October Spotlight —Evan Wessler, VP of Education, Method Test Prep
Method Test Prep Spotlight seeks to highlight MTP clients, friends, and acquaintances who are doing amazing things in education. For each installment of the Spotlight, we will select a dedicated individual or organization to profile, and will then interview the awardee to share their story. Through the Spotlight, we hope to develop a bank of successful experiences and practices for other schools and educators to learn from.
In this two-part Spotlight, Method Test Prep took a look inward to recognize the hard work and determination that has led to the release of Methodize, our new online Learning Management System (LMS). The launch of Methodize is the culmination of a multi-year project coordinated between our development, content, support, and management teams to take our online test prep software to the next level. In part 1 of this mini-series, we presented Andrew Peterson, in this edition we'll be shining the Spotlight on Evan Wessler.
Evan got his start at Method Test Prep as a tutor and quickly differentiated himself as a star who was able to incorporate many different resources and techniques into the work he was doing with his students. Evan designed his tutoring to take advantage of technology when appropriate, incorporating the Method Test Prep ACT and SAT online program into his teaching. Evan knew from early on that teaching was his true passion:
"Right after graduating from Bucknell (2009), I took a brief foray into graduate school, enrolling in Harvard University’s Biomedical and Biological Sciences PhD program. The intent was always to teach at a high (university) level, but I quickly found that working in a lab wasn’t for me and left the program just a few months after I started. I have immense respect for those who earn PhDs—we need people working at the highest levels of academic and intellectual pursuit—but from a personal standpoint, leaving my program was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I just wanted other things, though at the time, I didn’t yet know exactly what those were."
Harvard's loss was MTP's gain when Evan was introduced to Method Test Prep by a friend. Evan quickly came to realize that MTP could give him the platform he desired to shape the future of his teaching career in a unique and rewarding way. Since this time, Evan has excelled as MTP's top tutor by just about every metric and has worked tirelessly to try to fulfill the demand for his services.
This demand created an interesting dynamic for both Evan and MTP in that, the need for Evan to play a key role in the development of material and the online program itself was as critical to the company's success as his tutoring was to his students. The solution was to bring Evan on as part owner in the company and allow his incredibly strong work ethic and unrivaled competence dictate his path forward. For many years it was both awe inspiring and exhausting to watch this solution evolve before us. Evan was a workhorse beyond imagination and his commitment to both the students he worked with and the needs of MTP's educational material was impressive to say the least. Ultimately as MTP continues to grow, it's become evident that the greatest impact Evan can have on the largest number of people lies in the work he can provide toward developing tools and materials for students to work with. And so, after over 10 years of regularly leading MTP's roster in monthly tutoring hours, Evan has made the move to focus the majority of his efforts towards the development of projects and teaching MTP Advantage and Power Classes. The value of this decision is immediately evident in the unrivaled experience users will find in Methodize.
"For years, I’ve been trying to strike a difficult balance between carrying a heavy tutoring load and attempting to optimize MTP’s operations and programs. But doing the latter successfully requires large blocks of highly focused, uninterrupted time. These are near impossible to come by when trying to provide an excellent tutoring experience to lots of students and their families. Removing private tutoring from my list of responsibilities frees a huge amount of time that I will now be using to develop great content and work with our programming team, all in efforts to design the most effective programs, classes, and tutoring operations possible. I’m very excited about collaborating on and managing projects that will increase the effectiveness of our prep options and the reach of our services."
Working with Evan is truly a special experience. His commitment to our clients, his teammates and his job are extraordinary. Evan would've been an incredibly successful and effective educator in whatever path he decided to follow but MTP is very fortunate that we had the ability to offer him the opportunity to create his own. For more information about the upcoming online SAT Power Classes that Evan will be teaching or any other classes we provide, please click the link below or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We are very excited about the release of Methodize because we know it will have a huge impact on the students who use it. Not only will Methodize feature an incredible amount of new content—largely produced by Andrew and Evan—but it will also provide teachers with features central to an effective LMS: course customization, quiz assignments, and, eventually, the ability to add their own content. If you're interested in providing content or building a new subject course within Methodize, please reach out to us at email@example.com. We've also created a short video that provides a quick sneak peak at the evolution of our self paced program from the MTP App to the new Methodize:
More about Evan Wessler
How do you like to spend your summers or vacation time?
On vacation, I mostly spend time with my wife, Mia, enjoying the outdoors—nature or around town—and the local food. Even if I’m reading, I can’t sit for hours on a beach or spend all day poolside: I go stir crazy.
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy running, reading lots of different things, hiking, listening to podcasts, learning more math, writing, cooking, and making cocktails for a crowd [this last one may not be appropriate for broadcast].
Is there anything else about your new responsibilities that you'd like to share?
Taking on this new role was simultaneously the most difficult thing and the most exciting thing I’ve had to do professionally: difficult because I had to give up working one-on-one with students, and exciting because I’m very energized about the impact I believe my work on Methodize and other services within MTP will have. Almost immediately, I felt very comfortable with the decision to make a change. It’s made me even more grateful that I work in an organization whose leaders are genuinely interested in everyone’s individual skills and success.
If you would like to nominate an individual or organization working with MTP to be considered for a Spotlight Award, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Spotlight. Please also share this story with people in education as well as with parents and other interested parties!