The Student Connection is a team of professionals committed to connecting students with success.
Sharing a passion for helping others “learn how to learn” – the team includes professional educators, school psychologists, clinical psychologists, and speech and occupational therapists.
If you’re a tutor and would like to join our team, please write to us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet Our Bloomfield Hills and Macomb Student Connection Teams
Brigid Godvin | Academic Director
Brigid Godvin is a graduate of Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a graduate of Michigan State University. She has served as a professional advocate for children and as an educator for more than 10 years. She is a member of various national professional organizations, including CHAD and ADD. As an advocate, she has helped children get what they need from public and private education systems and institutions. At The Student Connection, Mrs. Godvin utilizes her extensive skills and experience to determine the best course of action for each learner. She helps design lesson plans that are relevant to each students’ world. And she helps students see how becoming a capable learner makes the path through the world easier.
Kirsten Renaud | Director, Macomb Center
Kirsten Renaud is a reading specialist, trainer, accomplished educator and national educational consultant. Ms. Renaud received her degree in Education from Wayne State University with additional training and endorsements in History and specialized reading programs through Northern Michigan University and The Institute of Multisensory Education. She has presented throughout the United States on differentiated instruction, standards-based assessments, Common Core State Standards, among other topics. She is a dynamic educator whose knowledge base comes from over 20 years of real-life experience as a practitioner. She has coauthored an array of published trainings, as well as developed and administered many programs for major education-based companies. Ms. Renaud is now pouring her diverse experience into pursuing her passion once more by helping all types of learners achieve success as the director of The Student Connection-Macomb. Using innovative scientifically-based strategies, she teams with educators, empowers parents, equips students with tools, and develops a plan enabling each learner achieve their full potential.
Michael Godvin | Tutor
Michael Godvin has a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Detroit, and both an MBA degree and a MSE degree in systems and industrial engineering from the University of Michigan. He worked for many years at EDS. With his extensive background in science and mathematics, he is able to work with students who are taking AP math classes in high school and college students who are studying math at all levels. He is particularly competent with college level engineering students. He also works with students who are taking Statistics, Physics, and Chemistry.
Marcy is a Michigan certified teacher who earned her degree in education from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. She works with students ranging from Kindergarten through college age. She has a particular expertise in Spanish. She also works with students on their study skills, and she provides ACT/SAT prep. In addition, she helps students with English, reading and writing. Working closely with students on a one-on-one basis allows Marcy to effectively and efficiently assess the academic strengths and weaknesses of the individual student. She enjoys the challenge of teaching to a variety of learners and truly loves what she does.
Stacey Schreiber received her Masters Degree in Social Work from Wayne State University specializing in therapy for families and children. She has over a decade of clinical experience working with children and families, and particularly with adolescents who have suffered from anxiety and depression.
Stacey believes that every child is unique and the way they learn and process information is also unique to them.
Through her educational experience and through her own personal journey as a mother of two, Stacey offers both insight and concrete tools that empower children to overcome anxiety and anxiety related issues that inhibit their ability to perform in and out of school.
Stacey has been a yoga practitioner for 27 years and in 2008 became certified in yoga education. Yoga augments Schreiber's other treatments for anxiety incorporating yoga philosophy , postures, breath work, and meditation as mindful tools to teach young children and adolescents how to maintain a sense of self awareness and acceptance, how to feel balanced, clam, confident and less stressed throughout the challenges of every day life.
David Maxwell has worked as a school psychologist since September 1980 and as a Supervisor in the Office of Psychological Services since November 2007 with the Detroit Public Schools. David was previously a teacher. He has been a part-time, academic tutor since 1986. David has worked in a clinical setting since January 1991 as a tutor in reading and math. He has specialized training in the Orton-Gillingham multisensory reading approach and the Wilson Reading System. David works with children and adults with reading difficulties in phoenemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and reading comprehension. He also conducts individualized cognitive and achievement assessments, and psychotherapeutic sessions. David is a State of Michigan Certified School Psychologist, a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and a State of Michigan Limited License Psychologist.
