College Essay Team
Ms. Susan Barr
Ms. Barr is a Kansas City native and loves everything about living in the Midwest. A graduate of public school in Overland Park, Ms. Barr went on to Kansas State University to major in Human Ecology and Education. She was a middle and high school Family and Consumer Sciences teacher for seven years where she had the opportunity to observe students in their adolescent journey to finding themselves. It was during the last three years of teaching, where she realized that she wanted to invest more of her time helping her students roadmap and navigate their post-secondary graduation plans.
It was not long before she found herself in the evenings at Emporia State University pursuing her graduate studies where she earned her Master of Science in School Counseling. Now having been a school counselor for years, she enjoys working with students in the areas of academic, college/career, and socio-emotional goals. She is a life-long learner and continues to pursue professional development opportunities such as the American School Counseling Association conference, counselor fly-ins, local workshops and literature that contributes to the profession. She is passionate about individualization and is committed to creating meaningful connections with students and parents. Students who work with Ms. Barr feel empowered to take on challenges, knowing that ultimately, they become better versions of themselves. She is excited to join the Mill Creek Academy team and support student learning and growth as the college application process unfolds.
In her free time, Ms. Barr enjoys traveling, relaxing by the pool, spin classes, and cooking.
Ms. Carrie Campbell
Growing up on the northern end of Napa wine country and dairy farms, Ms. Campbell preferred her grandmother’s reading nook over her grandfather’s alfalfa tractor. A childhood of intellectual interests and academic successes inspired Ms. Campbell to pursue her passions of Spanish, Literature, and Writing throughout high school and college. Inspired by dynamic professors and poets in her undergraduate studies at the University of Tennessee where she was mentored through the Creative Writing Program, she knew her career would be destined for sharing her deep joy of reading and writing with the next generation.
Ms. Campbell formally holds a B.A. in Spanish with a Creative Writing minor and a B.A. in English with a concentration in ESL instruction from the University of Memphis. Having been immersed in the field of Education for more than a decade, Ms. Campbell teaches all levels of high school Spanish as well as anchoring both Honors World Literature and AP English Language and Composition. Currently teaching at local private high school, she is also involved with Speech and Debate as well as SAT / ACT preparation. She enjoys the challenge of getting students engaged in literary works they presume to be too difficult or too boring. The Scarlett Letter and Moby Dick are just two of the texts that get her excited when helping students discover the deeper meaning.
As an attendee of the UCI Writing Project and AP Seminar conferences, she always looks for ways to sharpen her skills through professional development opportunities. Ms. Campbell loves working with individual students to develop their unique voice and style as writers. She feels incredibly lucky to spend her days immersed with motivating young minds. With an opportunity to work at Mill Creek Academy, she is thrilled to share her passion through teaching our writing courses and working with rising Seniors through the college essay process.
In her free time, Ms. Campbell enjoys reading, cooking, and taking day trips to the coast with her husband, four kids, and their silver lab, Jack.
Ms. Tracey Freyre
Ms. Freyre holds a B.A. in English literature from the University of Virginia, as well as an M.A. and secondary English teaching credential from the University of California at Berkeley. She also holds a supplemental secondary authorization to teach Spanish. Currently a teacher, site instructional coach, and site professional development coordinator at San Mateo High School, she has been a classroom teacher of English, English language development, and Spanish for native Spanish speakers for the past seventeen years in both the San Mateo Union High School District and Hayward Unified School District. As a Fulbright recipient, she taught at Colegio Colombo Americano in Colombia for one year, and spent another year teaching in Chile. She has also spent two summers teaching an argumentative writing course at Nansha College Prep Academy in Nasha, China with the Bay Area Writing Project. Tracey has been a mentor teacher for student teachers from both the Stanford Education Program and the University of California at Berkeley Multicultural Secondary Education program. She has also worked as a SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol) teacher trainer in Hayward, a district literacy coach and a Constructing Meaning trainer in San Mateo Union High School District, a Bay Area Writer’s Project Teacher Consultant, and a National Writing Project teacher consultant on projects focusing on assessment and writing instruction for English learners, as well as the development of a writing framework for teachers.
