC Berkeley

Education

​B.A. Peace & Conflict Studies, UC Berkeley

​M.S. Global Politics, London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

PhD. Education, University of Cambridge (in-progress)

Education

​San Mateo High School

College of San Mateo (Middle College)

​University of California Santa Barbara (Currently Attending)

​Isabelle LaFrance

​Jamie Govoni Hobe

Staff

About Us


The Right Approach to Education provides Waldorf inspired 1-1 and small group tutoring to students in grades K-12 and beyond. We are a dedicated staff of credentialed teachers and specialists who work to understand the needs of each learner who walks through our doors. We integrate all learning styles and teach through movement, visual aids, music, and hands-on activities. This approach is so effective, we now work with students from over 50 Bay Area schools, and have helped over 800 families in not only academics but also test preparation and education consultation.


Specialties

​Writing (Grades 9-12)

College Applications

​Manuel Kernen

Mae Linh has been teaching math and science in the Bay Area for over 10 years and has loved 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 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.

​Leanne Lui

Specialties

​Children with hearing and language difficulty, learning disabilities: dysphasia, behavior disorder (autistic and hyperkinetic), involuntary movements, dyslexia, and using Orton-Gilligham

Test Prep

​HSPT, ISEE, SSAT, ACT and SAT (English)

The Right Approach was founded in 2010 by Jamie Govoni. ​​Jamie is a graduate of 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. After becoming disenchanted with the state's insistence on teaching children based on standardized testing, Jamie sought alternative teaching methods. She has combined her training from a Bay Area Waldorf teaching program with her knowledge of traditional teaching styles, along with teaching students with learning disabilities, and SAT/ACT English and writing. Jamie is currently finishing her preschool Montessori degree and plans to open a preschool soon!

​Director of College Applications, ​​Data Analyst, Teacher

Specialties

​English, Reading, Speech Pathology

​Charlie Westly

Teacher

Specialties

K-12 Math

​Teacher

Education

B.S. Astrophysics, UC Santa Cruz

Eric was born and raised in the Sacramento area, then moved to the Bay Area shortly after high school. After spending time traveling, he decided to return to school to pursue his passion for literature. Once enrolled at UC Berkeley, Eric steeped himself in the environment of learning by studying creative writing, poetry, and Spanish in addition to literature. He created exchange groups for studying languages and offered tutoring for classmates as well.


It was at University that Eric fully realized his love for learning and his passion for helping others to achieve their academic goals. He lives for the moment a face lights up with the mastery of a new idea. When not absorbed in a book, Eric enjoys writing, playing music, rock climbing, vegetarian cooking, and traveling--especially to destinations where he can practice his Spanish.

​Laura Mizuha

Education

B.A. Education, University of Vermont

CA Certified Teaching Credential 

Waldorf Teacher Training, NAMC

Montessori Early Childhood Diploma 

​Teacher

​Teacher

Specialties

Math (All Levels)

​Teacher

Specialties​

​K-8 All Subjects

​Assistant Director & Teacher

Gabriel Flores

Gina taught Special Education for 34 years in San Mateo and Palo Alto and is now semi-retired. She loves to continue teaching reading for a few hours each week at TRA, and we are lucky to have her. When she is not teaching, Gina can be found working in her garden, taking long walks with her husband and three little dogs, and catching up on her reading.

Specialties

​Math and Physics (All levels, including AP), Test Prep: SAT & ACT (Math)

​Teacher

​Abby Miller Gudich

Isabelle grew up in Paris, France before moving to the United States in 1999. Previously, she was a Prima Ballerina in the Petit-Didier Conservatory of Ballet. Isabelle has years of experience working with children in special education in the Bay Area. She has worked with both elementary and middle school students in all academic subject areas, including art and French. After work, Isabelle is even busier driving her three teens! She also is an avid vegetarian cook, gardener, scuba diver, and volunteer. 

Leanne was born and raised in the Bay Area. She is currently enrolled at UCSB to pursue her interest in Child Development. When tutoring, Leanne enjoys working with optimistic students who desire to nurture their academic growth.
In her free time, Leanne enjoys playing soccer and exploring the outdoors. She likes to go on new adventures with her friends and family and try exotic foods. Leanne currently volunteers at the SPCA and is an enthusiastic individual who enjoys meeting new people. 

Administrative Assistant/Teacher

Abby is a proud sixth-generation San Franciscan. She attended Convent of the Sacred Heart for middle and high school, where she transformed into a top student. During her time at Convent, she was Student Body President, sports editor on the newspaper staff, and an avid volunteer at school events. After Convent, Abby attended George Washington University in Washington DC, earning a B.A. in Women's Studies. Her passion for social justice and education lead her to pursue a Master's in Social Work and School Services from Columbia University in New York City.   
Abby has a profound love for her students, believing they can achieve any goal with the right support and hard work. She has worked with elementary, middle, and high schoolers as a social worker and brought her love of history to the classroom as a teacher at Convent of the Sacred Heart High School and Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton, where she is a current Director of Admissions.