Kim Storeygard is a graduate of Northwestern University (WCAS ‘05) and Syracuse University (Newhouse ‘06). She holds a BA in English, with a concentration in Literature and Culture, and an MA in Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism, with a concentration in Graphic Design. She believes passionately that all people have the right to learn, and that many of us learn and communicate in different ways. Working at The Student Connection allows Kim to help her clients individually and tailor their time so that they gain the confidence and ability to communicate clearly.
Kim works with clients ranging from middle school through graduate school, and has a marked record of success helping them achieve their goals, whether they want to improve their GPAs or gain entrance into their dream schools. She can handle a range of writing and reading challenges, and is comfortable helping students in standard, honors, AP, or collegiate level classes with English, American History, World History, Philosophy, and Religion. Additionally, she is capable of helping students prepare for the English, Reading, and Writing sections of both the SAT and ACT, and she works extensively with students who wish to brainstorm, draft, and edit application or scholarship essays. Kim’s past clients now attend such academic institutions as NYU, Northwestern, UM, MSU, Indiana, and UW-Madison.
Nick Kleinschmidt has loved learning since childhood and transformed this love into a passion for further educating the future generations. Nick graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 2016 with a M.Ed. in Secondary Education and B.S. in Biology. Not only has he spent extensive time working with students as part of his program, he has also been a private tutor for the past 11 years.
While working with students, Nick goes above and beyond mastering content and concepts. He strives to focus on the ‘why’ of learning. His experiences as a student teacher and tutor allow him to create an engaging, student-centered, and thought-provoking environment where students feel safe to ask questions, self-reflect and analyze their learning, and freely make mistakes. Rather than Nick dictating how and what a student should do, he aims to develop student’s own critical thinking and skill sets, so ultimately students may improve their self-efficacy.
Nick has worked with students ranging in age from 6-24 years old. He specializes in the sciences, math, and test prep. He also has success with tutoring in English, history, writing, and study skills/organization.
Kathleen Gillespie, Ph.D.
The heart of understanding and enjoying Language Arts is close and attentive reading. Kathleen is a graduate of both Oakland University and Wayne State University. Her undergraduate major is English with a concentration in Reading Instruction. Her MA Ed is from Wayne State University in Instructional Design. Kathleen’s second MA is in Human Development from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California. She holds a doctorate degree in Human and Organizational Systems also from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara. Kathleen’s career has been expansive and diverse. Her teaching experience includes grades K-6 at Saint Paul Lutheran (Royal Oak), grades 7-8 at West Junior High (Rochester), grades 9-12 at Shrine (Royal Oak) and at Our Lady Star of the Sea (Gross Pointe Woods), the Mercy Education Project (Detroit) as well as college students at Oakland University, Wayne State University, Purdue University, and international students studying abroad.
Grades K-8: In teaching Language Arts, Kathleen finds that instruction works best when students are taught reading and writing as a process. Her teaching fosters students’ understanding and working knowledge of English. The results are improved reading comprehension reading speed and written ideas expressed with greater clarity. Grades 9-12: Kathleen tutors ACT and SAT Exam Prep. The results are improved exam scores and times in Reading, English and on the Essay Exam. Additionally, Kathleen tutors students on essays required for Honors, IB, and AP Literature as well as World Religion. College Applications and Essays: As a member of the Michigan Association of College Admissions Counselors, Kathleen brings comprehensive knowledge of the Common Application and college essays. She works with parents and students to bring timely assistance during college admissions. Resume Writing: With ten years experience as an Employment Specialist for a small business enterprise, Kathleen assists high school students with academic resumes and employment resumes. She also works with college students who require resumes for internships and/or job applications. Career Aptitude Testing: For the student undecided about a major and/or minor, Kathleen brings expertise as certified career aptitude testing specialist. The results are extremely helpful to students searching for their “niche.” The added value of the assessment is identifying students’ strongest learning channels to support them in navigating the academic rigors of college. Accountability Coaching: For students with or without diagnosed ADHD, Kathleen actively facilitates the accommodation needed for students to develop focus and structure required for academic success. Graduate School Applications: For students making the transition to grad school, Kathleen provides support getting entrance application requirements organized and met. This includes timelines and study assistance for the Graduate Record Exam, completing the Curriculum Vitae, getting Personal Statements and Cover Letters written, obtaining academic transcripts, and how to request Letters of Recommendation.