Ms. Freyre is eager to support students in their writing process for the college application. When she is not in the classroom, you can find her immersed with her next travel plans, bilingualism, and spending time with her family.
Ms. Morgan Goldstein
Ms. Goldstein comes to Mill Creek with a zest for teaching young minds. Having been raised in the Fremont Unified School District system, she understands the excellence that this community prides itself with through their academic excellences. Attending Ithaca College in New York upon graduating high school, she proudly carries a double major in English and Drama, both receiving Magna Cum Laude graduation status. Finding that her passion for literature and drama could not be denied, she continued her graduate studies in earning a Masters in Fine Arts in Dramaturgy and Theatre Studies from the ART/MXAT Institute at Harvard University. Ms. Goldstein has worked at numerous theaters worldwide, including the Smith Center for Performing Arts, the American Repertory Theater, and the Moscow Art Theatre School. With her strong theater background, Ms. Goldstein utilizes the performing arts to strengthen students’ content skills and engagement with English Language Arts.
Her academic studies did not stop after receiving her Masters degree. She continued to pursue her love for teaching by earning a teaching credential and Masters in Arts in Education from UC Davis. Ms. Goldstein has taught college prepatory and honors English at the Sophomore level while also anchoring the Drama courses at Mission San Jose High School, and currently teaches English at Oak Grove High School in San Jose. Some of her favorite plays are M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang, Polaroid Stories by Naiomi Iizuka, and The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh. However, her favorite book of all time is The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov.
Ms. Jane Lin
Born in Taiwan and raised in Tennessee, Ms. Lin first realized the power and perks of penning her words when she won a sixth-grade essay contest which earned her a year’s free supply of Coca-Cola, delivered to her doorsteps monthly. 9,125 pages and 25 “secret” journals later, Ms. Lin is still fascinated with using words daily to give voice to her thoughts and dreams. Being a Bears kind of gal, Ms. Lin has a BA in English Literature, a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages certificate, and a recently completed College Advising and Career Planning certificate, all from Cal (UC Berkeley). Ms. Lin has been a college writing tutor and an English instructor to adults at a government-sponsored testing center in Taipei.
The majority of her professional career has been as an early childhood educator and program director at Step One School in North Berkeley, but she is extremely excited now to be working with Mill Creek Academy to expand her professional learning at the college admissions end.
Currently an AVID tutor and a substitute teacher for Fremont Unified, and as a proud alumna of Centerville JHS and American High (Go Eagles!), she feels truly gratified to have come full circle and to be giving back to the Fremont public schools. After many years of working with students at the beginning of their educational journey, Ms. Lin is passionate about helping students “end” their secondary education with the promise of achieving college success at a school that is a “good fit” for them.
Ms. Lin is a decades-long volunteer with the California Alumni Association, for which she is the Fremont district Co-Chair (and former recipient) of the Leadership Award Scholarship, as well as a member of the scholarship committee of the South Bay Chinese Service Club, also as a former recipient. Ms. Lin looks forward to guiding students in discovering the importance of sharing their stories with just 350 words!
In her spare time, Ms. Lin likes to devour sushi, soup dumplings, sassy romance and mystery novels, and she is seriously contemplating creating a laundry schedule for her new college grad daughter, who will be spending her gap year at home!
Ms. Sherry Mao
Ms. Mao earned a B.A. in English Literature and Psychology from the University of California, Irvine. There, a vista of literary possibilities opened up to her, particularly the era of Modernism in literature, both its impacts in the US and abroad. She earned a teaching credential from Cal Poly Pomona’s Teachers College shortly after completion of her studies at UC Irvine, eager to share her passion for literature with young minds. After earning her teaching credential, Ms. Mao had the opportunity to teach 7th and 8th grade English at Mesa Robles, a California Distinguished Middle School, in Hacienda Heights, California. During this time, she taught English courses aligned to California State Standards and her students had the opportunity to discourse prominent works of prose and poetry ranging from Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” to Walt Whitman’s ” I Hear America Singing” to poems by Pablo Neruda.