When not in the classroom, Abby enjoys watching her beloved Bay Area sports teams, spending time with her family and friends, and curling up with a good book.

​Mae Linh Blake

Sabrina Bhandari

Charlie is a Bay Area native who discovered a passion for STEM at an early age. They enjoy puzzles and increasing their mathematical knowledge, but most of all they enjoy sharing their knowledge with others through teaching. Charlie has an A.S. in Mathematics as well as Physics from Foothill College and is currently pursuing a BA in Mathematics for Teaching at SFSU.
When not practicing math and physics, Charlie likes to listen to and play music. Their favorite instrument is the ukulele, but they are also learning to play the guitar, mandolin, and drums.

​Office Assistant, Tutor

Sabrina was born and raised in the Bay Area, where she attended Odyssey middle school and Mercy High School. Her time at Odyssey helped her learn how valuable a personalized education can be. During her early years of high school she volunteered at an after-school tutoring organization where she strived to share this personalized learning experience with her students. After completing a B.S in Psychology, Sabrina wanted to return to the education environment by working with TRA to continue tutoring students in whichever way they learn best. In her free time, Sabrina enjoys practicing yoga, photography, and dogs!

Specialties

​Social Sciences, Political Science, Special Education, College Prep, Conflict Resolution, Mentoring

Education

​M.A. Second Language

​Studies with a Specialization in Language Teaching

Specialties

​English, Comprehension, Composition, Creative Writing, Test Prep, College Applications

Laura was born and raised in the Bay Area, graduating from Aragon High School in San Mateo. After high school, she moved to Hawaii where she earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees. After college, Laura pursued her true dream of traveling and exploring the world. She has worked and lived in Japan, Thailand, Spain, and most recently Brazil. A couple of years ago, she came full circle to settle with her family in San Mateo. Laura has taught writing to students from all over the world, including local colleges such as San Francisco State, De Anza College, and Notre Dame de Namur. She enjoys working with high school and college level students to find their unique voice through writing. Her globetrotting has taught her the value of taking things one step at a time, which she applies in all her lessons.

Education

​A.S. Mathematics & Physics, Foothill College

​B.A. Mathematics, San Francisco State University (In Progress)

Education

​B.A. Mathematics, San Francisco State University (In Progress)

Specialties​

Math (All Levels) and Physics, working with kids who "hate" math

The Right Approach To Education

TRA Founder & CEO, Teacher

​Gina Williams

Education

B.A. Communication Disorders, Holy Names College

​M.A. Communication Disorders (Speech Pathology), CSU Stanislaus

​Special Education Credential, CSU Stanislaus

​Wilson Reading System Certification/Wilson Dyslexia Practitioner

Education

​B.S. Mathematics & Physics, University of San Francisco 

​M.S. Education, University of San Francisco 

​CA Credentialed Secondary teacher in Math and Physics 

Specialties

​Math (All Levels), Physics

Education

B.S Psychology, Biology Emphasis, University Of California Davis

Teacher

​Teacher

Gabbie is an East Bay native with a wide range of educational experiences. She was diagnosed with ADD and a visual-auditory-processing disorder at 6 years old. She spent many school years in both the remedial and GATE or rapid learning classes. However, she fought her way through and achieved a Bachelor of Science in Astrophysics from UCSC, the top Astrophysics program in the country.

Gabbie's teaching philosophy is that every person learns differently, and she loves finding methods that work for each student. She believes everyone can learn and make sense of any concept or formula with the proper help. Gabbie wants students to know that it does not matter if they have a learning disability, dyslexia, or just a good old fashioned hatred of numbers, she has got their backs. 
Gabbie has worked with students ages 9 to 71, from the formal classroom to individual tutoring, online tutoring, and even outdoor education. Her passion for supporting students in math and science comes through with her sense of humor, intrinsic love of all math, and her philosophy that the more people comfortable with math and science the better the world will be!

​Gabbie Blachman

Teacher​

Specialties

​English and Social Sciences (K-12)​​

Specialties

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

Justin Hartford

Gabriel was born, raised, and still lives in San Francisco. He is currently enrolled at San Francisco State University and is a half year away from receiving his B.A. in Mathematics with a concentration in teaching. His plans after school are to enroll in a credential program so that he may one day teach 6th -12th grade mathematics for a distinguished school in the San Francisco Unified School District. Gabriel has been passionate about teaching since entering high school and wants to make math fun and relevant for all students.
In his free time, Gabriel enjoys volunteering for various organizations and is a true SF Bay Area sports fan! He also plays in recreational baseball and basketball leagues.

Education

​B.A. Women's Studies, George Washington University 

Master's Social Work & School Services, Columbia University 

​Professional Program in College Admission Counseling, UC Berkeley