Additional Background. As the guardian for her younger sister born with Down’s syndrome, Kathleen is able to place herself in the position of anyone who finds some aspect of learning difficult. Kathleen is frequently told by parents and students that she has the uncanny ability to make the complex easy-to-understand.
Dan Stashuk studied mathematics and physics at Michigan State University. During his time as an undergraduate, he had the opportunity to work as a teaching assistant in both MSU's math and physics departments. Dan has always had a passion for math and the sciences, and he developed a love for sharing this passion with students throughout his college career. He enjoys getting to know students personally and tailoring his teaching to each specific learning style. His main focus in teaching is using student friendly language and making the academic content more practical with real world examples.
Director of the Home Studies Program
Debby Peters earned her BS degree with a teacher certification in secondary English and Biology from Eastern Michigan University and a MSE from Lawrence Technological University. After teaching for 25 years, 6 years in the Howell Public School District and 19 years at the Academy of the Sacred Heart, she joined the Student Connection to help facilitate the newly formed Home School program. Working with students on a one-to-one basis allows her to see the progress students make in developing successful learning techniques while acquiring knowledge in a variety of subjects. She enjoys working with students of all ages and has dealt with an extensive range abilities and attitudes. Some of these students are looking to excel in a specific concept, or just to make up work they may have missed at their schools. The Student Connection allows those students who may need an alternative schedule for classwork to continue their education while participating in outside activities.
Michele Zdziemborski, BSEE
Math Tutor K-12, College Math (Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, Trigonometry)
Michele demonstrates the essential ability to make math fun! Her intrinsic skills as a tutor include empathy, the ability to listen, and tailor each session to the needs of each individual student. This is true whether Michele’s student is 5-years old or 20-years old. Michele is a graduate of Kettering University, ranked among the top engineering programs in the country. Her undergraduate major is Electrical Engineering and she worked for 132 weeks as an intern for General Motors in Product Engineering. During this time, Michele was employed by Kettering as a Calculus Tutor. This is when she discovered her gift for easily communicating complex mathematical concepts to students from all walks of life. Michele went on to work for General Motors for 16 years. While working for GM, Michele volunteered her time through her church to tutor high performing students of promise. Her graduate studies at Purdue included 16 credits towards a Master’s in Electrical Engineering. Her teaching career as a math tutor began in earnest when she decided her true passion is education. Michele began work for The Student Connection in 2009.
Michele finds that instruction in Math works best when the student’s current level has been assessed so she knows where the student has a clear understanding. This enables Michele to work with each student, building a step-by-step understanding of the material. Michele’s pedagogy of instruction includes teaching the topic, showing examples, doing the problems with the students, and having the students work math problems independently. If a student experiences any difficulty, Michele gently encourages progress with specific questions based on the student’s learning style. Her approach fosters the student’s ability to ask themselves, “What’s next?” For Michele, this is key to empowering confident math students!
In providing math education, Michele’s range of expertise includes working with students from the Academy of the Sacred Heart, Brother Rice H.S., Mercy H.S. Bloomfield Hills H.S., Birmingham Seaholm H.S., Birmingham Groves H.S., Notre Dame Preparatory H.S., Clarkston H.S., Lake Orion H.S., Rochester H.S., Rochester Adams H.S., as well as Japhet School. Michele supports students in home school programs from grades four through twleve. Michele’s tutoring practice includes work with college students from Oakland University, Oakland Community College, Wayne State University, Central Michigan University, as well as DePaul University in Chicago.