After years of teaching, she wanted to continue her education as a believer of lifelong learning. Ms. Mao moved to New York City to pursue a Master’s degree in English and American Literature from New York University. This experience not only unlocked her eyes to American writers such as Jack Kerouac and the 1950s Beat movement in New York City, but it also helped her to learn how location, geography, topography, and metropolitan landscapes can both influence and inspire the written word.
Upon graduating from NYU, she began teaching for Success Academy Charter Schools, a network of charter schools that are trailblazing the path of educational reform and reversing the achievement gap among students in the US. In the State of New York, Success Academy schools ranked in the top 2.5% in English. As a 9th and 10th grade English Literature teacher, Ms. Mao is committed to providing a world-class education to her students by incorporating college prep curriculum. Among 1,000+ teachers, Ms. Mao was also selected as a recipient of Success Academy’s Teacher Excellence Award for the 2014-2015 school year.
Ms. Mao is thrilled to be joining the Mill Creek Academy’s college admissions consulting team. An expert at essay commentary, Ms. Mao looks forward to assisting students through the personal statement revision.
During free time, Ms. Mao enjoys crocheting, perusing museums, exploring the greater New York City area, and cuddling with her cat, Cheddar.
Ms. Johanna Sherrier
Ms. Sherrier benefitted from a public school education growing up in Montclair, NJ, enrolled in one of the first magnet school systems in the country. She attended Tulane University in New Orleans and discovered her passion for literature and writing in her first undergraduate English class. This inspired her to pursue a double major in English and Communications with a minor in Psychology. During her time in New Orleans, Ms. Sherrier worked at a local charter school, teaching Kindergarten art classes as well as providing individual instruction for all elementary grade levels.
Upon graduating in 2011, Ms. Sherrier moved to New York City and worked in public relations at Rubenstein Public Relations. However, she soon was drawn back into the world of academia, and in 2014, she continued her education journey and enrolled in the Master of Arts Literature program at City College of New York (CCNY).
At CCNY, Ms. Sherrier immersed herself in the world of composition pedagogy, gaining adjunct experience teaching a variety of undergraduate writing courses including: Freshman Composition, Fairy Tales and the Re-Writings, Writing for Engineers, and Prose Workshop. In 2017, she earned the Norman Levine Outstanding Teacher’s Award presented by CCNY. In an effort to further explore the issues of education equity in NYC, Ms. Sherrier accepted a teaching position at Success Academy, the largest charter-school network in the state of New York, teaching sophomore Literature and Writing.
Ms. Sherrier is eager to join Mill Creek Academy’s talented team and guide students through purposeful feedback to elevate their personal statements. She believes that everyone can be a capable writer with plenty of editing, hard work, and determination.
During her free time, you can find her sitting on a bench at a local museum just soaking in the beauty that comes with art and history.
Ms. Narisa Svetvilas
Originally from Upstate New York, Ms. Svetvilas attended Hamilton College where she pursued a Bachelors in Arts in Psychology. Upon graduation, she began working at Metis Associates, an education consulting firm in New York City where she primarily worked with the Annie E. Casey Foundation to support the New Futures Initiatives project focusing on middle-school reform. During this time, she conducted evaluation research and helped run focus groups working with students and educators. Through this experience, she was inspired to return to her love of psychology by pursuing her Master of Education in Psychological Counseling at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Finding that she enjoyed helping students explore careers while discovering their best fit, she joined The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art as a career counselor. There, she worked closely with students to navigate internships and jobs in the art, architecture, and engineering world. Eventually, her experiences led her to work for New York University where she focused her time in supporting students in career development, facilitating workshops, and preparing students for the job search process. Realizing the most rewarding part of her job was working with students individually, it was no surprise that her own career journey transitioned her into the role as a school counselor.
Currently, she is a school counselor at Union High School in New Jersey where she has the privilege of helping students discover their identities, assist with the college search process, and articulate their post-graduation goals. She is well-versed in the college application process and is excited to join the Mill Creek College Essay Team where she can’t wait to help more students meet their best potential.
In her free time, you can find her spending time with her daughters, going on a run, stretching in a yoga studio, or planning her next family trip.